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Minor hurling boss: Good displays count for nothing if we don’t beat Meath

Laois manager Christy Walsh believes his team face a real battle against Meath
Laois manager Christy Walsh believes his team face a real battle against Meath

Laois minor hurling boss Christy Walsh insists that his side’s positive Leinster championship campaign to date will count for nothing if they don’t beat Meath on Saturday afternoon.

This Laois minor team have certainly had less hype about them than in previous years but they have performed very well in their two games to this point.

Despite a disappointing minor league campaign which saw them knocked out by Antrim, they enjoyed a very comfortable 2-22 to 0-14 win over Offaly in round one of the Leinster championship.

This put them on course to meet reigning Leinster champions Dublin in Parnell Park and with less than 10 minutes to go, Laois led and had a numerical advantage on the pitch.

However, last year’s beaten All-Ireland finalists rallied and won by three in the end which put Laois into today’s quarter final with Meath.

The Royals have enjoyed two emphatic wins to get to this stage of the competition. They thumped Wicklow by 4-28 to 0-13 and followed that by beating neighbours Westmeath on a 2-18 to 0-6 scoreline.

With the Meath seniors recording a success against Kerry last weekend, hurling in the county is most certainly on the up so Walsh knows that his side will be in for a real battle in O’Moore Park.

He said: “It’s all been very positive since the Dublin game but it will all count for nothing if we don’t beat Meath.

“I don’t think Liam Delaney will be back fit for that but thankfully the dual players came through the footballers game against Louth unscathed.

“Laois needs everyone so hopefully we will be able to field our strongest team possible.”


Laois put up a hell of a display in Parnell Park against Dublin two weeks’ ago and were desperately unlucky not to beat the reigning Leinster champions.

Dublin had a man sent off in the second half but Laois, although they led at that time, failed to score in the final ten minutes and lost by three points in the end.

Looking back on the game now, Walsh admits that he was very happy with how his team performed and says that their lack of physicality cost them in the end.

He said: “We performed very well, especially after a poor start which saw us go down by five points to no score while playing with the wind.

“After a start like that you’d be worried about what way it was going to go. But they dug in well, got level and then went ahead.

“Physically, we are not as strong as Dublin and that was the difference in the end. Our hurling ability is as good as anyone else but physically we are not.

“To match them for size and strength is hard and they will wear you down in the end which is more or less what happened.

“Even though we had the extra man we just couldn’t get the ball up the pitch in the latter stages of the game when playing against the wind and we couldn’t score as a result.”

Parlon transfer

Walsh’s side also received a boost recently with the news that Enda Parlon’s trandfer from Roscrea to Borris-Kilcotton has been approved – meaning he can now play for Laois.

The defender had played for Laois in the Leinster minor hurling league despite being a Roscrea clubman and he was deemed ineligible to play against Offaly in round one of the championship just 48 hours before throw in.

Walsh said: “For young fella to have something as convoluted as that happen to him wasn’t right. But it has been put right now which is good for him and good for us.”

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Stradbally native Alan Hartnett is a graduate of Knockbeg College who has worked in the local and national media since 2008. Alan has a BA in Economics, Politics and Law and an MA in Journalism from DCU. His happiest moment was when Jody Dillon scored THAT goal in the Laois senior football final in 2016.