Camross retain their Laois hurling title
Controversial fracas in the 25th minute forced withdrawal of Laois captain King
Camross are the first team to win back-to-back titles in Laois since Castletown in 2003. Photograph: Tom Beary/Inpho
Camross 2-15 0-19 Rathdowney-Errill
Camross were crowned Laois SHC winners for the 26th time in O’Moore Park as they recovered from a slow start to eventually get the better of Rathdowney-Errill.
Goals in either half – from Eoin Gaughan and Mark Dowling – laid the foundation for Camross to retain their title, the first team to do so since Castletown in 2003.
But it was a controversial row in the 25th minute that proved the game’s main turning point. At the time Rathdowney-Errill led 0-8 to 0-5 despite playing into a stiff breeze. But a skirmish led to Laois captain Ross King being forced off with a facial injury and referee John O’Brien opting to hand out just a couple of yellow cards.
Camross then hit the next three points to level the game and on the stroke of half time Eoin Gaughan struck for the game’s first goal and they led 1-8 to 0-8 at the break.
A kicked Mark Dowling goal nine minutes into the second half helped stretch them eight clear and although Rathdowney-Errill battled on, they were left to rue a couple of bad wides. They did manage to close the gap to two thanks to the unerring free-taking of Mark Kavanagh and points from play from Tadhg Dowling and Paddy Purcell.
But Camross settled the ship and held on for their latest championship triumph. It’s their first time to put titles back to back since 1993-1994 and they now go forward to play the Wexford winners in the Leinster championship in early November.
CAMROSS: T Dunphy; A Mortimer, M Moloney, J Phelan; L Burke (0-1), A Collier, M Burke (0-1); D Dooley, T Burke (0-1); C Collier (0-3), N Holmes, Z Keenan (0-7, 5f 1 ‘65); M Dowling (1-1), D Delaney (0-1), E Gaughan (1-0). Subs: D Palmer for Dooley (HT), M Collier for M Burke (50), O Bennett for Holmes (57), D Gilmartin for T Burke (61)
RATHDOWNEY-ERRILL: N Brennan; A Delaney, B Campion, J Corrigan; E Killeen, J Fitzpatrick, J Kelly; S Dollard, J Purcell; P Purcell (0-1), T Dowling (0-3), J Ryan; P McCane (0-1), R King (0-1), M Kavanagh (0-12, 10f, 1 ‘65). Subs: D Poynton for Dollard (injured 25), B McGinley (0-1) for King (injured - 25), D Bourke for Poynton (52), R Bowe for McCane (57)
Referee: J O’Brien (Portlaoise)