Laois 3-30 Westmeath 0-6
The Laois minor hurlers have a Leinster championship quarter-final to look forward to after they proved much too strong for Westmeath in a one-sided affair in O’Moore Park.
Twelve different Laois players were on the scoresheet as Laois racked up an impressive 3-30 tally. The quality of the opposition was sub-standard but Laois can move forward with confidence to a quarter-final meeting with Wexford or Offaly in two weeks time.
First-half goals from Cian O’Shaughnessy and Noah Quinlan set Laois on their way to a comfortable win while the likes of David Dooley, Adam Kirwan, James Duggan, Tadhg Cuddy and Dylan Carroll were also on the mark as Enda Lyons’ side showed no mercy to the visitors.
Laois showed their intent early on with Cuddy pointing straight from the throw in and the lively Dooley doubled their lead moments later when he showed the Westmeath defence a clean pair of heels.
Cuddy, Cian O’Shaughnessy, James Duggan, Adam Kirwan free and Cuddy again all pointed to have Laois seven points up after just ten minutes.
And Laois got the game’s first goal in the 11th minute when a long-range effort from wing-back Noah Quinlan was fumbled by a Westmeath defender and ended up in the net.
Westmeath’s most impressive player was centre-forward Shane Williams and he got them off the mark with a free in the 15th minute.
But Dylan Carroll hit back straight away for Laois and then Cian O’Shaughnessy – whose twin brother Cathal was wing-forward – got Laois’s second goal when he flicked to the net after seeing his first effort brilliantly saved by Westmeath keeper Jamie Mulkearns.
Williams and Matthew Glynn got points for Westmeath but Laois finished out the half with four unanswered points. Cian O’Shaughnessy’s effort from way out on the terrace side was the pick of those scores with Duggan, Thomas Keyes and an Adam Kirwan free after he shipped a heavy belt making up the rest. At half time Laois led 2-13 to 0-3.
Laois changed things up a bit at the break – but continued to dominate in the second half.
One of the half-time subs – DJ Callaghan – was very involved as he took over the free-taking duties impressively and also saw plenty of action from play.
Laois 1-10 without reply in the final quarter, the goal coming in the dying moments from a wonderful James Duggan effort.
SCORERS – Laois: Cian O’Shaughnessy 1-4, Tadhg Cuddy 0-6, James Duggan 1-3, David Dooley 0-4, DJ Callaghan 0-4 (two ’65s, one free), Adam Kirwan 0-3 (all frees), Noah Quinlan 1-0, Dylan Carroll 0-2, Cathal O’Shaughnessy 0-1, Kevin Mulhall 0-1, Thomas Keyes 0-1, Padraig Rafter 0-1. Westmeath: Shane Williams 0-5 (three frees), Matthew Glynn 0-1
LAOIS: Darragh Lyons (Ballyfin); Lawson Obular (St Lazerian’s Abbeyleix), Danny Brennan (Park-Ratheniska-Timahoe), Ian Shanahan (Ballinakill); Cian Conroy (Clonaslee St Manman’s), Fionan Mahony (St Lazerian’s Abbeyleix), Noah Quinlan (Borris-Kilcotton); Tomas Keyes (Camross), Dylan Carroll (Rathdowney-Errill); Cathal O’Shaughnessy (Ballinakill), David Dooley (Rosenallis), Tadhg Cuddy (Castletown); Adam Kirwan (Mountrath), James Duggan (The Harps), Cian O’Shaughnessy (Ballinakill). Subs: Eoin Naughton (Portlaoise) for Shanahan (HT), Kevin Mulhall (Clough-Ballacolla) for Keyes (HT), DJ Callaghan (Clonaslee) for Kirwan (HT), Brian Bredin (Mountrath) for Mahony (45), Padraig Rafter (Rathdowney-Errill) for Cuddy (50)
WESTMEATH: Jamie Mulkearns; Eoin Murray, Zach Ahearne, Eoin Rhattigan; Cian Gavigan, Ciaran Cleere, Colm Murruy; Ciaran Daly, Matthew Glynn; Aaron Hill, Shane Williams, Ben Harte; Conor Murphy, Brian Farrell, Pierce Weir-Norris. Subs: Evan Scally for Farrell (21), Eamon Martin for Harte (29), Dean Swords for Gavigan (37), Liam Murtagh for Hill (40), Sean Power for Glynn (51)
REFEREE: Shane Guinan (Offaly)