Comerford gives Laois the cushion to book Cats clash
Laois 1-19 Meath 1-14
Ciaran Comerford scored 1-7 in the opening half as Laois made full use of wind advantage seal their place in the last four of the Leinster MHC in O'Moore Park on Saturday.
Dual star Comerford - who is joined on the team by his twin brother Daniel - helped Laois into 1-16 to 0-5 at the break, his goal in the 12th minute a wonderful effort after he won Cathal Dunne's puckout, turned and buried his shot past Meath goalkeeper Aaron Dunne.
Laois had a total of nine scorers in that first period, with Mickey Mullen accounting for four of Meath's points from placed balls and Jacob Ryan getting their only score from play on the stroke of half-time.
The Royals came storming back in the second half, however. Brian Dowling's goal as well as points from their top scorer Mullen and Adam Murphy had them within six as the game entered the last ten minutes.
Laois could only manage three points in the second half - two frees from Oisin Bennett, and a score from play from substitute Cathal Duggan.
But it was enough to keep their noses in front and they held out well in the final moments to set up a semi-final clash with Kilkenny in two weeks' time.
Scorers - Laois: C Comerford 1-7, O Bennett 0-3fs, J Keyes 0-2, C Duggan, J McCormack, J Phelan, D Comerford, E Gaughan, P Delaney, PJ Daly 0-1 each. Meath: M Mullen 0-8 (7fs, 1 '65'), B Dowling 1-0, A Murphy. J Ryan 0-2 each, E Fitzgerald, N Potterton 0-1 each.
Laois - C Dunne; D Breen, J Maher, E Carey; R Murphy, P Delaney, E O'Connor; PJ Daly, E Gaughan; C Comerford, J McCormack, D Comerford; J Keyes, O Bennett, J Phelan. Subs: C Duggan for Phelan (26), B McGinley for Gaughan (49), C Rigney for Bennett (60), O Phelan for Daly (62)
Meath - A Dunne; B O'Reilly, C Butler, S Coffey; J Connolly, D McGowan, B Kelly; E Fitzgerald, D Hennessy; J Ryan, A Murphy, J Leavey; B Dowling, M Mullen, N Potterton. Subs: T Fadden for Connolly (ht), V Ward for Hennessy (47), D Gilmartin for Fadden (55), C O'Farrell for Ryan (57)
Ref - M Murtagh (Westmeath)