Laois no match for Galway

Galway 5-29 Laois 0-17

Galway 5-29 Laois 0-17

Joe Canning equalled Laois' final tally before being substituted on the hour-mark as Galway's historic first day out in the Leinster Championship ended in a 27-point win over Laois.

Canning bagged 1-10 in the Portlaoise encounter, with his side holding a 5-21 to 0-13 lead as he exited the field in the 59th minute. Galway manager John McIntyre obviously wanted to keep the 20-year-old fresh for bigger battles ahead.

Two Galway goals in the space of a minute in the middle of the first half left Laois chasing the game. Then the dismissal of two Laois players just before half-time all but ended the midlanders' hopes of a shock win.

Amazingly, Niall Rigney's men dominated possession in the opening seven minutes of this game.

Laois looked by far the livelier outfit but failed to make this show on the scoreboard and Galway soon sprung to life.

Galway led by 0-4 to 0-0 after 10 minutes' play with Canning, Damien Hayes, Aonghus Callanan and Niall Healy all on target.

Laois had wides from Dayne Peacock and John Purcell early on. The hosts deployed a five-man attack, with Eamon Jackman dropping back to help marshal Canning in defence.

Despite all of Laois' early possession, it took the hosts 11 minutes to get on the scoresheet with Owen Houlihan slotting over their opening score.

John Rowney fed the ball back to Houlihan in a crowded goalmouth, and while a penalty could possibly have been awarded referee Brian Gavin applied the advantage rule and Houlihan collected his point.

However, just a minute later, Galway's goal-glut began.

First up, Niall Healy found the back of the Laois net after good work by Eoin Lynch and Kevin Hayes, and then danger man Canning rifled a shot past Laois goalkeeper Tadhg Doran for goal number 2.

This ensured Galway led by 2-4 to 0-1 by the 15th minute and although Laois hit three of the next four points, Galway were very much in command.

Scores from Canning and Damien Hayes pushed them 2-7 to 0-4 clear before Laois hit back with a brace of frees from James Young.

However, the bubbling tension between the sides spilled over in the 32nd minute with a dust-up close to the stand, with a number of players getting involved.

Young and Galway attacker Kevin Hayes were both shown straight red cards by referee Brian Gavin.

The home side's woes were further compounded a minute later with the dismissal of defender Michael McEvoy on a second yellow card.

With Canning outscoring Laois by three points to one in the closing stages of the half, Galway claimed a 2-11 to 0-7 interval lead.

Captain Brian Campion and Willie Hyland just about kept Laois in touch in the second half but in reality the damage had been done.

Two goals in the second half from Niall Healy saw the Craughwell clubman complete his hat-trick.

Damien Hayes also bagged a 45th-minute goal as Galway cantered through to the semi-final stage of the Leinster Championship, with their last-four opponents yet to be revealed.

Scorers for Galway: N Healy (1f, 1 65) 3-5; J Canning (6f) 1-10; D Hayes 1-3; K Hynes 0-4; A Callanan, C Donnellan 0-3 each; A Smyth 0-1.

Scorers for Laois: W Hyland (3f) 0-6; B Campion (3f) 0-5; J Young (4f) 0-4; O Holohan 0-2.

GALWAY: C Callanan; D Joyce, S Kavanagh, F Moore; E Lynch, J Lee, A Cullinane; K Hynes, A Smyth; A Callanan, K Hayes, C Donnellan; D Hayes, J Canning, N Healy.

Subs used: G Mahon for K Hayes (Blood 18-21); D McClearn for Kavanagh (HT); B Costelloe for Lee (45); D Tierney for D Hayes (55); M Ryan for Moore (58); J Gantley for J Canning (59).

LAOIS: T Doran; J A Delaney, D Maher, B Stapleton; M Whelan, B Campion, M McEvoy; J Young, James Walsh; D Peacock, W Hyland, O Holohan; J Purcell, J Rowney, E Jackman.

Subs used: M Moloney for J Walsh (Blood 20-22); S Dwyer for Peacock (HT); K Fitzpatrick for Stapleton (45); R Young for Purcell (52); C Delaney for Rowney (65)

Referee: Brian Gavin (Offaly).

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