Kilkenny 6-24 Laois 1-11
Bord na Mona Walsh Cup
Laois’s interest in this year’s Walsh Cup was ended this evening as Kilkenny proved too strong in O’Moore Park.
Brian Cody fielded a largely experimental side but despite Laois leading briefly in the first half, Kilkenny always had enough. They led 3-8 to 1-5 at the break and the mystery was gone out of the contest at that stage.
Points from Alan Murphy and Michael Brennan put Kilkenny into an early lead but a brilliant Paddy Purcell finish – playing in a two-man full-forward line alongside Cha Dwyer – put Laois in front after three minutes.
A wonderful point from play from Dwyer followed but two Murphy frees and a Conor Martin goal turned things back in favour of the Cats.
Two frees from Podge Delaney in what was his first competitive senior start brought Laois back to one and while Bolger hit back, a fine Aidan Corby effort meant there was still only one in it with 21 minutes on the clock.
But Kilkenny got a goal from the next attack – Chris Bolger pulling the trigger this time. Kilkenny added a couple of points and a third goal from Richie Reid coming up to half time put them ten clear before Aidan Corby’s second point of the evening rounded off the scoring for the opening 35 minutes.
It was all Kilkenny in the second half and further goals from Richie Reid and John Donnelly stretched Kilkenny well clear.
Cha Dwyer, Ben Conroy, Cian Taylor, Ciaran Collier and Stephen Dunphy all pointed for Laois in response but a bad evening for Laois was rounded off late on when Sean Morrissey’s shot from distance dropped in over Eoin Fleming.
Kilkenny play Kildare this weekend where you’d imagine they’ll do what they need to go forward to the semi-final of this competition.
For Laois there next outing is the opening round of the Allianz Hurling League where they’ll be away to Limerick on January 28 – All Ireland champions Galway then come to Portlaoise on Saturday, February 3.
SCORERS – Kilkenny: Conor Martin 1-6 (0-1 free), Richie Reid 2-2, Alan Murphy 0-6 (five frees), Sean Morrissey 1-2, John Donnelly 1-1, Chris Bolger 1-1, Michael Brennan 0-3, Ger Malone 0-1, Luke Scanlon 0-1, Conor Browne 0-1. Laois: Paddy Purcell 1-0, Podge Delaney 0-2 (frees), Cian Taylor 0-1 (free), Cha Dwyer 0-3, Aidan Corby 0-2, Ciaran Collier 0-1, Stephen Dunphy 0-1, Ben Conroy 0-1
LAOIS: Eoin Fleming; Joe Phelan, Leigh Bergin, Lee Cleere; Jack Kelly, James Ryan, Colm Stapleton; Eric Killeen, Liam Delaney; Aidan Corby, Eanna Lyons, Ciaran Collier; Podge Delaney, Cha Dwyer, Paddy Purcell. Subs: Donnacha Hartnett for Phelan (32 mins), Cian Taylor for Lyons (34 mins), Ben Conroy for L Delaney (34 mins), Paddy McCane for P Delaney (45 mins), Mark Dowling for Ryan (51 mins), Stephen Dunphy for Corby (60 mins), Conor Phelan for Killeen (60 mins), Brian O’Mara for Stapleton (65 mins)
KILKENNY: Darren Brennan; Evan Cody, Robert Lennon, Stephen Staunton; Enda Morrissey, Joe Lyng, Conor Browne; James Maher, Paddy Deegan; John Donnelly, Richie Reid, Michael Brennan; Alan Murphy, Conor Martin, Chris Bolger. Subs: Ger Malone for Bolger (half-time), Ryan Bergin for Cody (half time), Luke Scanlon for Deegan (half-time), Joey Holden for Maher (45 mins), Bill Sheehan for Bolger (45 mins), Sean Morrissey for E Morrissey (45 mins)
REFEREE: Justin Heffernan (Wexford)