Walsh keeps Laois ahead of pack
Laois 1-16 Wicklow 0-10
The margin of victory was nine points but it could have been much higher for Laois who sit atop of the table, on points difference from Carlow.
Wicklow were a point behind (0-4 to 0-3) in the 17th minute of this Aughrim clash, but only scored once for the rest of the half during which time Laois amassed 1-6.
Playing into the wind in the first-half Wicklow were unable to win their own kick out and under pressure to move the ball out of their half. On the occasions when they did their attack was blunt.
Laois, by contrast, could kick the ball long if necessary to stretch the Wicklow defence or work the ball through the hands to cut through it. That happened when Trevor Collins and Alan Farrell got past the Wicklow defence before Gary Walsh hit the bottom corner for the game's only goal.
The second-half was a dull affair with Laois keeping Wicklow far enough away to ensure the result wasn't in danger. Wicklow's teenage 'keeper Mark Jackson finished top scorer for his team when he converted three placed balls in the second-half but failed to keep his side in reach.
SCORERS - Laois: G Walsh 1-3 (2f), R Munnelly 0-6 (3f), E O'Carroll 0-4 (2f), T Collins, C Begley, K Lillis 0-1 each Wicklow: M Jackson 0-3 (2f, 1 45), D Hayden (2f), R Finn 0-2 each, J Stafford, S Furlong, M Kenny 0-1 each.
LAOIS - G Brody 8; F Crowley 8, S Neary 7, R Fennell 7; T Collins 7, C Begley 8, G Dillon 7; J O'Loughlin 7, K Lillis 7; A Farrell 7, P Kingston 8, N Donoher 7; R Munnelly 8, G Walsh 7, E O'Carroll 8. Subs: B Glynn 7 for A Farrell (43), D Kingston 7 for N Donoher (50), E Lowry 7 for G Walsh (54), D Holland 7 for T Collins (60), B Carroll 7 for J O'Loughlin (63), J Farrell 7 for P Kingston (64).
WICKLOW - M Jackson 6; H Wilson 6, J Snell 6, P Merrigan 6; K Murphy 6, R O'Brien 7, P Burke 7; R Finn 7, J Stafford 7; J Crowe 7, D Healy 7, C Healy 6; C Byrne 7, S Furlong 6, D Hayden 7. Subs: T Smith 7 for C Healy (22), M Kenny 7 for K Murphy (h/t), G Murphy 7 for C Byrne (46), P O'Toole 7 for S Furlong, 58 BC), E Murtagh 6 for P Merrigan (63), PJ O'Keeffe 6 for J Crowe (64).
REF- F Smyth (Offaly)