The dream of a Laois minor hurling team reaching a Leinster final was cruelly dashed at Wexford Park on Sunday, as the home side proved to be far superior on the day and handed the visitors a comprehensive and chastening defeat.
Expectation can often end in bitter disappointment and this was certainly the case on the day, as Wexford, coached by Martin Storey, proved to be in a higher league than Cheddar Plunkett’s charges. They turned on the style on a day when too many Laois players did not perform to the standard they had set in previous games, or perhaps they weren’t allowed against a slick home side.
Wexford had just too many players of a higher standard while their overall hurling skill, speed of movement and scoring prowess was too powerful for the Laois lads on the day. They were physically stronger, quicker on the ball, their first touch was superior while their dominance in the air was a major factor in their overall superiority. Only a couple of the Laois team could compete and win their individual battle, and at this level and seeking a place in the final this was significant.
What had been a great year for the team ended in bitter disappointment with their fourth and final championship match, knowing that they are a better team than they showed in Wexford. However, they will also realise that to make it to the top and beat the hurling powers takes even more, and to register a victory against them is a major task for Laois teams.
See this week’s Leinster Express for a full report and reaction.