Ciaran Comerford in control for Laois against Offaly in the Leinster MHC at O'Moore Park. Picture: Alf Harvey/HRPhoto.ie
The Laois minors hurlers secured a 14 point win against neighbours Offaly on Saturday afternoon in O’Moore Park, on a day where conditions were perfect for hurling.
Offaly were quickest out of the blocks and after seven minutes of play had a 0-4 to 0-1 point lead thanks to scores from Lochlann Kavanagh, Shane O’Toole and Aaron Maher. Laois rallied back through scores from James Keyes and Ciaran Comerford to leave the sides level after 13 minutes of play.
However, a superb point from Ciaran Comerford from the sideline, coupled with an Oisin Bennett free, put Laois out in front for the first time in the game. The gap grew after 18 minutes when Bennett found Joe Phelan on his own in front of the goal to finish past Offaly goalie Ciaran Flynn.
Ciaran Comerford added another to his tally when he took an excellent pass from club mate Padraig Delaney. A few minutes later Bennett added another free and Ciaran’s twin brother Daniel put over another point for the Laois team to leave the score 1-9 to 0-5 after 21 minutes.
Offaly did respond and a Conor Langton point and two frees from David Nally meant that four points separated the sides. A 65 from Padraig Delaney was the last score Laois were to get of the first half, and it meant that Laois went in leading at the break 1-10 to 0-9.
The second half started much the same for Laois as they continued to win the breaks and dominate the game. Captain Podge Delaney added a long range free to his tally and a minute later Oisin Bennett knocked the ball out of the Offaly’s defenders hand to kick in a second Laois goal. This left Offaly with a big gap to bridge as Laois took an eight point lead.
Further points from Comerford, Liam Senior and Bennett meant Laois edged the margin out further. Offaly did rally with scores from Aaron Maher and Oisin Hickey. But Laois outscored Offaly in the last quarter when James Keyes, Comerford, Liam Senior and Brandon Mcginley made sure Laois ran out deserving 14 points winners in a one sided encounter in O’Moore Park.
Laois will now face Dublin next Saturday in Round 2 of the Leinster Championship. Kilkenny face Wexford in the other round two clash.
Laois: Oisin Bennett 1-6 (0-6 frees), Ciaran Comerford 0-6, Joe Phelan 1-0, James Keyes 0-3, Padraig Delaney 0-3 (all frees), Daniel Comerford, PJ Daly, Brandon McGinley and Liam Senior 0-1 each
Offaly: Aaron Kenny 0-4 (frees), David Nally 0-3 (frees), Oisin Hickey 0-2, Conor Langton, Lochlann Kavangh, Aaron Maher, Joey Keenaghan and Shane O’Toole 0-1.
Laois: Cathal Dunne (Clough Ballacolla); Daniel Breen (Camross), Diarmuid Conway (Clough Ballacolla), John Maher (Rosenallis); Ryan Murphy (Galmoy), Padraig Delaney (The Harps), Eoin O’Connor (Portlaoise); PJ Daly (Clonad), Liam Senior (Clonaslee St Manman's); Ciaran Comerford (The Harps), Joe McCormack (Castletown), Daniel Comerford (The Harps); James Keyes (Colt), Oisin Bennett (Camross), Joe Phelan (Castletown). Subs: Brandon McGinley (Rathdowney Errill) for J Phelan (41 mins), Eoin Gaughan (Camross) for O’Connor (53 mins), Cathal Duggan (Portlaoise) for McCormack (54 mins), Padraig Dunne (The Harps) for Murphy (57 mins), Cormac Rigney (Portlaoise) for Bennett (59 mins)
Offaly: Ciaran Flynn; Luke O’Connor, Cathal O’Meara, Aidan King; Ciaran Guinan, Barry Keeley, Ryan Hogan; Conor Langton, Kevin McDermott; Aaron Maher, Oisin Hickey, David Nally; Lochlann Kavanagh, Aaron Kenny, Shane O’Toole. Subs: Joey Keenaghan fro O’Toole (25 mins), Padraig Cantwell for Hogan (35 mins), Conor Quinn for Kavanagh (47 mins), Bryan Mullen for Hickey (60 mins)
Refree: Michael O’Sullivan (Kilkenny)