Laois display pleases McCarthy

This result was 12 months in the making.

In 2010 a late Carlow point dumped Laois out of the championship. Last year a confident Carlow side travelled to Portlaoise and came away with two valuable league points.

Forewarned was forearmed and, under the management of Cork legend Teddy McCarthy, Laois were in determined mood in Dr Cullen Park for this first round Leinster SHC game on Saturday evening.

As supporters travelled to the game Leinster were doing a job on Ulster in Twickenham. The same fate awaited Carlow as their rivals from the other side of the Barrow were in command from the off.

“We started the game running. We didn’t let Carlow settle on the ball much and I think the quality of our scores was superb at times,” said McCarthy.

Willie Hyland nailed two early frees and was the main man, scoring 13 points in all.

From the outset the three Laois half forwards stretched the Carlow half-back line and after 19 minutes the visitors led 0-7 to 0-3.

The contest was devoid of goal chances but with the ball strikingability of Hyland and goalkeeper, Eoin Reilly coming out to convert two long-range first half frees Laois were comfortable by half time they led 0-12 to 0-7.

But Carlow were not without hope having scored the last three points of the half through Marty Kavanagh and Shane Kavanagh frees. Another Carlow 36th minute free tested Laois nerves.

“You would always be worried about Carlow on their home turf. Listening to people Laois would have wilted before but that is one thing they didn’t do today. They stuck to their task well,” noted McCarthy.

Carlow had a chance to get back within two points of the opposition but after Mark Brennan was fouled in the square the Carlow keeper, Frank Foley, came forward but saw his penalty blocked and cleared.

With 23 minutes still to go Carlow still had time to rescue the game but Hyland tacked on three frees to shut out the attempted comeback.

For McCarthy, in his first year of inter-county management, it was a satisfactory outcome after being relegated.

“Overall I am happy we are through to the next round,’’ he said.

Scorers for Laois: W Hyland 0-13 (6fs), S Maher 0-3, E Reilly 0-2fs, J Walsh, B Dunne 0-1 each.

Scorers for Carlow: M Kavanagh 0-7fs, A Gaul, S Kavanagh (1f, 1 65) 0-2 each, D Roberts, J Kavanagh 0-1 each.

LAOIS: E Reilly; C Coonan, D Maher, G Burke; C Dunne, M Whelan, M McEvoy; J Walsh, S Hanlon; S Maher, B Dunne, W Hyland; T Fitzgerald, N Foyle, D O’Mahoney.

Subs: C Murray for O’Mahoney (48), B Reddin for O’Hanlon (65).

CARLOW: F Foley; A Corcoran, E Nolan, E Coady; J Corcoran, S Kavanagh, R Coady; J Kavanagh, A Gaul; E Byrne, J Kane, C Doyle; M Kavanagh, M Brennan, D Roberts.

Subs: R Smithers for Kane (ht), M Clowry for Doyle (55), A McDonald for Roberts (58), K McCabe for R Coady (65), HP O’Byrne for Gaul (68).

Referee: A Kelly (Galway).


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