Seamas Plunkett paid tribute to the overall team display that his side put in on Sunday, as Laois eventually emerged from O’Moore Park with a six point win over Antrim.
In an entertaining game, it was the contribution of a number of Laois’ substitutes that made a big difference in the end, and Cheddar was delighted that everyone who took to the field played their part in the win.
“Everybody contributed that came in, but that’s what you’re expecting at this level from people who go onto the field. They have a chance to see what’s going on in front of them and then go onto the field, and make a difference, I think they did.
“There’s a lot of positives to be taken from that, there is a lot of strength in depth in the panel and the players know that. That’s a good place to be in, we’re always complimenting the Kilkennys and Tipps of this world for having depth in their panel.
“We still have a bit of work to do on that, I don’t say it loosely, we still need to develop our panel for strength. We are getting there, and the fruits of our labour are there today, and certainly the people that came in made a big difference.”
The highlight of the game for Laois was there stunning comeback early in the second half. Unfortunately, they needed the comeback because of a very slack opening 15 minutes to the second half, something Plunkett acknowledged came about because they were still trying to size up Antrim at that point. “A little bit of that in the first ten or 15 minutes was us just looking at where they were and trying to check if they were going conventional or not.
“We needed to reshape our team after ten or 15 minutes and once we did that, we got more pull around the middle third. Certainly the lads that came in all gave us a pull as well. We keep saying this and it’s not a cliche, it really is a 20 man game at this level, and the people coming onto the field for you have to make a difference. Certainly Neil Foyle made a difference when he came in, PJ Scully made a difference, he clipped over two points.
“Everybody contributed, but I think the real heartening point in it was, a couple of times they went ahead and you could say our backs were against the wall, but we just didn’t panic, we kept trying to do the things we wanted to do, we’re trying to work the ball out of defence, sometimes it broke down on us and sometimes it didn’t, but look, that’s the way we’re going to be playing and again, I really commend the lads for holding their nerve.”
Wexford, in Wexford is the next assignment for Plunkett and his team, as they try to seal a third win in four games.