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Antrim beat Laois in 8-goal thriller while Westmeath just see off Carlow

The opening round-robin games in Leinster took place today.

Antrim's Neil McManus celebrates today's win.
Antrim's Neil McManus celebrates today's win.
Image: Presseye/John McIlwaine/INPHO

ANTRIM CLAIMED A dramatic late win over Laois in an eight-goal thriller in today’s Leinster senior hurling opener in Ballycastle.

Ciaran Clarke grabbed a goal at the death to hand his side a 5-17 to 3-22 success in their first game of the round-robin series. Clarke finished with 2-7 overall for the Ulster side while Conor Johnson also showed up well as he bagged 2-1.

Zane Keenan hit 1-9 for Laois while Tommy Fitzgerald scored 1-1 and PJ Scully, Ross King and Tommy Fitzgerald chipped in with 0-3 apiece for the Leinster side.

Keenan and Fitzgerald netted in the first-half as Laois went in front 2-13 to 2-8 at the midway mark. Neil McManus and Johnson bagged Antrim’s first-half goals.

The game ebbed and flowed in the second-half with Ben Conroy striking the third goal for Laois while Johnson and Clarke (2) raised green flags for Kevin Ryan’s victorious team.

Conor Johnton scores a goal past Enda Rowland Conor Johnson finds the net for the Antrim hurlers. Source: Presseye/John McIlwaine/INPHO

In today’s other round-robin encounter, Westmeath prevailed by 2-19 to 2-17 against Carlow in Mullingar.

Brendan Murtagh and Alan Devine struck the Westmeath goals while Martin Kavanagh and Seamus Murphy netted for Carlow.

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The teams were tied 1-12 to 2-9 at the break but Westmeath gradually grew stronger in the second-half. Murtagh’s goal came at a crucial time while Niall O’Brien, who hit 0-7 overall, and Derek McNicholas hit the late points that sealed Westmeath’s success.

Next Sunday’s fixtures see Westmeath entertain Antrim while Carlow are at home to Laois.

Leinster SHC Results
Antrim 5-17 Laois 3-22
Westmeath 2-19 Carlow 2-17

Michael Ryan Ex-Waterford boss Michael Ryan will be happy with his Westmeath charges today. Source: Lorraine O'Sullivan/INPHO

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