Laois got their All-Ireland campaign underway over the weekend under the guidance of Mattie Collier, as they put in a fine performance against Meath.
Meath got off to a good start when corner forward Elizabeth Lynch picked up a loose ball on the 21 and smashed it into the net in the third minute. Laois seemed to raise their game after that, with Sarah Ann Fitzgerald re-organising the defence, while sisters Louise and Elaine Mahony racked up five unanswered points in the following 22 minutes of play.
Meath hit back with three points on the trot, but a point from Elaine Mahony left it all level at half time, 0-6 to 1-3.
After the break, Meath were first to score again with a point from Jane Dolan with Louise Mahony responding for Laois. Meath got on top after that, outscoring Laois by 1-3 to 0-1 over the next few minutes to open up a four point lead.
Laois tried to freshen things up in attack in a bid to get themselves back into the game, but there was a real ebb and flow to the game, with both sides trading points over the closing stages.
With time almost up Laois found themsleves just three points in arrears, and a lovely ball from Laura Marie Maher picked out Sile Burke, who was through on goal. She fired off a wonderful shot, but Meath ‘keeper Emily Mangan procued a wonderful save to help Meath claim a three point win.
LAOIS: Laura Dunne; Aisling Dunphy, Mairead Bourke, Catriona Downey; Casey Conroy, Sarah Anne Fitzgerald, Eimear Delaney; Louise Mahony (0-8), Aisling Burke; Síle Burke, Elaine Mahony (0-4), Sharon Moylan; Joyce Dunne, Yvonne O’Neill, Laura Marie Maher. Subs;- Sarah Cuddy for Yvonne O’Neill, Grace Murphy, Claire Walsh, Niamh Coss, Súin Lennon, Ann Marie Purcell, Olga Parkinson, Joan Dollard and Lorna Campion.