Shefflin's shooters find form as Galway claim third win on the spin

Goals from Whelan and Joseph Cooney help Tribesmen see off Laois by a 22-point margin to edge towards a Leinster final 
Shefflin's shooters find form as Galway claim third win on the spin

No saving those: Galway's Conor Whelan scores a goal, despite the best efforts of the Laois rearguard.

Leinster SHC Round 4: Galway 2-37 Laois 0-21 

Galway made it three wins on the trot in the Leinster Hurling Championship this evening as they comfortably got the better of Laois.

Second-half goals from Conor Whelan and Joseph Cooney as well as a selection of points from Tom Monaghan, Conor Cooney and Cathal Mannion edged Henry Shefflin's side closer to a Leinster final appearance though they will still need to beat Dublin next weekend.

In the end, 22 points separated the sides though it was a spirited Laois performance and they played well in patches — but it's a latest defeat ahead of a relegation showdown with Westmeath next week.

On a lovely evening in ideal conditions, Laois opened the scoring with a nice point from play but despite bringing Fiachra C-Fennell back as a sweeper, Galway were uttterly dominant in the opening 10 minutes.

Mannion, who hit 0-5 in the opening half, Monaghan, Joseph Cooney, Cianan Fahy and Whelan were all on target.

They hit nine points from play in as many minutes to be 0-9 to 0-1 up and it was looking bad for the home side as they struggled to get to the pace of the game.

But Laois withstood that onslaught and hit the next four themselves, two from Cha Dwyer and two from Purcell.

Mannion got his third in response for Galway but a Ross King free and another effort from O'Dwyer from play has Laois back within three by the midway stage of the half.

Mannion and King went on to trade scores and Laois keeper Enda Rowland pointed a long-range free but with Conor Cooney (frees), corner-back Jack Grealish and Joseph Cooney pointing, Galway had a six-point lead again late in the half.

James Keyes hit two in a row for Laois but Galway closed out the half with points from Brian Concannon and Monaghan to lead 0-18 to 0-12 at the break.

Galway got the first four points of the second half to put distance between the sides and though Laois battled valiantly on and got some fine scores from Sean Downey, James Keyes, Ross King, PJ Scully and debutant sub Mossy Keyes, Galway were never likely to be reeled in.

Joe Cooney got their first goal in 50th minute and Whelan got their second with ten minutes to play to send the large Galway support home happy.

For Laois, Westmeath come to O'Moore Park next Saturday when the loser will drop to Joe McDonagh Cup status for 2023.

Scorers for Galway: C Cooney (0-8, 5f), C Mannion (0-7), T Monaghan (0-6); J Cooney, C Whelan (1-2 each); D Morrissey, P Mannion, C Fahy (0-2 each); B Concannon, J Grealish, F Burke, E Murphy, E Niland, J Flynn (0-1 each). 

Scorers for Laois: R King (0-4, 4f), P Purcell, C Dwyer, J Keyes (0-3 each), PJ Scully (0-2), E Rowland, J Kelly, S Downey, T Keyes (0-1 each). 

GALWAY: Eanna Murphy; Jack Grealish, Daithi Burke, Padraic Mannion; Darren Morrissey, Gearoid McInerney, Fintan Burke; Cathal Mannion, David Burke; Joseph Cooney, Conor Cooney, Tom Monaghan; Cianan Fahy, Conor Whelan, Brian Concannon. 

Subs: Ronan Glennon for David Burke (51), TJ Brennan for Daithi Burke (57), Evan Niland for Cooney (58), Johnny Coen for Morrissey (64), Jason Flynn for Whelan (65) 

LAOIS: Enda Rowland; Padraic Dunne, Sean Downey, Donnachadh Hartnett; Ryan Mullaney, Ciaran McEvoy, Jack Kelly; Aidan Corby, Paddy Purcell; Fiachra C Fennell, James Keyes, Cha Dwyer; Ben Conroy, Ross King, Mark Dowling. 

Subs: PJ Scully for Dowling (injured - 17), Ciaran Byrne for Dwyer (injured - 33), Eric Killeen for Mullaney (54), Tomas Keyes for Conroy (58), Frank Flanagan for McEvoy (69) 

Referee: Sean Cleere (Kilkenny)

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