Laois learn harsh lesson
LAOIS hurlers, ambitious to move up to the highest level, got a salutary lesson on the distance to be travelled, in this senior hurling challenge which marked the opening of a new pitch at Errill in Laois last night.
Without the services of P J Cuddy, due to a traffic accident, Joe Dollard, injured in a club game, and Niall Rigney due to family circumstances, Laois still opened brightly against a strong Clare team, with stand-in full forward Pat Cleary scoring a fine early point and helping set up Thomas Kenna for a goal alter 22 minutes which put Laois 1-2 to 0-2 ahead.
But the Clare backs, particularly Liam Doyle and Anthony Daly soon got on top and when Stephen McNamara broke free twice at the other end to score goals in the 27th and 29th minutes, the writing was on the wall for Laois.
Clare led 2-4 to 1-3 at halftime and added seven points - and six substitutes - before the end.
Ollie Baker at midfield and Jamesie O'Connor were particularly effective in that second half, despite the fact that Clare were weakened by the loss of Ger O'Loughlin, who had to leave the field injured three minutes into the second half.
For Laois, Bill Maher, Liam Tynan, John Taylor and Owen Coss were the pick of the crop.