Kerins stars as Galway blitz Laois
Galway 7-18 Laois 2-13 GALWAY may have gone on a goal spree on Saturday in Portlaoise but manager Conor Hayes believes a big improvement will be needed against Waterford.
He said Saturday's game would give little indication of what lay ahead, but was pleased with the way his side put Laois to the sword.
"You can have few complaints when your full-forward line returns a score like that. We will have tougher tests and it just did not happen for Laois, but we took our scores well," said Hayes.
His full-forward line delivered 7-5 from play, with Alan Kerins plundering 4-2, Richie Murray 2-1 and Damian Hayes 1-2. And they could have bagged five more goals were it not for Laois 'keeper Patrick Mullaney.
"We needed to get back to winning ways. We were disappointed with the way the league went. We have not had the team together since last year's All-Ireland final," said Hayes.
Galway led by 3-8 to 0-6 at the break.
Laois fought back on the resumption with James Young and Joe Fitzpatrick clipping over a couple of points. Galway responded with Damian Hayes getting his opening score on 41 minutes.
Laois were given hope four minutes later when Mark Rooney crashed home a goal to make it 3-9 to 1-9.
However, Galway upped the ante. Andrew Keary added a point and Kerins soloed through for his second goal, before completing his hat-trick four minutes later. Rooney reduced the deficit with his second goal on 55 minutes.
But the floodgates opened again as Kerins got his fourth goal before Hayes added a seventh to complete a 20-point win.
Man of the Match: Alan Kerins (Galway).
SCORERS - Galway: A Kerins 4-2, R Murray 2-1, D Hayes 1-2, G Farragher 0-4 (0-1f, 0-1 '65), F Healy 0-3, A Keary, C Connolly 0-2 each; D Forde, K Burke 0-1 each. Laois: J Young 0-8 (0-5f), M Rooney 2-1, J Fitzpatrick 0-2 (0-1 s/l), Z Keenan 0-1 (0-1f), J Phelan 0-1.
GALWAY - L Donoghue; D Joyce, T Og Regan, O Canning; D Hardiman, S Kavanagh, MJ Quinn; F Healy, D Collins; G Farragher, D Forde, A Keary; A Kerins, R Murray, D Hayes. Subs: G Mahon for Quinn 52; K Burke for Kerins 66; E Lynch for Healy 66; C Connolly for Murray 66.
LAOIS - P Mullaney; B Campion, P Cuddy, M McEvoy; J Delaney, J Walsh, J Hyland; J Fitzpatrick, J Phelan; J Brophy, J Young, C Healy; Z Keenan, T Fitzgerald, J Hooban. Subs: M Rooney for Hooban 31; W Hyland for Brophy 53; D Culleton for Keenan 59.
REF - B White (Tipperary).