Sometimes, the result isn’t the most important thing. Sometimes, there are bigger things at stake, and that seemed to be the case in Rathdowney on Sunday afternoon.
Walsh Cup SH Rd 1
A month ago, Laois senior hurlers were teetering on the abyss, without a manager, a plan or hope. Their participation in the Walsh Cup seemed questionable at best, until Seamas Plunkett stepped into the breach and set about reinvigorating the fortunes of a jaded and disillusioned squad of players.
On Sunday, the first step in that process of reinvigoration was taken as Laois hosted UCD, and while the final scoreline read a one-point defeat, there was more to be taken from the game than that. A team flush with young talent, with plenty more on the sideline too, put up in a spirited display, highlighyed by some nice scores and plenty of determination.
Having gone through a workout in St Fergal’s College before the game as they try to make up for a winter spent in dry dock, Laois understandably tired in the latter stages of the game. They remained competitive but just hadn’t the strength in their legs to launch a decisive comeback, as a Noel McGrath inspired UCD held out for a one point win.
Laois lead by 1-8 to 0-8 at half-time thanks to a goal from Stephen Maher but in the second-half lead by Noel McGrath, who finished with 11 points, the students got their noses in front and held on for a one point win.
See this Tuesday’s Leinster Express for full report, analysis and reaction. On sale now.