Waterford ignore scoreboard confusion to power past Laois
THERE may have been some confusion about the scoreline at half-time after the referee intervened to correct the scoreboard but there was certainly none at full-time in this Division 1B Allianz Hurling league clash in Dungarvan.
Waterford 3-21 Laois 0-12
This became a complete procession once Laois were reduced to 14 men after Cha' Dywer got a second yellow card in the 48th minute.
Waterford were only leading by five points at the time but, within a minute, they got the goal they had threatened all night, with Jake Dillon delivering an inch-perfect pass into the square where young schoolboy Shane Bennett, on his NHL debut, did brilliantly to collect it while on his knees and then blast it home.
Topscorer Pauric Mahony (1-14) raised their second green flag just on the hour, after Shane O'Sullivan and Brick Walsh combined to put him through for a tap-in and the Decies third goal came from substitute Thomas Connors in the 63rd minute with literally his first touch of the game.
Laois didn't help their own cause by hitting far too many wides - eight - in the first half when they were well able to hold their own and were level seven times.
But they also lost Stephen 'Picky' Maher before the half-hour to a shoulder injury, a blow that looks like bad news too for his third-level team Carlow IT in the coming week.
But it was their own insistence on persisting with just two men upfront in the first half which did most damage, with Waterford also playing a sweeper and outnumbering them every time they sent a ball in to their forwards.
The home side were only three points up (0-11 to 0-8) at half-time when Zane Keenan's long-range freetaking was keeping Laois firmly in the game.
But once they went a man down they were completely over-run with Waterford outscoring them by 3-10 to 0-4 in the second half , with Pauric Mahony giving an exhibition of free-taking in his 1-14 tall (9f).
O'Moore's manager Seamus Plunkett will have a big job now to lift their morale after this rout coming on the back of their first-round loss to Offaly.
Waterford's promotion hopes stay firmly on course as they head into the two-week break unbeaten after drawing with Limerick first time out.
Scorers - Pauric Mahony 1-14 (9f), S Bennett 1-1, T Connors 1-0, A Gleeson 0-2, B O'Halloran, M Walsh, S O'Sullivan and D Breathnach 0-1 each. Laois: Z Keenan 0-9 (9f), P Purcell, W Hyland and R King 0-1 each.
Waterford - S O'Keeffe; S Fives, B Coughlan, N Connors; Phillip Mahony, A Gleeson, T Bourke; K Moran (Capt), J Barron; M Kearney, Pauric Mahony, M Walsh; S Bennett, T Devine, B O'Halloran. Subs - J Dillon for Kearney (half-time), S O'Sullivan for Devine (45), P Prendergast for Fives (49), D Breathnach for Bennett (59), T Connors for Pauric Mahony (64).
Laois - E Rowland; J A Delaney; C Healy, B Stapleton; J Fitzpatrick, M Whelan (Capt), D Palmer; Z Keenan, P Purcell; C Dwyer, J Campion, W Hyland; S Maher, T Fitzgerald, R King. Subs - C Stapleton for Maher (inj, 26), PJ Scully for Campion, B Conroy for King (both half-time), C Dunne for Stapleton (52), J Purcell for Fitzgerald (64).
Referee - D Kirwan (Cork).