Meredith on the mark as Laois eclipse neighbours
Laois 2-18 Offaly 1-15
These two teams came into last night's game with contrasting fortunes, last year's beaten semi-finalists Offaly finishing well to defeat UCD on Sunday, with Laois, under new manager Tomas O Flatharta, shipping a heavy defeat to Wexford.
However, the meeting of these neighbours always brings out the best in both and this game was to be no different.
After the visitors posted two early points Laois went in front with a goal by Conor Meredith and he added a point immediately.
Offaly hit back with a goal from Ciaran Hurley after 20 minutes but Conor Meredith set up Martin Scully for a brilliant Laois goal but points by Peter Cunningham and Ken Casey put the visitors back in front. Laois replied with three great points to lead with three minutes to go to the break. Eoin Lowry closed the first half scoring leaving Laois in front 2-6 to 1-7.
Offaly were denied an early goal after the Laois keeper brought off a point blank save but Peter Cunningham did open the second half scoring with a great point after 38 minutes and added another two minutes later to level the game for the fourth time.
Offaly went in front with points by Niall Darby and Peter Cunningham but Laois then hit five in a row before Offaly staged a recovery and drew level with point by sub Niall Geraghty with 10 minutes remaining.
Laois then shot six without reply to run out comfortable winners.
SCORERS -- Laois: C Meredith 1-4, D Kingston, B Sheehan 0-4 each, M Scully 1-0, D Conway, E O'Carroll 0-2 each, J O'Loughlin, E Lowry 0-1 each. Offaly: C Hurley 1-0, K Casey, P Cunningham 0-3, C McNamee, N Dunne 0-2 each, N Darby, R Allen, J Moloney, G Guilfoyle (If), N Geraghty 0-1 each.
LAOIS -- G Brody; R Kehoe, M Timmons, P O'Leary; S Attride, P Begley, A Ryan; J Finn, J O'Loughlin ; E Lowry, D Kingston, B Sheehan; M Scully, C Meredith, D Conway; Subs: E O'Carroll for M Scully (43), K Lillis for E Lowry (48), D Booth for P Begley (49), D O'Connor for K Lillis (inj, 64).
Offaly -- A Mulhall; D Brady, C McNamee, J O'Connor; E O'Carroll, S Delaney, N Darby; J Brickland, R Allen; G Guilfoyle, P Cunningham , C Hurley; K Casey, J Maloney , N McNamee. Subs: P McConway for J Brickland (25), N Dunne for J Maloney (42), C Kiely for K Casey (46) , N Geraghty for N McNamee (56).
Ref -- David Gough (Meath).