DCSIMG

Spirited Laois fall to UCD in opener

While being held by Jack Dougan, UCD Tommy Fitzgerald still manages to get this ball away to Picky Maher to goal for Laois in the Walsh Cup at Rathdowney.
Picture: Alf Harvey.

While being held by Jack Dougan, UCD Tommy Fitzgerald still manages to get this ball away to Picky Maher to goal for Laois in the Walsh Cup at Rathdowney. Picture: Alf Harvey.

Sometimes, the result isn’t the most important thing. Sometimes, there are bigger things at stake, and that seemed to be the case in Rathdowney on Sunday afternoon.

Walsh Cup SH Rd 1

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Laois 1-11

UCD 0-15

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A month ago, Laois senior hurlers were teetering on the abyss, without a manager, a plan or hope. Their participation in the Walsh Cup seemed questionable at best, until Seamas Plunkett stepped into the breach and set about reinvigorating the fortunes of a jaded and disillusioned squad of players.

On Sunday, the first step in that process of reinvigoration was taken as Laois hosted UCD, and while the final scoreline read a one-point defeat, there was more to be taken from the game than that. A team flush with young talent, with plenty more on the sideline too, put up in a spirited display, highlighyed by some nice scores and plenty of determination.

Having gone through a workout in St Fergal’s College before the game as they try to make up for a winter spent in dry dock, Laois understandably tired in the latter stages of the game. They remained competitive but just hadn’t the strength in their legs to launch a decisive comeback, as a Noel McGrath inspired UCD held out for a one point win.

Laois lead by 1-8 to 0-8 at half-time thanks to a goal from Stephen Maher but in the second-half lead by Noel McGrath, who finished with 11 points, the students got their noses in front and held on for a one point win.

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See this Tuesday’s Leinster Express for full report, analysis and reaction. On sale now.

 

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