Whelan strike turns tide as Tribesmen march on
Galway 1-19 Laois 0-13 All-Ireland MHC quarter-final
MATTIE Murphy's Galway have booked their place in the semi-finals but they were made to sweat by gritty Laois at Semple Stadium.
A late flurry of unanswered points sealed a comfortable win for the young Tribesmen, who will now play Munster champions Limerick on August 18.
But Galway didn't have it all their own way as Laois stormed into an early 0-3 to 0-0 lead. And the beaten Leinster finalists were unlucky to see a 21st-minute Joe Campion goal ruled out.
The full-forward contested a dropping ball and turned to palm the ball into the net when it appeared airborne. The umpire at the Town End had reached for the green flag but it was ruled out by referee Owen Elliott.
From the next play, Galway piled on the misery for Laois when Adrian Morrissey fired over to establish a 0-8 to 0-5 lead.
Galway led by 0-9 to 0-7 at half-time and they turned up the heat in the second half to advance. The Westerners would finish with all six starting forwards and both midfielders on the scoresheet, and they hit the last eight points of the game to win pulling up.
Conor Whelan scored a goal in the 38th minute but Laois hit back to trail by just a point, before Galway stepped on the gas.
Galway struggled early on as points from Ronan Delahunty and Leigh Bergin had Laois two clear before Aidan Corby knocked over a third.
Galway scored their first point through Eanna Burke in the fifth minute and they were on level terms with 10 minutes gone at 0-4 each.
The sides traded scores before points from Whelan and Brian Molloy edged Galway ahead again.
Laois cried foul when Campion's goal was ruled out, and while it might have kept Pat Critchley's side in touch at the break, there was no doubting Galway's superiority in the second half.
Scorers – Galway: C Whelan 1-2, B Molloy (3fs), B Burke 0-4 each, A Morrissey 0-3, D Dolan, R O'Meara 0-2 each, É Burke, C Shaughnessy 0-1 each. Laois: D Cripps 0-5 (5fs), A Corby 0-4, J Campion 0-2, R Delahunty, L Bergin 0-1 each.
GALWAY – C Tuohy; M O Conghaile, D O'Donoghue, M Conneely; S Linnane, S Cooney, R Doyle; E Burke, D Dolan; A Morrissey, R O'Meara, C Whelan; B Molloy, B Burke, C Shaughnessy. Subs: V Doyle for Linnane (47), J Hastings for Morrissey (59), R Bellew for Conneely (60), K McHugo for Dolan (60+2).
LAOIS – E Rowland; E Cuddy, R Mullaney, D Palmer; C McEvoy, L Bergin, C Collier; L O'Connell, R Delahunty; J Lennon, A Corby, C Stapleton; D Cripps, J Campion, S Bergin. Subs: K Bergin for O'Connell (36), M Kavanagh for S Bergin (48), G Dunne for Lennon (48), R Broderick for Cripps (56).
Ref – O Elliott (Antrim)