Phelan strike settles it for Laois
Laois 3-15 Offaly 1-13
Laois progressed to the Leinster MHC semi-final after eventually seeing off the challenge of Offaly in O'Moore Park.
It was Laois' fourth win in a row at this grade over their neighbours, but they were made to fight. Laois were on top in the first half, with goals from Stephen Phelan and Mark Kavanagh sending them into the break with a tally of 2-7 and in the lead.
Offaly made the dream start to the second half when a long ball from Eoghan Cahill somehow found its way into the back of the net.
A point from Conor Molloy followed and the gap was reduced. Laois responded by scoring six of the next seven points, but Offaly scored four unanswered in five minutes to set up a grandstand finish.
The game was eventually settled four minutes from time when a long ball into the Offaly square broke kindly for Robbie Phelan and the full-forward didn't hesitate as he slammed it first time into the back of the net.
Scorers - Laois: M Kavanagh 1-7 (6f), R Phelan 1-3, S Phelan 1-0, L O'Connell 0-1(1f), A Dunphy 0-1, L Cleere 0-1, A Bergin 0-1, A Mortimer 0-1. Offaly: C Molloy 0-6 (6f), E Cahill 1-3, L Langton 0-2, JP Cleary 0-1; J Murray 0-1.
Laois - S Kelly; J Geaney, C Phelan, C McEvoy; L O'Connell, A Dunphy, L Cleere; S Downey, S Dunphy; S Phelan, M Phelan, A Bergin; M Kavanagh, R Phelan, E Lyons. Subs: A Mortimer for Lyons (34), R McEvoy for Downey (46), D Cahill for McEvoy (56), L Delaney for Dunphy (56), D Conroy for Bergin (58).
Offaly - W Malone; C O'Brien, B Connolly, P Delaney; S Lowry, J Fogarty, J Maher; M Gilligan, C Molloy; C Cleary, JP Cleary, O Kelly; J Murray, E Cahill, L Langton. Subs: C Curran for Fogarty (42), R Dempsey for Murray (58), DBuckley for Molloy (58), E Kelly for Maher (59).
Ref - B O'Leary (Wexford)