Efficient Offaly have too much for Laois
Visitors rally late but Kevin Martin’s side well worth their five-point win in O’Connor Park
Offaly had too much for Laois in O’Connor Park. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho
Offaly 1-21 Laois 1-16
A solid and efficient performance saw Offaly see off Laois with five points to spare in O’Connor Park on Sunday.
Apart from the last 15 minutes when Laois rallied, Offaly were by far the superior team and a bigger winning margin wouldn’t have flattered them.
They laid a strong foundation when playing against the wind in the first half.
Playing with real intensity and physicality, Offaly kept Laois at bay and it was an excellent 12th minute goal from Patrick Purcell that kept the visitors ticking along.
That goal gave Laois a 1-2 to 0-2 lead but they never looked like building up the advantage they needed and a 0-11 to 1-7 half time lead had Offaly in a strong position.
Laois edged ahead early in the second half but then Offaly took control, playing some fine hurling. A brilliant Joe Bergin goal put them 1-14 to 1-9 ahead in the 42nd minute and they looked home and dry when leading by 1-20 to 1-11 with 15 minutes remaining.
Laois got five of the last six points and a goal would have caused some very nervous moments for Offaly, but it didn’t materialise.
OFFALY: E Cahill; T Spain, S Gardiner, B Conneely; P Camon, D O’Toole (0-1), P Delaney (0-1); D King (0-1), T Geraghty (0-2); C Mahon, C Kiely (0-1), C Egan; D Currams (0-1), S Dooley (0-10, 6f and 1 65), J Bergin (1-4). Subs: O Kelly for Kiely (51m), D Egan for Egan (56m), J Gorman for Currams (61m), D Shortt for Geraghty (68m), P Rigney for Delaney (68m).
LAOIS: E Rowland (0-1, f); D Hartnett, L Bergin, L Cleere; P Lawlor (0-1), M Whelan, E Killeen; J Ryan, P Purcell (1-3); B Conroy, C Dwyer (0-1), W Dunphy (0-2); R King (0-5, 4f), N Foyle (0-1), C Comerford. Subs: C Stapleton for Hartnett (22m), M Kavanagh (0-2, 1 sideline), for Comerford (Half time), C Quinlan for Killeen (41m), C Taylor for Dunphy (59m), P McKane for Foyle (67m)
Referee: J Heffernan (Wexford).