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Problems, what problems? Laois record first championship win over Offaly for 43 years

They’ll face Galway in the semi-final.

Seamus Plunkett and Zane Keenan at full-time.
Seamus Plunkett and Zane Keenan at full-time.
Image: Ken Sutton/INPHO

Laois 0-29

Offaly 0-20

WILLIE HYLAND AND Cha Dwyer scored 12 points between them from play as Laois were resounding victors over Offaly, claiming a first championship victory over their neighbours since 1972.

The events in the build-up, when manager, Seamus ‘Cheddar’ Plunkett resigned and then returned was bound to have some impact on Laois and they were clearly highly motivated from the outset, thundering into the early challenges with serious intent.

Hyland got them into an early lead but Offaly were a little more economic and a couple of Shane Dooley frees, followed by their first score from play by Joe Bergin gave them an early advantage.

Though Zane Keenan brought the teams level for the third time, a brace of points inside 30 seconds from Brian Carroll helped push Offaly three ahead. When Dan Curram’s shot his second point in the 24th minute, the margin was four.

Tommy Fitzgerald Tommy Fitzgerald breaks free Source: Ken Sutton/INPHO

Significantly, Laois scored the next eight points to lead by 0-14 to 0-10 at half time.

Some of the scores in this period were incredible, the highlight being goalkeeper Eoin Reilly’s converted free from between his own 21 and 45 (in excess of 100m out).

Dwyer and Hyland shot some outstanding points too.

Offaly needed a quick start but they didn’t get it. Dooley converted a free but the next three points were Laois and by the end, they were playing with a swagger as they bounded clear to set up a Leinster semi-final against Galway.

Scorers Laois: Z Keenan 0-11 (7fs, 1 ’65, 1 sideline), W Hyland 0-7, C Dwyer 0-5; P Purcell, S Maher 0-2 each, E Reilly (0-1f), D Palmer 0-1.

Scorers for Offaly: S Dooley 0-10 (9fs, 1 65′), D Currams 0-4, B Carroll 0-3, J Bergin, K Kiely, E Nolan, D King 0-1 each.

Paddy Murphy in action against Dwane Palmer Paddy Murphy in action against Dwane Palmer at O'Moore Park Source: Ken Sutton/INPHO

Laois

1 Eoin Reilly

2 Matthew Whelan
4 Brian Stapleton
3 Cahir Healy

5 Joe Fitzpatrick
2 John A Delaney
19 Tom Delaney

8 Joe Campion
9 Paddy Purcell

11 Zane Keenan
14 Tommy Fitzgerald
10 Willie Hyland

17 Dwane Palmer
18 Stephen Maher
12 Cha Dwyer

Subs

24 Paddy Whelan for Purcell (64)
20 James Walsh for Palmer (70)
15 PJ Scully for Maher (70+1)
13 Ben Conroy for Fitzgerald (70+2)

Offaly

1 James Dempsey

2 David King
3 Dermot Shortt
4 Niall Wynne

5 Cathal Parlon
6 Colin Egan
7 Pat Camon

8 Sean Ryan
9 Emmet Nolan

10 Paddy Murphy
14 James Mulrooney
11 Dan Currams

13 Shane Dooley
15 Brian Carroll
12 Joe Bergin

Subs

25 Killian Kiely for Ryan (ht)
17 Eanna Murphy for Parlon (41)
19 Sean Cleary for Mulrooney (44)
18 Stephen Wynne for King (61)

Referee: J Owens (Wexford)

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About the author:

Daragh Ó Conchúir

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