King crowns Laois’s day as they hold off West­meath

The Irish Times - Monday - Sport - - Gaelic Games -

Cap­tain Ross King hit 10 points as Laois held off a late West­meath come­back in O’Moore Park on Sun­day af­ter­noon in the open­ing round of the Le­in­ster SHC.

West­meath were ar­guably the stronger side in the first half but de­spite Alan Devine and Niall Mitchell in top scor­ing form, the home side kept in touch and a for­tu­itous goal from Paddy Whe­lan meant the sides were level at the break – Laois 1-8 West­meath 0-11.

The sides went score for score in the early stages of the sec­ond half be­fore Laois went up a gear, scor­ing eight points on the trot to go 1-19 to 0-14 ahead as the game en­tered the last 10 min­utes.

Bring­ing the ex­pe­ri­enced Matthew Whe­lan into de­fence al­lowed Charles Dwyer to move to his more fa­mil­iar role in at- tack and it was that switch that proved the cat­a­lyst for Laois’s im­prove­ment.

Sub Aaron Dun­phy ex­celled for the win­ners with three ex­cel­lent sec­ond-half points from Boyle; AClarke, play, while King’s ac­cu­racy from frees was also a ma­jor fac­tor. Stephen Ma­her also im­pressed, fin­ish­ing with four points.

West­meath – who won all three round robin games last year to top the group – re­fused to give in though and late goals from sub Eoin Price and Rob­bie Gre­ville re­duced the gap to two.

But Laois did just enough to hold on and a late free from King en­sured the home side did enough.

Laois make the trip to Navan next Sun­day be­fore fin­ish­ing up the group stages away to Kerry on May 14th. CHealy, L Ber­gin, DPalmer; CCol­lier, ACorby, BCon­roy; for Corby(29), MWhe­lan­for Tay­lor (41), SDowney for Con­roy (49), ELyons for Dwyer (62), E Killeen for PWhe­lan (66) PMoloney; CShaw, TDoyle, TGal­lagher; KDoyle. (55), NO’Brien for McGovern (57), JGalvin (0-1) for CBoyle (66) JOwens (Wex­ford). LCleere; J for KDoyle(41), DEger­ton for JBoyle

Charles Dwyer: hit two points for Laois af­ter mov­ing from at­tack into de­fence

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