Home Sport GAA Laois hurlers off to winning start in Walsh Cup

Laois hurlers off to winning start in Walsh Cup

Ballinakill hurlers have a new manager
Laois 1-16 Kildare 0-9

Bord na Mona Walsh Cup

The Laois hurlers did enough to see off Kildare in the opening round of the Walsh Cup in Kildare’s training grounds in Hawkfield outside Newbridge this afternoon.

It was far from an impressive display – with Laois struggling to put away a Kildare side reduced to 14 men midway through the first half following a straight red card to wing-back Diarmuid Cahill.

Laois never looked remotely like losing but there will be a need for a big step up if they’re to compete with Kilkenny in their second game of this competition on Wednesday night in O’Moore Park.

Ciaran Comerford got his senior debut off to a dream start with a lovely point in the opening and a Ross King free doubled their advantage moments later.

King, who has been named captain again for the 2018 season, went off injured in the seventh minute and although Paul Divilly got Kildare off the mark with a free, points from Paddy Purcell, Cha Dwyer, Aidan Corby and a Cian Taylor ’65 had Laois 0-6 to 0-1 up midway through the half.

By that stage Kildare were down to 14 following the dismissal of Cahill but Laois failed to take full advantage, hitting nine wides in total in the first half and seeing three goal chances go astray. Still, further points from Purcell, Taylor and Dwyer had them 0-9 to 0-3 up at the break.

The second half was a slow-burning affair for the most part. Sub Eanna Lyons finally got Laois off the mark when he scored with his first touch just seconds after coming on and an Enda Rowland penalty – after Paddy Purcell was fouled – put Laois nine clear.

Cian Taylor pointed from distance to extend Laois’s lead and though Kildare hit three in a row, Laois finished well – with the subs all keen to make an impact.

The Harps’s Podge Delaney pointed twice after coming on for his first taste of senior action while Abbeyleix’s Liam Delaney also pointed on his first outing. Ben Conroy – back after a spell with the footballers – was also on the mark while Comerford added his second to hlep Laois run out 10-point winners.

SCORERS – Laois: Cian Taylor 0-3 (one free, one ’65), Enda Rowland 1-0 (penalty), Cha Dwyer 0-2, Paddy Purcell 0-2, Podge Delaney 0-2, Ciaran Comerford 0-2, Eanna Lyons 0-1, Ben Conroy 0-1, Liam Delaney 0-1, Aidan Corby 0-1, Ross King 0-1 (free). Kildare: Paul Divilly 0-4 (three frees), Mark Delaney 0-2 (both frees), James Burke 0-1, Barry McCormack 0-1, Eanna O’Neill 0-1

LAOIS: Enda Rowland; Lee Cleere, Podge Lawlor, Joe Phelan; Jack Kelly, James Ryan, Colm Stapleton; Paddy Purcell, Cian Taylor; Sean Downey, Cha Dwyer, Aidan Corby; Paddy McCane, Ross King, Ciaran Comerford. Subs: Ciaran Collier for King (7 mins), Eanna Lyons for Downey (50 mins), Eric Killeen for McCane (50 mins), Ben Conroy for Dwyer (55 mins), Podge Delaney for Corby (59 mins), Liam Delaney for Kelly (61 mins), James Keyes for Purcell (65 mins), Brian O’Mara for Taylor (68 mins), Conor Phelan for Cleere (70 mins), Donnacha Hartnett for Lawlor (70 mins)

KILDARE: Paul Dermody; Paul Sullivan, John Doran, Dylan Brereton; Diarmuid Cahill, Mark Moloney, Kevin Whelan; Chris Bonus, Brian Byrne; Eanna O’Neill, Paul Divilly, James Burke; Jack Sheridan, Richard Ryan, Cathal Dowling. Subs: Mark Delaney for Dowling, Paddy McKenna for Dermody, Barry McCormack for Ryan, Cathal Derivan for Bonus, Simon Lacey for Sullivan

SEE ALSO – Laois footballers lose narrowly in Westmeath

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Steven Miller is owner and managing editor of LaoisToday.ie. From Laois, Steven studied Journalism in DCU and has 14 years experience in the media, almost 10 of those in an editorial role. Husband of Emily, father of William and Lillian, he's happiest when he's telling stories or kicking a point.