Business as usual as Laois crumble


All-Ireland champions Cork inflicted more pain on managerless Laois in a one-sided National League encounter before a crowd of 2,750 at Pairc Ui Chaoimh yesterday.

Star of the show was right corner forward Kevin Murray, who marked his call-up with a hat-trick of goals.

Murray took just six minutes to claim his first goal when he rounded Donnacha Dowling to kick home and then added a second five minutes before halftime.

The game was as good as over at the break when Cork led 3-10 to 0-6. Cork's other goal was scored by Neil Ronan just three minutes before the interval, breaking away from loose marking to give goalkeeper John Lyons no chance of saving.

It was all one-way traffic in the first half, with Cork accumulating 10 wides as their steady defence was rarely troubled although Laois full-forward James Young helped himself to four points.

On the resumption, Cork introduced four substitutes as coach Jimmy Barry Murphy gave opportunities to defenders Pat Mulcahy and Aidan Fitzpatrick while Sean Og O hAilpin came on for mid-fielder Mickey O'Connell and the promising Ben O'Connor took the place of Joe Deane in the full forward line.

Murray completed his hat-trick two minutes from the end. Cork had Brendan Coleman playing for the injured Timmy McCarthy at centre forward and he managed to score 0-5.

For Laois their problems continued with only Young and substitute Brian McEvoy showing any threat to a Cork defence which was as solid as usual.

CORK: D Og Cusack; F Ryan, D O'Sullivan, J Browne; W Sherlock, B Corcoran, D Barrett; P Ryan (0-1), M O'Connell (0-3); G O'Connor (0-3), B Coleman (0-5), N Ronan (1-3); K Murray (3-1), A Browne (0-2), J Deane (0-2). Subs: P Mulcahy for Ryan, A Fitzpatrick for Sherlock , S Og O hAilpin for O'Connell, B O'Connor (0-1) for Deane.

LAOIS: J Lyons; E Browne, S Dooley, D Dowling; R Delaney, P Mahon, L McGrath; D Conroy (0-2), A Bergin (0-1); J Phelan, O Dowling, E Maher; C Cuddy, J Young (0-5), PJ Peacock (0-1). Subs: B McEvoy (0-2) for E Maher, T Fennelly for O Dowling, D Russell for Delaney.

Referee: B Kelly (Westmeath).