Galway 1-22 Laois 0-23
Galway will breathe a massive sigh of relief as they just about crept into the Leinster championship semi-final with a two-point victory over Laois at O'Moore Park.
The Tribesmen survived a late 20-metre free from Eoin Reilly which would have won it for Laois, but a terrific block on the line from Iarla Tannian denied Cheddar Plunkett's side a deserved win.
Galway got off to a flying start when Jonathan Glynn hit the net from an acute angle in the second minute. And when the Tribesmen followed it up with points from Johnny Coen, David Burke and Padraig Brehony, it looked ominous for Laois.
But after trailing by 1-3 to 0-0 after nine minutes, Laois proceeded to destroy Galway for the remaining 26 minutes of the half, outscoring their opponents by 0-16 to 0-4 in that time.
With a very strong breeze at their backs, Cheddar Plunkett's side employed a 'shoot on sight' policy and it paid off handsomely, especially in their dominant half-back line as both Joe Fitzpatrick and Tom Delaney hit two points each in the opening half.
Galway improved dramatically after the break, but it wasn't until the arrival of Jason Flynn that they really took control. The youngster hit three points after his 51st minute introduction to pull the Tribesmen level and once Paul Killeen nudged Galway ahead two minutes from time they held on manfully for the win.
Galway: C Callanan; D Collins (0-1), R Burke, F Moore; A Harte, I Tannian (0-1), Daithi Burke; J Coen (0-1), P Brehony (0-3); C Cooney (0-7, 3f), N Burke (0-2), David Burke (0-1); C Mannion (0-1), J Canning (0-2), J Glynn (1-0). Subs: P Killeen for Harte (7-9 mins blood), D Hayes for David Burke (48 mins), J Flynn for (0-2) Mannion (51 mins), P Killeen for Harte (64 mins), D Glennon for Glynn (70 mins).
Laois: E Reilly; JA Delaney, B Campion, B Stapleton (0-1); J Fitzpatrick (0-2), M Whelan, T Delaney (0-2); J Campion (0-1), J Walsh (0-1); S Maher (0-3, 3f), D Palmer, C Dwyer (0-3, 1sl); N Foyle (0-3), W Hyland (0-3), T Fitzgerald (0-3). Subs: J Purcell for Foyle (56 mins), P Whelan for Jn Walsh (58 mins), J Brophy for Fitzgerald (60 mins), R King (0-1) for Campion (63 mins),
Referee: Cathal McAllister (Cork).