Hyland finds range for Laois
Antrim's unbeaten run came to an abrupt end at Casement Park yesterday when they were soundly beaten by a solid Laois display.
The visitors fully deserved their 10-point victory with Willie Hyland rifling over a dozen points for the winners in a man-of-the-match performance.
The teams were level at three points apiece after eight minutes but two goals from Neil Foyle gave Laois a massive early boost. Another blow struck the home side as Liam Watson was red-carded for a pull on Eoin Costello.
By half-time Laois, after playing against the wind, led by 2-7 to 0-9 and immediately after the restart Hyland got into his scoring stride. He hit three unanswered points to stretch the lead before a Neil McManus goal, which slipped past Eoin Reilly, gave Antrim hope by closing the gap to 2-10 to 1-9.
Reilly made up for that slip three minutes later when he brought off a flying save from Ciaran Herron's angled drive but he wasn't really troubled again.
SCORERS -- Laois: W Hyland 0-12 (0-6f, 0-1 '65), N Foyle 2-0, E Costello, T Fitzgerald 0-2 each, J Walsh, O Holohan, J Purcell 0-1 each. Antrim: N McManus 1-5 (0-3f), S McNaughton 0-3, P Shiels 0-2 (0-1f), L Watson 0-2 (0-1f).
LAOIS -- E Reilly; C Dunne, D Maher, B Stapleton; M Whelan, B Campion, JA Delaney; J Walsh, M McAvoy; O Holohan, C Healy, W Hyland; E Costello, T Fitzgerald, N Foyle. Subs: J Purcell for Foyle (46), B Dunne for Walsh (59), S Dollard for Holohan (68), J Prior for Stapleton (69).
ANTRIM -- G McGhee; A Graffin, C Donnelly, B McFall; S McCrory, K McKeegan, C Herron; P Shiels, S McNaughton; L Watson, N McManus, P McGill; D Hamill, T McCann, PJ O'Connell. Subs: N McAuley for B McFall (24), C McFall for McGill (39), E McCloskey for Hamill 43), C McAllister for McCann (59).
REF -- G Devlin (Armagh).