Hyland's late flourish caps off impressive Laois display
NHL Division 2
LAOIS remain in contention for automatic promotion after they outclassed 13-man Westmeath in Portlaoise yesterday.
The hosts were by far the superior side as three goals in the opening half -- along with a late Willie Hyland strike -- easily saw off the Lake County.
The hosts quickly took control of the contest in the opening half with goals from Tommy Fitzgerald, Neil Foyle and Owen Holohan -- all in a superb 15 minute blitz -- making sure Niall Rigney's charges continued their form following recent victories over Kildare and Antrim.
The movement from Fitzgerald was causing huge problems for the Westmeath rearguard and they never really recovered when Foyle was on target with the opening goal of the game. Fitzgerald raised the second green flag of the afternoon and this was shortly followed by Holohan after he was beautifully assisted by Fitzgerald.
Westmeath did gather some momentum before the break with efforts from Murtagh and Dan Carthy but they still went in 3-5 to 0-7 at the interval. The O'Moore County's domination continued in the second half with Matthew Whelan and Hyland exposing gaps in Westmeath's defence following the dismissals of Murtagh and Tony Doyle.
Hyland finished with a flourish and wrapped up the points with his side's fourth goal late on.
SCORERS -- Laois: W Hyland 1-4 (3f) O Holohan, Foyle 1-1 each, T Fitzgerald 1-0, M Whelan (1f,1'65), J Walsh 0-2 each, B Stapleton, M McEvoy, E Costello, S Dollard 0-1 each. Westmeath: B Murtagh 0-7(6f), D Carthy 0-3, A Mitchell (1f), J Shaw, A Dowdall 0-1 each.
LAOIS -- E Reilly; C Dunne, D Maher, B Stapleton; M Whelan, C Healy, JA Delaney; J Walsh, M McEvoy; O Holohan, B Dunne, W Hyland; E Costello, T Fitzgerald, N Foyle. Subs: S Dollard for Delaney (ht), J Purcell for B Dunne (38), J Dunne for Foyle (50), T Burke for Healy (54), J Prior for C Dunne (60)
WESTMEATH -- P Burke; G Gavin, D McCormack, E Price; N Flanagan, A Mitchell, J Shaw; P Dowdall, R Jackson; A Dowdall, B Murtagh, D Carthy; A Dermody, D McNicholas, J Clarke. Subs: T Doyle for Gavin (HT), C Curley for Jackson, J Hardman for Dermody (both 36), D Golden for P Dowdall (45), C Jordan for A Dowdall (60).
REF -- J O'Mahoney (Limerick).