Saturday 16 December 2017

Laois complete survival mission

Laois 0-23 Westmeath 0-16

Westmeath’s Eoin Price in action against Dwane Palmer yesterday. Photo: Brendan Moran / Sportsfile
Westmeath’s Eoin Price in action against Dwane Palmer yesterday. Photo: Brendan Moran / Sportsfile
John Lennon, Laois, in action against Alan Devine, Westmeath Photo: Sportsfile
Charles Dwyer, Laois, in action against Tomy Gallagher, Westmeath Photo: Sportsfile newsdesk

The wait for promotion to Division 1B goes on for Westmeath as Laois picked up their first win of the league to avoid the drop in this promotion/relegation play-off.

At half-time it seemed as if Westmeath were primed to return to the second tier for the first time since 2011 as they led 0-12 to 0-11, thanks to six points from Niall O'Brien.

But Laois took total control after the break, restricting Westmeath to four more points, while PJ Scully and Cha Dwyer fired them to the win and ultimate survival.

With Eoin Price and O'Brien in free-scoring form before the break, the only hurling side not to concede a league goal this year would have been confident of joining the likes of Galway, Limerick and Wexford in Division 1B next season.

But the move of Cahir Healy to mark O'Brien paid dividends, as sweeper Patrick Purcell began to dominate for Laois and Cheddar Plunkett's side survived.

Scorers - Laois: PJ Scully 0-10 (6f, 1'65), C Dwyer 0-6, W Dunphy 0-2, N Foyle, J Lennon, M Kavanagh, E Rowland (f), Z Keenan 0-1 each. Westmeath: N O'Brien 0-7, B Murtagh (3f), E Price 0-3 each, C Boyle, L Varley, N Dowdall 0-1.
Laois: E Rowland; D Palmer, D Maher, C Healy; L Bergin, M Whelan, R Mullaney; P Purcell, C Stapleton; C Dwyer, N Foyle, W Dunphy; PJ Scully, S Maher, J Lennon. Subs: Z Keenan for Maher (h-t), M Kavanagh for Dunphy (58), J Phelan for Palmer (67), E Fennelly for Foyle (69), B Reddin for Lennon (73).
Westmeath: P Maloney; S Power, T Doyle, T Gallagher; A Craig, A Clarke (c), A McGrath; C Boyle, G Greville; A Devine, N O'Brien, L Varley; N Dowdall, B Murtagh ,E Price. Subs: K Duncan for Doyle (32-33 mins blood), R Greville for Dowdall (h-t), D McNicholas for Varley (49), C Doyle for Boyle (58), K Duncan for Power (67).
Referee: J Keenan (Wicklow)

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