Home teams prevail in Walsh Cup

There was a clean sweep of home victories in the Walsh Cup this afternoon, with the hurlers of Laois, Kilkenny, Dublin and Galway taking wins.

There was a clean sweep of home victories in the Walsh Cup this afternoon, with the hurlers of Laois, Kilkenny, Dublin and Galway taking wins.

At Rathdowney, Brendan Fennelly's Laois side withstood a determined second half rally before emerging as 2-16 to 1-16 victors over Wexford.

Laois led by 2-9 to 0-7 at half-time, with Chris Murray and Willie Hyland claiming goals. Wexford enjoyed some dominance in the second half, but the hosts held out for a three-point win.

Laois will host Kilkenny in next weekend's semi-final after the Cats beat NUI Galway on a 3-16 to 2-12 scoreline at Ballyragget.

The hosts fielded a team entirely composed of Under-21 players and had Under-21 manager Michael Walsh taking charge in the absence of Brian Cody.

Goals from Padraig Walsh and Rory Hickey drove this experimental Kilkenny outfit to a 2-10 to 0-3 lead. Walsh, a brother of aenior star Tommy, then netted a second goal, before the reigning Fitzgibbon Cup champions hit back.

Kilkenny's Shane Brennan notched NUIG's first goal in the 47th minute and when Clare's John Conlon added a second in the 69th minute, just six points separated the sides. But Walsh's young side held on to deservedly progress to the last-four.

Meanwhile, Anthony Daly watched his Dublin charges pull off a 2-13 to 0-12 win over Antrim at Parnell Park this afternoon. Former footballers Conal Keaney (0-4), David 'Dotsy' O'Callaghan (1-1) and Shane Ryan (0-3) were among the home sides' top scorers.

Antrim made a strong start, with Neil McManus inspiring them into an early 0-3 to 0-0 lead. However, Dublin responded with a goal from O'Callaghan to level the tie.

Tipperary native Ryan O'Dwyer, who was making his debut, showed well as the Dubs built a 1-4 to 0-5 advantage for half-time.

A Conor McCormack goal edged Dublin further in front, and Antrim were made to pay for a number of second half wides as Daly's men sealed the win.

At a foggy Ballinasloe, defending Walsh Cup champions Galway came from behind to beat DIT by 0-20 to 2-12.

DIT had led by 2-9 to 0-2 after 34 minutes' play with Liam Og McGovern, Paul Morris and Paul Ryan impressive. Wexford natives Harry Keogh and McGovern were the goal scorers.

The Tribesmen closed the gap to 2-9 to 0-6 at half-time and with free-taker Ger Farragher pushing his total to 0-10, they completed a morale-boosting comeback.

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