Ignore the final score, this game was much closer than that. The eight point winning margin for Kilkenny did a disservice to Laois, as Seamas Plunkett’s charges produced a hugely encouraging performance, only to be denied by a late flurry from the visitors.
With ten minutes to go there was just three points between the teams, and all the momentum was with Laois. They had Kilkenny in real trouble, with their manager, Adrian Ronan, scrambling for the subsititutes bench as he attempted to arrest the slide in his teams fortunes.
Kilkenny eventually got the break they needed, when substitute Nollaig Brophy got away with what looked like a clear case of overcarrying the ball to deliver a pass to Conor Martin, who, to his credit, did superbly to field it, jink past Paddy Bergin, and score a vital goal.
That score finally knocked the wind from Laois sails which had been flying at full mast for most of the second half. The result may have been disappointing but the performance wasn’t, as Laois showed tremendous heart to dig deep when all looked lost just after half time to rouse the sizeable local support.
See this week’s Leinster Express (May 9) for full report and reaction with a preview of Saturday’s game with Offaly