Laois 1-12 Westmeath 1-13
O’Byrne Cup Round 1
Laois made a losing start to their O’Byrne Cup campaign in Mullingar this afternoon.
This was new Laois manager John Sugrue’s first game in charge and although his charges went down, they trailed by seven points at one stage and were very unlucky not to get a draw.
Laois played with the breeze in the first point and although they dominated the first ten minutes, an Aaron Dowling point was all they could manage.
Luke Loughlin replied for Westmeath and although Gary Walsh opened his account with his first free, Westmeath took over.
Loughlin and Callum McCormack landed a brace each before some neat passing split Laois apart and wing back James Dolan smashed the ball to the net.
Further Westmeath points followed with Laois eventually stemming the tide thanks to Walsh but they still trailed by 1-7 to 4 at half time.
Laois began the second half with a brace of Walsh points but Westmeath extended their lead via substitute Finbarr Coyne who hit a brace as Luke Loughlin added another.
Manager Sugrue went to his bench with Danny Luttrell and Ronan Murray making an impact.
Brian Glynn fired over two points in a row to cut the gap to five but Westmeath responded with two of their own.
Hopes seemed to be fading for Laois but a Paul Kingston goal with ten minutes to go gave them renewed hope after an excellent ball from Robbie Donoher.
Two more frees from Gary Walsh then left the gap at two points as we entered the final five minutes.
Laois then butchered a goal Chance and Westmeath went down the other end where Luke Loughlin pointed again.
Westmeath then almost had a goal but Graham Brody pulled off a remarkable save from Finbarr Coyne and Jordan Marshement hit the post.
Laois went down the other end and Sean Moore hit the post. Gary Walsh kicked two more points to take his tally to nine and leave one in it.
But time ran out and we will do it all over again in Stradbally on Sunday.
SCORERS: LAOIS: Gary Walsh 0-10, Aaron Dowling 0-1 Brian Glynn 0-2 Paul Kingston 1-0 WESTMEATH: Luke Loughlin 0-5, Callum McCormack 0-3, Finbarr Coyne 0-2, James Dolan 1-0, Ger Leech 0-3
LAOIS: Graham Brody; David Holland, Mark Timmons, Ruaidhri Fennell; Trevor Collins, Brian Glynn, Eoin Buggie; John O’Loughlin, Pauric McEvoy; Benny Carroll, Paul Kingston, Alan Farrell; Aaron Dowling, Gary Walsh, Sean Moore. Subs: Robbie Donoher for Buggie (25mins), Danny Luttrell for McEvoy (42mins), Chris Finn for Timmons (47mins), Ronan Murray for Farrell (51mins), Diarmuid Whelan for Carroll (52mins), Finbarr Crowley for Glynn (58mins)
WESTMEATH: Eoin Carberry; John Rock, Sam Duncan, Mark McCallon; James Dolan, Gareth Carr, Noel Mulligan; Alan Stone, Denis Corroon; Ger Leech, Luke Loughlin, Nigel Scully; Callum McCormack, Kieran Martin, John Egan. Subs: Killian Daly for John Rock (37min), Finbarr Coyne (40mins), Jordan Marshment (54mins)