Another weekend round robin Leinster hurling, another easy win for Galway, another pounding for Laois.
o It was at O’Moore Park that Galway put in a dominating second-half performance to take the points for the League table. From six ahead at halftime, Galway finally won by 22 points.
Cathal Mannion scored eight points from the game for the winners, Tom Monaghan added six as Galway finally broke the back of a challenging Laois who was stubborn but never suggesting he had a bit of a shine to it topic.
Galway’s link-up play was excellent at times and they managed to increase their big total while shooting ten wide. Henry Shefflin’s team is definitely a team to watch this year. They are one of the few teams big and strong enough to face Limerick at Croke Park later in the season.
After playing with a sweeper against Kilkenny, and seeing the decision blow up in their faces with a thump, the home side tried the same tactic against last night, This time, after a whirlwind start in Galway, the line-up allowed it was up to Laois to gain a foothold in the game, with Paddy Purcell and Cha Dwyer whipping over six runs between them and Ross King converting set balls.
But it couldn’t last forever. A few slaps from Shefflin on the touchline saw Cathal Mannion begin to command the midfield area as the loose man and Galway pulled away again to lead by six points at half-time.
The game completely slipped past Laois in the 49th minute when Conor Whelan scored for Galway. A long ball into the Laois square was not cleared properly and Whelan pounced on the sliotar to score. Laois keeper Enda Rowland was cautioned after the goal after a hurley was seen flying as Whelan prepared to strike.
It was the end of the contest. Shortly after, Galway goalkeeper Eanna Murphy had time and space to break out of her goal line and head towards the Galway ’65’ line before hitting a powerful point.
Joseph Cooney added Galway’s second goal with a neat finish, and that was it, Galway would go on.
Laois will now face a relegation battle at home to Westmeath next Saturday. The loser of this match returns to the Joe McDonagh Cup for 2023.
Scorers – Laois: R King 0-4 3f’s, P Purcell 0-4 1F, C Dwyer 0-3, R King 0-3 3F’s, J Keyes 0-3, E Rowland 0-1 1F, J Kelly 0-1, S Downey 0- 1, T Keyes 0-1. Galway: C Mannion 0-8, C Cooney 0-7 5F, T Monaghan 0-6, C Whelan 1-2, J Cooney 1-2, C Fahy 0-2, P Mannion 0-2, D Morrissey 0-2, E Murphy 0-1, B Concannon 0-1, J Grealish 0-1, F Burke 0-1, E Niland 0-1F, J Flynn 0-1.
Laois: E Rowland; P Dunne, S Downey, D Hartnett; R Mullaney, C McEvoy, F. Fennell; J Kelly, A Corby; Purcell P, Dwyer C, Keyes J; B Conroy, R King, M Dowling. Subtitles: PJ Scully for Dowling 17 mins C. Byrne for Dwyer 33 mins E Killeen for Mullaney 54 mins T. Keyes for Conroy 60 mins F Flanagan for McEvoy 70 mins.
Galway: E Murphy; J Grealish, Daithi Burke, D Morissey; P. Mannion, G McInerney, F Burke; J Cooney, T Monaghan; David Burke, C. Cooney, C Fahy; C Mannion, C Whelan, B Concannon. Subtitles: R Glennon for David Burke 51 mins TJ Brennan for Daithi Burke 57 mins E Niland for C Cooney 58 mins J Coen for Morissey 64 mins J Flynn for Whelan 65 mins.
Arbitrator: S Cleere (Kilkenny).