Laois see it out despite rousing Royal rally
CIARAN Comerford scored 1-7 in the opening half as Laois made full use of wind advantage in their quarter-final clash in O’Moore Park.
The home side led 1-16 to 0-5 at the break, Comerford’s goal in the 12th minute a wonderful effort after he won Cathal Dunne’s puck-out.
Meath came storming back in the second half and Brian Dowling’s goal as well as points from Mickey Mullen and Adam Murphy had them within six as the game entered an exciting last 10 minutes.
But a couple of Oisin Bennett frees helped Laois see it out and set up a semi-final clash with Kilkenny.
Scorers — Laois: C Comerford 1-7, O Bennett 0-3f, J Keyes 0-2, C Duggan, J McCormack, J Phelan, D Comerford, E Gaughan, P Delaney, PJ Daly 0-1 each. Meath: M Mullen 0-8 (7f, 1 ’65), B Dowling 1-0, A Murphy, J Ryan 0-2 each, E Fitzgerald, N Potterton 0-1 each.
Laois: C Dunne; D Breen, J Maher, E Carey; R Murphy, P Delaney, E O’Connor; PJ Daly, E Gaughan; C Comerford, J McCormack, D Comerford; J Keyes, O Bennett, J Phelan. Subs: C Duggan for Phelan (26), B McGinley for Gaughan (49), C Rigney for Bennett (60), O Phelan for Daly (62). Meath: A Dunne; B O’Reilly, C Butler, S Coffey; J Connolly, D McGowan, B Kelly; E Fitzgerald, D Hennessy; J Ryan, A Murphy, J Leavey; B Dowling, M Mullen, N Potterton. Subs: T Fadden for Connolly (ht), V Ward for Hennessy (47), D Gilmartin for Fadden (55), C O’Farrell for Ryan (57). Referee: M Murtagh (Westmeath)