Canning shows little mercy to put Galway in cruise control
Galway 2-19 Laois 0-11
Galway encountered few problems in Ballinasloe yesterday in setting up a final at home to All-Ireland champions Kilkenny next weekend.
The Tribesmen were never in trouble, with Joe Canning hitting 1-10 in an accomplished display.
The performance of Conor Cooney, in just his second appearance, was also one of the highlights for Anthony Cunningham's men.
Galway led by 0-9 to 0-5 at the interval, but 25 seconds into the second half James Regan showed a clean pair of heels to the Laois backline -- and one of the umpires who was still making his way to his position -- and blasted past Eoin Reilly for a splendid goal.
A minute later Cooney ran on to Johnny Coen's pass to tap over and Galway's lead was out to eight points.
Cooney pointed well from distance after some great stick-work from the Galway forwards found him in space in the 41st minute, and Canning hit his second point from play moments later after a pin-point clearance from Tony Og Regan picked him out.
Two minutes later Canning ended all hopes of a Laois revival when he blasted to the net with a low finish after Damien Hayes and Regan had done all the hard work.
Canning's goal shoved Galway 11 points ahead, and they refused to take pity on their opponents as three frees from the Portumna ace and a pair of excellent points from Regan stretched the lead.
Scorers -- Galway: J Canning 1-10 (8f), J Regan 1-2, C Cooney 0-4 (1 '65), D Hayes, D Burke, A Smith 0-1 each. Laois: W Hyland 0-7 (5f, 1 '65'); N Foyle, S Bourke, M McEvoy, C Murray 0-1 each.
Galway -- J Skehill; D Conolly, T Og Regan, D Collins; B Flaherty, F Moore, K Hynes; A Smith, J Coen; D Burke, C Donnellan, C Cooney; D Hayes, J Canning, D Glennon. Subs: J Regan for Glennon (25), J Cooney for Donnellan (52), C Burke for Flaherty (67), T Haran for Canning (67).
Laois -- E Reilly; B Smith, M Whelan, P Mullaney; J Fitzpatrick, S Reilly, B Stapleton; J Walsh, B Dunne; J Brophy, C Murray, W Hyland; S Bourke, N Foyle, S Lowry. Subs: M McEvoy for Foyle (46), D O'Mahony for Lowry (51), D Peacock for S Bourke (60).
Ref -- T Carroll (Offaly).