Laois 0-15 Carlow 0-14
Allianz Hurling League Division 1B
The Laois hurlers have preserved their Division 1 status for another year thanks to a hard-fought win over Carlow in horrific conditions in MW Hire O’Moore Park this evening.
There’s still one game to go – against Kilkenny in Portlaoise – next Sunday but Laois cannot now finish bottom of the group and Carlow will now go forward to face Westmeath (most likely) in a relegation playoff.
The pitch was showing the strain of its fourth game in seven days and underfoot conditions were horrific from the start.
Laois played with the breeze in the opening half but they made hard work of it.
They clocked up a litany of wides in the first 35 minutes though a brilliant performance from Ross King – who hit eight points, three of them from play – helped Laois to 0-10 to 0-5 lead at the break. In all he hit 12 in a man of the match performance. Willie and Aaron Dunphy added a point apiece for Laois while all of Carlow’s scores from Marty Kavanagh frees.
Carlow reduced the gap to two early in the second half thanks to points from Marty Kavanagh and sub Chris Nolan though a King free and a point from play from a tight angle from Ciaran McEvoy settled Laois somewhat by the 50th minute.
Nolan and Kavanagh kept plugging away for Carlow and though Ross King kept Laois in front with frees, the visitors drew level with a minute of normal time remaining when John Nolan pointed.
King nudged Laois back in front with a free straight away and Kavanagh missed a late free to force a draw out of it.
On the final whistle, a row broke out in front of the Laois management. It was broken up quickly but a chant of Laois, Laois, Laois rose up from the stand.
An important win on a dog of a night.
Top flight hurling for 2021 is secured.
SCORERS – Laois: Ross King 0-12 (nine frees), Aaron Dunphy 0-1, Willie Dunphy 0-1, Ciaran McEvoy 0-1; Carlow: Marty Kavanagh 0-11 (eight frees), Chris Nolan 0-2, John Nolan 0-1
LAOIS: Enda Rowland; Liam Senior, Matthew Whelan, Donncha Hartnett; Ciaran McEvoy, Padraig Delaney, Jack Kelly; John Lennon, Fiachra C Fennell; Paddy Purcell, James Ryan, Aaron Dunphy; Ross King, Willie Dunphy, Eoin Gaughan. Subs: Cian Taylor for A Dunphy (56), Ronan Broderick for Kelly (57), Ciaran Comerford for Fennell (65)
CARLOW: CARLOW: Damien Jordan; Michael Doyle, Paul Doyle, Ross Smithers; Alan Corcoran, David English, Gary Bennett; Aaron Amond, Kevin McDonald; Diarmuid Byrne, John Michael Nolan, Jack Kavanagh; Ted Joyce, Martin Kavanagh, Paul Coady. Subs: Chris Nolan for Coady (HT), John Nolan for Amond (54), Sean Whelan for Joyce (56), Edward Byrne for D Byrne (64), Michael Malone for JM Nolan (67)
REFEREE: Cathal McAllister (Cork)