Galway 4-21 Laois 0-7
Leinster U-20 HC Quarter-final
The Laois U-20 hurlers were always going to be up against it taking on a highly-rated Galway side in their long-awaited Leinster quarter-final and so it proved in MW Hire O’Moore Park this evening.
Having won the last three All Ireland minor titles and with a handful of senior panellists in their midst, they were the hottest of favourites in this one and they duly disposed of Laois with the minimum of fuss.
Enda Lyons’s side had beaten Carlow narrowly in their Round 1 game way back in the middle of October before Level 5 restrictions were imposed but there was no denying that this was going to be a huge step up.
Laois battled gamely early on and weren’t helped by losing two talented young players – corner-back Aaron Gaughan and corner-forward to Tomas Keyes – to injury by the 14th minute.
But Galway were already beginning to stretch clear and were 1-5 to 0-1 up at the first water break, 1-4 of their tally coming from Donal O’Shea. His goal was a well-taken effort to the bottom corner of Cathal Dunne’s net while he added four frees after a stretched Laois defence were forced into fouling.
Senior squad member Diamuid Kilcommons got Galway’s other point was Laois’s sole score was a nice effort from play from Keyes.
Galway got the first two scores after the restart and though Laois had a brief goal chance when James Duggan’s effort was saved by Darach Fahy, Daniel Delaney tapped over the resulting close-range free.
Sub Fionn Holland fired over a lovely point from play but Galway pointed twice either side of it and at half time they led 1-11 to 0-3.
The second half followed a predictable enough routine as Galway began to stretch their legs and they got two more goals before the water break through and O’Shea penalty and nice finish from impressive midfielder Ian McGlynn.
Laois’s evening was made worse when full-back Enda Parlon got a straight red card and though O’Shea’s penalty was saved by Dunne when it was eventually taken after the water break, Mark Kennedy was on hand to bat the rebound to the net.
A couple of Daniel Delaney frees and a fine score from the hard-working Joe Phelan was Laois’s only repsonse and Galway eased to the finish line and won by 26 points in the end.
They now go forward to play Kilkenny in the semi-final next weekend.
SCORERS – Galway: Donal O’Shea 2-7 (1-0 penalty, 0-6 frees, 0-1 ’65), Ian McGlynn 1-2, Mark Kennedy 1-0, Diarmuid Kilcommins 0-2, Conor Walsh 0-2, Sean McDonagh 0-2 (one sideline cut), John Fleming 0-1, Sean Neary 0-1, Alex Connaire 0-1, Adrian Prendergast 0-1, Caimin Killeen 0-1, Jason O’Donoghue 0-1. Laois: Daniel Delaney 0-4 (frees), Joe Phelan 0-1, Fionn Holland 0-1, Tomas Keyes 0-1
GALWAY: Darach Fahy; Oisin Salmon, TJ Brennan, Jason O’Donoghue; Diarmuid Kilcommons, Adam Brett, Dylan Shaughnessy; Ian McGlynn, Alex Connaire; Conor Walsh, Sean Neary, Adrian Prendergast; Oisin Flannery, John Fleming, Donal O’Shea. Subs: Sean McDonagh for Flannery (40), Conor Flaherty for Brett (45), Mark Kennedy for Walsh (45), Caimin Killeen for Kennedy (injured – 48), Christopher Brennan for Salmon (53)
LAOIS: Cathal Dunne (Clough-Ballacolla); Danny Brennan (Park-Ratheniska/Timahoe), Enda Parlon (Borris-Kilcotton); Aaron Gaughan (Castletown); Fionan Mahoney (Abbeyleix), Ciaran Burke (The Harps), Padraic Dunne (The Harps); John Maher (Rosenallis), Joe Phelan (Castletown); Ciaran Byrne (Abbeyleix), Daniel Delaney (Camross); Thep Fitzpatrick (Rathdowney-Errill); Tomas Keyes (Camross), Mark Hennessy (Clough-Ballacolla), James Duggan (The Harps). Subs: Ian Shanahan (Ballinakill) for Gaughan (injured – 7), Fionn Holland (Clonad) for Keyes (injured – 13), Ciaran Conroy (Slieve Bloom) for Fitzpatrick (37), Cormac Rigney (Portlaoise) for Duggan (51), Eoin O’Connor for Holland (52)
REFEREE: Thomas Gleeson (Dublin)