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Remember the Game: Impressive Laois battle bravely but fall well short of clinical Galway in the 2009 Leinster SHC

Laois 0-17  Galway 5-29
Leinster Senior Hurling Championship Round One

The scoreline may not give an impression of a good Laois performance, but at the time and where Laois hurling had been in the years leading up to 2009, those who witnessed Laois that day would have seen a performance that would give hope to the coming years.

It was a 27 point margin in the end, but Laois can take great encouragement with the likes of Willie Hyland, Brian Campion and John A Delaney. Without some key players including Tommy Fitzgerald and Zane Keenan while they lost James Young to a red card during the game, all leads to Laois hurling followers thinking all might not bad with Laois hurling.

The Laois men displayed a great ‘never say die’ attitude which they carried from minute one through out. Even in the dying minutes, John A Delaney showed that mentality even when already losing by 24, he made every effort to stop a goal despite making little difference at that point.

The passion that Laois carried boiled over just prior to the break, when James Young pulled wildly on a ball and what ensued was a brawl with a number of players on both sides. It resulted in Young being dismissed along with Kevin Hayes of Galway. Just moments later, Mick McEvoy then struck a Galway man, and having already been on a yellow card, McEvoy was shown his marching orders with a second yellow.

Galway had the game wrapped up well by the break, with Joe Canning and Niall Healy leading Galway to a strong lead. The second half was a much less intense affair as Galway kept on easing further and further ahead. Willie Hyland managed to keep Laois’ scoreline ticking along and his seven points was a reward for all his hard work against a strong Galway defence.

Scorers – Laois: Willie Hyland 0-7, James Young 0-4, Brian Campion 0-4, Owen Houlihan 0-2. Galway: Niall Healy 3-5, Joe Canning 1-10, Damien Hayes 1-3, Kevin Hynes 0-4, Aongus Callanan 0-3, Cyril Donnellan 0-3, Andy Smith 0-1.

LAOIS: Tadgh Doran; John A Delaney, Darren Maher, Brian Stapleton; Matthew Whelan, Brian Campion, Michael McEvoy; James Young, James Walsh; Dayne Peacock, Willie Hyland, Owen Houlihan; John Purcell, John Rowney, Eamon Jackman. Subs: Malvin Maloney, Seamus Dwyer, Kieran Fitzpatrick, Ross Young, Colin Delaney.

GALWAY: Colm Callanan; Damien Joyce, Shane Kavanagh, Eoin Lynch; Fergal Moore, John Lee, Adrian Cullinane; Kevin Hynes, Andy Smith; Aongus Callanan, Kevin Hayes, Cyril Donnellan; Damien Hayes, Joe Canning, Niall Healy. Subs: Ger Mahon, Damien McClearn, Brian Costelloe, David Tierney, Martin Ryan, Joe Gantley.

Alf Harvey was there on the day and he captured some of the best action below:

SEE ALSO – Laois ladies football team set for championship campaign as new captain announced

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A former Knockbeg student, and is currently a student in the University of Limerick trying to scrape a BA in History and Politics. A marquee player in the goals for Annanough, but well capable of doing a job in full-forward and has the knack to turn his hand to any sport (except running). Only starting out in his journalistic career but already the specialist farming and property reporter. Happiest when Liverpool and Laois are winning!