Late Laois blitz ensures survival against Antrim

Ryan McCambridge was dismissed for an off the ball clash with Willie Hyland

Laois 2-18 Antrim 1-13

For the second time in a month Antrim have suffered defeat at the hands of Laois but this time it’s resigned them to another relegation play-off as they now face the prospect of Division Two hurling in 2016.

They will be bitterly disappointed after being reduced to fourteen men after forty eight minutes having hauled back their opponents to a level game with six minutes of normal time remaining.

The opening half saw Laois race into a comfortable lead with points by Joe Campion and Zane Keenan, but then a dreadful mistake by the Laois defence allowed Conor Johnson to poke the ball over the line.


Points by Neil McManus, Ciaran Clarke and Paul Shiels left just the minimum separating the teams after fifteen minutes.

Laois pulled away again and points by Keenan, Cha Dwyer and Pat Whelan saw the home team in front 0-13 to 1-6 at the break.

Antrim looked hungrier on the resumption and enjoyed lots of possession and picked off points by Paul Shiels, Ciaran Clarke and substitute Daniel McKernan but then came the sending off of Ryan McCambridge for an off the ball clash with Willie Hyland.

Despite the sending off the Saffron’s hurled well and looked like causing a major upset but Laois finally came to life with two splendid goals by Zane Keenan and Ross King followed by a brace of points by Willie Hyland and PJ Scully to secure their Division one status but for Antrim they now await the winners of the Division two decider between Westmeath and Kerry.

Laois: E Rowland; J A Delaney, C Healy, J Walsh; J Fitzpatrick, Joe Campion (0-2), C Dunne; Z Keenan (1-6), P Purcell; T Fitzgerald, C Dwyer (0-3), P Whelan (0-1); R King (1-2), W Hyland (0-1), PJ Scully (3); Subs J Purcell for T Fitzgerald 61m, D Palmer for P Purcell 55m,

Antrim: C O'Connell; R McCambridge, A Griffin, O McFadden (0-1); N McManus (0-1), N McAuley, S McCrory; C Johnson, M Bradley; PJ O'Connell, P Shiels (0-4), E Campbell (0-1); C Clarke (0-5), C Carson, C Johnston (1-0); T McCann for S McRory 22m M Donnelly for T McCann 50m, D McKernan (0-1) for C Johnson 48m,

Referee: Derek Hughes (Carlow)