Walsh Cup: Laois, Antrim and Offaly take the spoils

Walsh Cup: Laois, Antrim and Offaly take the spoils

Laois and Antrim both secured home wins, with Offaly also emerging winners, while NUIG and Carlow draw; in the opening round of the Bord na Móna Walsh Cup this afternoon.

Zane Keenan scored 1-8, as Laois claimed a 2-22 to 1-8 win over UCD at Abbeyleix. Laois never trailed this game, although the sides were twice level in the initial stages.

Wexford’s Conor McDonald netted the students lone goal early on to tie the game at 1-0 to 0-3. Laois kicked on with Keenan, Joe Fitzpatrick, Cha Dwyer and Tommy Fitzgerald on target.

The hosts led by 0-14 to 1-2 at the interval, despite amassing 10 wides in the opening 35 minutes.

A goal from PJ Scully pushed Laois 11 points clear on the restart, but both sides were reduced to 14 men soon after Dwyer and UCD’s Matthew O’Hanlon saw red.

UCD struggled for scores, as Laois emptied their bench with Neil Foyle and Dwane Palmer among those introduced in the second half. Laois never stopped motoring, with Keenan’s goal coming from the penalty spot to hand the hosts a 2-19 to 1-7 lead, and they never looked back.

Antrim dug deep to deliver a 1-22 to 2-12 win over DIT at St Pauls in Belfast.

The Saffrons trailed by 1-10 to 0-9 at half-time, with Tipperary’s Kieran Bergin netting the visitors goal.

Antrim made good use of a strong wind advantage on the restart, with a 44th minute PJ O’Connell goal helping them to a 1-12 to 1-10 lead.

DIT’s second goal cut the gap to the minimum with 10 minutes remaining, but Antrim stood firm as Paul Shiels, Michael Bradley and Neil McManus landed points to push the former champions to victory.

Offaly had to battle hard to deliver a 2-15 to 1-13 win over Midland rivals Westmeath at Cusack Park, Mullingar.

Stephen Quirke was the hosts top-scorer, netting both of their goals on the way to a five-point triumph.

Both of Quirke’s goals arrived inside the opening 27 minutes, and helped the visitors to a 2-10 to 0-7 interval advantage.

Brendan Murtagh led the charge for Westmeath on the restart, registering 1-7, including a 62nd minute.

Murtagh’s three-pointer cut the gap to four points, and despite the Lake County’s best efforts, which included a disallowed goal late on, Offaly held out for victory,

A late Paul Coady free earned Carlow a 1-13 to 2-10 draw with NUI Galway at Dr. Cullen Park.

NUIG started strongly with goals from Cathal Mannion and Clare’s Bobby Duggan helping them to an early 2-3 to 0-1 lead.

Edward Coady netted Carlow’s only goal after 16 minutes, but the hosts trailed by double scores at the break. Carlow battled back from a 2-8 to 1-4 interval deficit, to register seven unanswered points on the restart.

Coady, Seamus Murphy, Diarmuid Byrne and Hugh Paddy O’Byrne were all on target, with Diarmuid Byrne delivering a 50th minute equaliser, to ensure a 1-11 to 2-8 scoreline.

NUIG pushed two points clear, as Galway’s Stephen Hynes and Westmeath’s Niall O’Brien added to their tally, but Carlow delivered the final two scores, with David English cutting the gap to the minimum in the 63rd minute, before Paul Coady’s injury-time strike.

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