Lethal Clancy fires double to keep Laois in the hunt
Laois 2-12 Westmeath 0-12
Laois picked up their first win of the new season as two goals from Padraig Clancy helped them to a six-point victory at O'Moore Park.
A field topped with a heavy carpet of dew greeted both teams before the game, and it resulted in some treacherous underfoot conditions.
It took five minutes for the first score of the game to arrive, with Westmeath's David McCormack pointing on the turn from 35 yards out.
Scores were really at a premium early on as the greasy ball made handling tricky, and on more than one occasion Laois looked to be in on goal only for the player in possession to see the ball slip out of his grasp.
Ross Munnelly eventually opened their account, and the teams remained close for the rest of the half. John O'Loughlin briefly gave Laois the lead, only for Paul Bannon to cancel it out, with MJ Tierney and Padraig Clancy hitting back for the hosts to push them two ahead.
Denis Corroon then split the posts from afar as Westmeath drew level five minutes out from half-time, only for Tierney to hit a brace of frees to nudge Laois ahead again. Westmeath could muster only one more score before the interval, and the teams went in separated by just a point, 0-6 to 0-5.
Laois got an ideal start to the second half as Clancy pointed twice in five minutes, before a storming run from Conor Meredith teed the veteran full-forward up for a goal.
It would prove to be a vital score, as it kept Laois ahead for the rest of the game, with Westmeath never capable of getting within more than a couple of points. Clancy then rounded off the night he ghosted in at the back post to flick home a ball from Cahir Healy for his second goal with a minute to go.
SCORERS – Laois: P Clancy 2-3, MJ Tierney 0-4 (3f, 1 '45'), R Munnelly 0-2 (1f), J O'Loughlin, C Begley, C Healy 0-1 each
Westmeath: C Curley 0-4 (2f), K Reilly 0-3 (2f), David McCormack 0-2, D Corroon, P Bannon (f), P Sheridan 0-1 each
LAOIS – E Culliton; C Healy, D Booth, P O'Leary; D Strong, J O'Loughlin, P McMahon; C Begley, C Coss; R Munnelly, C Meredith, B Sheehan; MJ Tierney, P Clancy, A Doran. Subs: C Delaney for Doran (h-t), M Timmons for McMahon (54), S Julian for Coss (57), E Malone for Tierney (60).
WESTMEATH – G Connaughton; J Lynch, K Gavin, K Maguire; Damien Dolan, P Sharry, D Harte; D Corroon, P Bannon; K Reilly, C McCormack, P Sheridan; D Mullen, C Curley, David McCormack. Subs: R Foley for C McCormack (8), M Curley for Sharry (48), Daly McCormack for Bannon (54), E Gorman for David McCormack (64).
Ref – A Nolan (Wicklow)