“You can’t stop people from making those type of remarks, but I would have hoped that we would have given the right response to that type of comment today. Sadly we didn’t” said the Birr and Offaly legend Whelahan afterwards.
Laois outplayed Offaly from start to finish, goaling through a Stephen Maher free in the first half and accumulating a 1-17 to 0-13 lead after the first hour.
Late strikes from Dan Currams and Dermot Mooney threatened to bring about a smash and grab raid for the home side, but a late score from Tommy Fitzgerald settled Laois nerves and helped them close out a fully deserved victory.
Scorers for Offaly: J Bergin 0-8 (7fs), B Carroll 0-4 (2fs), D Currams, D Mooney (1-0 each), S Quirke, C Doughan (f) (0-1 each).
Scorers for Laois: S Maher 1-9 (1-7f), C Dwyer (0-3), N Foyle, T Fitzgerald (0-2 each), C Collier, J Purcell, W Hyland (0-1 each).
OFFALY: J Dempsey; N Wynne, D Kelliher, J Rigney; C Doughan, B Watkins, D Mooney; K Brady, C Parlon; P Geraghty, J Bergin, C Egan; K Connolly, S Gardiner, B Carroll.
Subs: C McDonald for Kelliher (14, temp), D Currams for Connolly (28), S Quirke for Egan (ht), D Kilmartin for Parlon (44), S Cleary for Geraghty (58).
LAOIS: E Reilly; JA Delaney, B Campion, B Stapleton; J Fitzpatrick, M Whelan, C Dunne; C Dwyer, P Whelan; S Maher, J Purcell, C Collier; D Palmer, T Fitzgerald, N Foyle.
Subs: W Hyland for P Whelan (43), R King for Purcell (47), J Campion for Dunne (56), PJ Scully for Foyle (69).
Referee: Barry Kelly (Westmeath).