Tierney stars for Laois

Westmeath 3-8 Laois 0-24

Westmeath 3-8 Laois 0-24

MJ Tierney was in magical form for Laois, hitting 0-13 as the O'Moore men got the better of Westmeath in Mullingar this afternoon.

Laois led by 0-10 to 1-5 at the interval, with Westmeath keeping in touch thanks to a goal from dual player Paul Greville.

A seventh Tierney point and a Niall Donoher score moved Laois four points clear on the restart.

Westmeath battled back with goals from substitute Martin Flanagan and Paul Bannon (penalty), but Laois were not to be denied.

This Leinster derby ebbed and flowed throughout as Brendan Hackett's Westmeath charges showed great hunger in their search for a first league victory.

But their bid ended in vain as a strong Laois finish ensured the visitors held out for their second success of the campaign.

There was little to separate the sides in the opening stages, with the teams tied at 0-2 apiece early on with Tierney and Donoher claiming the Laois scores, while Bannon and Michael Ennis were on target for Westmeath.

Laois raced 0-5 to 0-2 ahead thanks to a trio of Tierney points, but Greville, just inside the square, hooked home Westmeath's opening goal to tie the contest.

But the concession of that goal was only a mere blip in a dominant Laois spell, as they raced 0-10 to 1-3 clear with Tierney, Kevin Meaney and Donie Kingston (0-2) all taking excellent points.

Laois faded as the interval approached, but still held a deserved two-point lead at the break. Westmeath rallied in the closing stages, with three points on the trot from Tommy Warburton, Greville and Bannon.

Tierney and Donoher continued to cause problems for the Westmeath defence in the early stages of the second half, but the hosts were boosted when Martin Flanagan netted their second goal.

Flanagan only returned to training midweek but showed his sharpness to slot the ball past Marty Dowling in the Laois goal, and cut the deficit to a point on a 0-12 to 2-5 scoreline.

A point from full-forward Greville levelled the tie, but Laois took it up a notch once more.

Sean Dempsey's men scored six points without reply to open up a 0-19 to 2-7 lead, with Craig Rogers among the scorers.

Laois were reduced to 14 men with eight minutes remaining, when defender Darren Strong was shown a second yellow card.

Bannon netting the subsequent penalty, however Laois failed to ease up with the ever accurate Tierney showing no mercy in front of the posts.

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