Laois beat Westmeath to keep Division 1B status
Cheddar Plunkett’s side come up trumps in last chance saloon at O’Connor Park
Laois’ Cahir Healy tackles Westmeath’s Niall O’Brien. Photograph: Inpho
Laois 0-23 Westmeath 0-16
Laois hurlers will remain in Division 1B for another year at least, despite winning none of their games and losing a playoff to Kerry, The O’Moore’s made the best of their last chance when they met Division 2A winners Westmeath in O’Connor Park Tullamore on Saturday afternoon.
Westmeath Manager Michael Ryan will be bitterly disappointed after much work had gone in to claiming the title and without conceding a single goal. On Saturday they started well and their defence was excellent and the keeper kept another clean sheet.
After five minutes Westmeath led by two points but Laois managed to draw level on a couple occasions thanks to the accuracy of PJ Scully and Cha Dwyer but Niall O’Brien was the sharpest on view and his six points saw Westmeath lead 0-12 to 0-11 at the half way mark.
The second half saw Laois go in front after three minutes and a couple of changes made all the difference. Subs Zane Keenan and Mark Kavanagh added late points but long before the final whistle points by PJ Scully and a huge score by keeper Enda Rowland ensured Div 1B status for Cheddar Plunkett’s side
Laois: E Rowland; D Palmer, D Maher, C Healy; L Bergin, M Whelan, R Mullaney; P Purcell, C Stapleton (0-1); C Dwyer (0-6),S Maher, W Dunphy (0-2); J Lennon (0-1), N Foyle (0-1), PJ Scully (0-10); Subs Z Keenan (0-1) for S Maher h/t, M Kavanagh (0-1) for W Dunphy 57m,E Fennelly for N Foyle 68m,J Phelan for D Palmer 66m, B Reddin for J Lennon 69m,
Westmeath: P Maloney; S Power, T Doyle, T Gallagher; A Craig, A Clarke, A McGrath; C Boyle (0-1), G Greville; L Varley, N Dowdall (0-1), E Price (0-3); N O’Brien (0-7), B Murtagh (0-4), A Devine; Subs R Greville for N Dowdall h/t, D McNicholas for L Varley 48m, K Duncan for S Power 66m,
Referee John Keenan Wicklow