Third time lucky for Laois as O'Carroll leads charge in victory over Westmeath
Laois 0-12 Westmeath 0-10
It was third time lucky for Laois in the game that mattered most as they held out against Westmeath in the Leinster football quarter-final in Tullamore.
Westmeath beat Laois in their Division 3 group clash and in the final earlier in the season but failed to complete the hat-trick against opposition that laid the groundwork for success in the first half.
Having played with the strong wind, Laois led by 0-8 to 0-2 at half-time. Westmeath didn't score until the 23rd minute when Ger Egan pointed a free and he added another in the 30th minute.
It left Westmeath without any score from play in the first half, whereas five of the Laois points came via that route. Evan O'Carroll, who also scored 0-3 from play, accounted for five of their eight points.
Laois were far more direct with their attacks, using the long ball to good effect. Westmeath's build-ups were slower and more predictable and often ran aground against a well-drilled Laois defence, which compensated well for the departure of full-back Mark Timmons with an injury in the eighth minute.
In addition to curbing Westmeath's atacking game, they frequently joined in attacks as Laois drove forward.
Westmeath started the second half with a John Heslin point after 15 seconds, but while their overall games improved considerably, Laois did well on counter-attacks and led by five points at the three-quarter stage.
Westmeath out-scored them by 0-5 to 0-1 from there to stoppage time, but the equalising point proved beyond them. Laois, for whom Evan O'Carroll scored eight points, held out and ensured they booked a semi-final clash with Meath when sub, Eoin Lowry flicked over their final point.
Scorers: Laois: E O'Carroll 0-8 (5f), P Kingston 0-2, C Boyle, E Lowry 0-1 each.
Westmeath: G Egan 0-7 (6f), J Heslin, R O’Toole, C McCormack 0-1 each.
Laois: G Brody; D Booth, M Timmons, G Dillon; S O'Flynn, C Begley, P O'Sullivan; J O'Loughlin, K Lillis; D O’Reilly, C Boyle, D O'Connor; P Kingston, C Murphy, E Carroll.
Subs: R Piggott for Timmons (8), M Scully for Murphy (ht), D Kingston for Boyle (60), B Quigley for O'Connor (67), E Lowry for O'Reilly (67), S Byrne for Begley (70).
Westmeath: E Carberry; K Maguire, B Sayeh, R Wallace; K Daly, F Boyle, J Dolan; S Duncan, D Corroon; N Mulligan, D Lynch, K Martin; R O'Toole, J Heslin, G Egan.
Subs: C McCormack for Duncan (32), L O'Toole for Boyle (ht), D Giles for Corroon (61).
Ref - F Kelly (Longford)