Laois 1-19 Kilkenny 3-22
Allianz Hurling League Division 1B Round 5
There was little to play for in Nowlan Park this afternoon as the Laois hurlers took on Kilkenny with the fate of both sides already determined.
Laois could not reach a quarter final and could not be relegated while Kilkenny were already guaranteed of a place in the knock-outs.
But the sides put on an entertaining affair regardless in bitterly cold conditions where Kilkenny goals were the difference in the end.
Laois played against the wind in the first half and ended it ten points down. However, only for the heroics of Darren Brennan in the Kilkenny goal, they could have been much closer.
He pulled off three top class saves to deny Willie Dunphy twice and then Eoin Gaughan over the course of the 35 minutes.
Ross King was Laois’s main scorer in the first half with his frees against the wind impressive but Kilkenny struck for two goals.
The first came from Billy Ryan midway through the half and the second looked like a crucial blow as it arrived just at the end of the half from Alan Murphy.
However, a misplaced sideline ball from Richie Leahy found Ross King and he was fouled for a penalty. Keeper Enda Rowland drove it to the net and Laois headed for the dressing room trailing 2-15 to 1-8.
Aaron Dunphy, James Ryan, Willie Dunphy and Paddy Purcell all scored in the opening minutes of the second half to reduce the arrears to seven after 40 minutes.
Eoin Cody got Kilkenny going again with three points but Laois kept plugging away with Paddy Purcell landing a second point from distance.
But any chance of a Laois comeback evaporated after 45 minutes when Walter Walsh was fouled for a penalty and Eoin Cody converted it to make it 3-19 to 1-13.
Laois kept battling and got the next three points from King, Eoin Gaughan and sub John Lennon to leave nine in it after 55 minutes.
And from there, the sides traded points with Ross King ending the game with the final point.
SCORERS – LAOIS: Ross King 0-7 (two 65s, three frees), Willie Dunphy 0-3, Paddy Purcell 0-3, Eoin Gaughan 0-3, Enda Rowland 1-0 (1-0 penalty), James Ryan 0-1, Aaron Dunphy 0-1, John Lennon 0-1 KILKENNY: Eoin Cody 1-8 (1-0 penalty, five frees), Alan Murphy 1-5 (four frees), Billy Ryan 1-1, James Maher 0-2, Martin Keoghan 0-2, Ger Alyward 0-1, Richie Leahy 0-1, Darren Brennan 0-1 (one free)
LAOIS: Enda Rowland (Abbeyleix); Liam Senior (Clonaslee), Matthew Whelan (Borris-Kilcotton), Donnacha Hartnett (Mountmellick); Ronan Broderick (Clough-Ballacolla), Podge Delaney (The Harps), Ciaran McEvoy (Portlaoise); Fiachra C-Fennell (Rosenallis), Colm Stapleton (Borris-Kilcotton); Aaron Dunphy (Borris-Kilcotton), James Ryan (Rathdowney-Errill), Paddy Purcell (Rathdowney-Errill); Willie Dunphy (Clough-Ballacolla), Ross King (Rathdowney-Errill), Eoin Gaughan (Camross). Subs: Jack Kelly (Rathdowney-Errill) for Senior (28), John Lennon (Rosenallis) for Stapleton (30), Cian Taylor (Portlaoise) for McEvoy and Eric Killeen (Rathdowney-Errill) for Ryan (both 65), Conor Phelan (Castletown) for C-Fennell (68)
KILKENNY: Darren Brennan; Tommy Walsh, Huw Lawlor, Ciaran Wallace; Conor Delaney, Padraig Walsh, Darren Mullen; Alan Murphy, James Maher; Martin Keoghan, Eoin Cody, Richie Leahy; Billy Ryan, Walter Walsh, Ger Aylward. Subs: Luke Scanlon for Murphy (ht), Bill Sheehan for Walsh (47), Michael Carey for Maher (51), James Bergin for Keoghan (55)