Following their great success in winning the National League Division 3 last month, Laois were pitched against the reigning All Ireland Champions Meath in the quarter finals of the Leinster Championship in Camross on Sunday.
Laois got off to a great start when Louise Mahony scored her first of four points from a free soon after the throw in. Soon after Sarah Anne Fitzgerald blasted home for a goal from a 21 yard free five minutes later following a foul on Laois corner forward Olga Parkinson.
Elaine Mahony was next to score for Laois with a point from play. Laois were on top all over the pitch as Meath had scored just two points in the first 10 minutes.
The Laois half back line of Claire Walsh, Sarah Anne Fitzgerald and the most consistent Laois player of the year so far Ashling Dunphy were all excellent and kept the forwards well supplied with good ball throughout the game.
Jane Dolan pulled a point back for the Royals before Louise Mahony, who along with Eimear Delaney commanded midfield, added two more points to stretch the lead for Laois.
Laura Dunne in the Laois goals made some excellent catches throughout the game and cleared her lines every time her goal came under attack.
Meath closed the gap when Kate Hackett scored a point from play and Jane Dolan scored her third from a free on the 24th minute of play. Young wing forward Síle Burke had to be replaced on the Laois side by Angela Hanlon for treatment after a heavy tackle on 25 minutes.
The Mahony sisters ensured that Laois went in at half time with a good lead as they scored a point each before Elaine broke through to palm a ball in to the Meath goal.
As she scored, Elaine received a severe blow on the arm from the Meath keeper, who was lucky to remain on the pitch as she had been shown a yellow card earlier. The half-time score Laois 2-6 Meath 0-5.
After the resumption of play, the weather changed dramatically as the wind rose in favour of Meath and sunshine turned to showers.
This affected the game as the sliotar seemed to fall short with every Laois attack. Meath capitalised and scored four unanswered points in 17 minutes of play. The Meath free taker Jane Dolan was shown a yellow card for her second late tackle on Eimear Delaney.
Mattie Collier and his selection team of Mary Dunne, Mick Lennon and Anne Mahony made a few changes in order to stop the the Meath advances. The full back line of Joan Dollard, Mairead Burke and Karen Cuddy were inspired and cleared every ball that fell their way. Cuddy was even found in attack on her half forward line on more than one occasion.
Although Denise Quigley at corner forward had a brilliant game, the Laois full forward line found scores hard to come by. Angela Hanlon scored the only Laois point of the second-half from distance.
Meath piled on the pressure and tested Laura Dunne with a barrage of dangerous high balls, all of which she collected and cleared with confidence. Dunne made an excellent save in the closing minutes as Meath full forward Jane Walsh caught a high ball, turned her marker and blasted at the Laois goal. The final score was Laois 2-7 Meath 0-9
This win over the reigning All Ireland Champions will help to maintain confidence in this excellent Laois side as they face Westmeath next weekend in the Leinster Semi Final.
Laois; Laura Dunne, Joan Dollard, Mairead Burke, Karen Cuddy, Ashling Dunphy, Sarah Anne Fitzgerald (1-0), Claire Walsh, Louise Mahony (0-4,3f), Eimear Delaney, Sile Burke, Niamh Dollard, Elaine Mahony (1-2), Olga Parkinson, Sarah Cuddy, Denise Quigley. Subs: Angela Hanlon (0-1) for Síle Burke (25mins), Sinead Lanham for Niamh Dollard (45mins), Sile Burke for Claire Walsh (45mins).