Antrim round off Division 1B campaign with convincing win over Laois

Saffrons seals fourth place after storming into a big early lead

Antrim’s Gerard Walsh and Eanna Lyons of Laois in action during the Allianz Hurling League Division 1 Group B game at Corrigan Park in Belfast. Photograph: Laszlo Geczo/Inpho

Antrim’s Gerard Walsh and Eanna Lyons of Laois in action during the Allianz Hurling League Division 1 Group B game at Corrigan Park in Belfast. Photograph: Laszlo Geczo/Inpho

 

Antrim 2-23 Laois 1-22

Antrim’s hurlers completed their Allianz League Division 1B campaign with a five-point win over Laois at Corrigan Park Belfast on Saturday, securing fourth spot in the table for the Saffrons.

Antrim took control early on and were four points to no score to the good after seven minutes with Conal Cunning (two), Eoin O’Neill and Aodhan O’Brien all on target. It was 10 minutes before Laois raised a flag when Jack Kelly stopped the rot, but Antrim enjoyed a quarter hour of dominance during which they outscored their visitors by seven points to one.

Laois did manage to find their range before half-time however, landing the last three points of the half to trail by 0-13 to 0-7 at the break.

Laois continued to carry the fight to Antrim after the restart and 10 minutes into the second half had cut the gap to two points, 0-14 to 0-12, but Eoghan Campbell’s goal looked to have settled matters in favour of the hosts on 65 minutes.

However, a quickfire 1-1 from TJ Scully put the game back in the balance as injury time loomed. Antrim’s second goal from Niall McCormack then sealed the point.

ANTRIM: R Elliot; D McMullan, G Walsh, S Rooney; E Campbell (1-1), P Burke (0-1), A O’Brien (0-1); R McGarry, M Bradley; N McKenna (0-2), C Johnston, E O’Neill (0-2); D McCloskey, C Cunning (0-9, three frees, one 65, one sideline), S Elliott (0-5).

Subs: P McCallin for C Johnston (h/t), M Donnelly for G Walsh (41), C Clarke (0-2) for D McCloskey (44), Ciarán Johnston for M Bradley, N McCormack 1-0 for E O’Neill (both 54), R McCambridge for A O’Brien, C Bohill for N McKenna (both 64).

LAOIS: E Rowland (0-1, free); L Cleere, S Downey, D Conway; R Mullaney (0-1), C McEvoy, S Maher (0-2); J Kelly (0-5), P Purcell (0-2); E Lyons, J Keyes, C Collier (0-1); W Dunphy (0-2), R King (0-3, two frees), C Dwyer.

Subs: D Hartnett for D Conway (55), A Dunphy (0-2) for C Collier, TJ Scully (1-3) for W Dunphy (both 58), J Ryan for J Keyes, M Whelan for L Cleere (both 66)

Referee: J Keenan (Wicklow).

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