Waterford's Mahony dishes out punishment to Laois
Waterford 3-21 Laois 0-12
Pauric Mahony scored 1-14 as Waterford revelled in the space provided by the sending-off of Charlie Palmer to put Laois to the sword in the final quarter.
Laois made it difficult initially but a lack of discipline in their shooting, and in their tackling, hindered them. When Palmer was sent off in the 49th minute, the hosts were finally able to cut loose.
Waterford looked sharper early on but found it hard to break down the Laois defensive structure, which had a sweeper and a number of other players flooding the middle, often leaving Tommy Fitzgerald to fend for himself against two or three Waterford defenders.
The teams were level seven times in a very tight first half, with the majority of scores coming from placed balls, via the sticks of Pauric Mahony and Zane Keenan.
Brian O'Halloran and Tom Devine buzzed around the place for Waterford with the former scoring a wonderful point from a tight angle early on, in response to a wonder score from Laois forward Willie Hyland.
Laois relied on shooting from long distance with the wind and while Paddy Purcell, Keenan and Hyland utilised the elements well at times, the wides tally quickly totted up and Laois had six shots gone astray in the opening 15 minutes.
It was 0-8 apiece with five minutes left in the opening half but Waterford began to start finding little gaps and Mahony converted frees either side of a fabulous score from Austin Gleeson to make it 0-11 to 0-8 at half-time.
The margin was five when Palmer got his marching orders and, within seconds, former minor star Shane Bennett was rocketing a shot beyond the excellent Eoin Rowland.
Mahony kept the scoreboard ticking over and was set up by 'Brick' Walsh for a 59th-minute goal as they put hapless Laois to the sword.
Thomas Connors came on for Mahony and had Waterford's third goal within 20 seconds of his introduction.
Scorers - Waterford: Pauric Mahony 1-14 (9fs); S Bennett 1-1; T Connors 1-0; A Gleeson, D Breathnach 0-2 each; B O'Halloran 0-1, M Walsh 0-1.
Laois: Z Keenan 0-9(fs); W Hyland, R King, P Purcell 0-1 each
Waterford: S O'Keeffe; S Fives, B Coughlan, N Connors; T de Búrca, A Gleeson, Philip Mahony; J Barron, Pauric Mahony; K Moran, M Walsh, B O'Halloran; S Bennett, T Devine, M Kearney. Subs: J Dillon for Kearney (h-t), S O'Sullivan for Devine (45), P Prendergast for Fives (50), 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, D Palmer; Z Keenan, P Purcell; W Hyland, J Campion, C Dwyer; S Maher, T Fitzgerald, R King. Subs: C Stapleton for Maher (inj, 27), B Conroy for King (h-t), PJ Scully for Campion (h-t), C Dunne for Stapleton (52), J Purcell for Fitzgerald (65).
Referee: D Kirwan (Cork)
Sunday Indo Sport