Galway make light work of Laois in league opener
Joe Canning and Cathal Mannion shine for Michael Donoghue’s experimental side
Galway’s Ronan Burke challenges Laois’s Neil Foyle. Photograph: Tommy Grealy/Inpho
Galway 1-27 Laois 2-15
Galway encountered little difficulty in getting their Division 1B campaign off to a winning start at Pearse Stadium as Joe Canning and Cathal Mannion led the way in a decisive victory.
Eddie Brennan’s Laois offered little resistance and while the former Kilkenny star will be encouraged by the way they never gave up and came with a late rally, the game was done and dusted by the time they got moving.
Galway, with Cathal Mannion superb in his new midfield role and brother Padraic dominant as a sweeper at the back, used wind advantage well in the opening half and led by 1-15 to 0-7 at the break.
Canning was once again sublime in a Galway team which started with just four of the side which lined out in the All-Ireland final against Limerick last August.
Davey Glennon got the Galway goal after 25 minutes following a good move which put them 1-12 to 0-4 in front.
PJ Scully hit five frees in the opening half for Laois but their hopes of a good start to the second half were dashed when Galway hit the opening three points after the restart.
The Tribesmen led by 1-24 to 0-9 with ten minutes remaining before Laois finally rallied with Mark Kavanagh leading the way with a string of points.
Corner-forward John Lennon got in for a goal on the hour and the Rosenallis clubman also found the net in the closing stages.
But Galway were never threathened although they lost their shape somewhat after making a string of substitutions.
All six starting forwards found the target on a day when they had ten scorers and manager Micheal Donoghue will be expected to experiment further next week when they head to play Carlow.
Galway: F Flannery; J Grealish, R Burke, S Linnane; K Hussey, P Mannion (0-1), A Harte (0-1) ; C Mannion (0-4), S Loftus (0-2) ; S Bleahene (0-2), J Canning (0-10, 0-8 frees, 0-1 65), J Coyne (0-1); T Monaghan (0-2), B Concannon (0-1), D Glennon (1-2). Subs: R O’Meara for Coyne (57 mins), J Fitzpatrick for Harte (58 mins), S Kilduff for Canning (60 mins), S Bannon for Grealish (64 mins), T Haran (0-1, 0-1 free) for Monaghan (68 mins).
Laois: E Rowland; D Hartnett, M Whelan, J Phelan; J Kelly (0-2), R Mullaney, P Delaney; C Phelan, PJ Scully (0-6, 0-6 frees); E Lyons, M Kavanagh (0-4, 0-4 frees), P Purcell (0-1); J Lennon (2-0), A Dunphy (0-1), S Maher. Subs: S Downey for Delaney (42 mins), N Foyle for Maher (51 mins), C Dwyer (0-1) for Scully (58 mins), A Bergin for Lyons (61 mins), J Cranny for Phelan (68 mins).
Referee: Johnny Murphy (Limerick).