A strong performance from Westmeath sees them get over Laois
By Matthew Hurley
Westmeath have advanced to the last 4 in Leinster after a comprehensive win over Laois in Tullamore this afternoon.
A second half scoring blitz eventually killed the game as a contest as Laois ended the season the season without a whimper.
The first half was a cagy affair, with Laois breaking past the Westmeath defence with an Evan O’Carroll goal.
That was Laois’ sole score from play in the first 25 minutes, with frees from Donie Kingston and a mark from Colm Murphy keeping them in touch.
Down the other end, Westmeath seemed to be moving along nicely. Ger Egan, Ronan O’Toole and especially John Heslin all chipped in with a few scores.
It could’ve been a lot worse for Laois, with Jack Cooney’s men missing a guilt edged goal opportunity 8 minutes in.
Laois started to find their range at the end of the half, and with Jamie Gonoud getting a black card on 30-minute mark, it set the platform for Mike Quirke’s side to take a single point lead into the break.
The second half however was totally different game as Westmeath took control.
One of their main men Egan added even more to his tally, 0-5 overall, while a goal from Denis Caroon right before the water break was a sign of things to follow.
David Lynch added a second goal ending the match as a contest at 2-15 to 1-10 and Kieran Lillis’ red card sealed Laois’ fate.
Lorcan Dolan added yet another goal before the end as it ended up being a walk in the park for the Lake County.
Laois scored 0-2 in the whole second half, which at this level is just not good enough.
Westmeath now march on to the Leinster Semi Finals, while Laois’ wretched season is finally over.
Westmeath Scorers: L Dolan (1-3,1 free) J Heslin (0-5,4 frees), G Egan (0-5), D Caroon (0-1), R O’Toole (0-3), D Lynch (1-0) J Dolan (0-1), T McDaniel (0-1), D Giles (0-1)
Laois Scorers: D Kingston (0-5) (4 frees), E O’Carroll (1-0), C Murphy (0-2, 1 mark), E Lowry (0-1)
Westmeath: J Daly; S McCartan, K Maguire, B Sayeh; J Dolan, R Wallace, J Gonoud; R Connellan, S Duncan; D Caroon, G Egan, D Lynch; L Dolan, J Heslin, R O’Toole.
Subs: J Smith for Sayeh (Half Time), F Ayorinde for Connellan (47 mins), T McDaniel for Heslin (60 mins), D Giles for Caroon (62 mins), N Mulligan for Gonoud (64 mins)
Laois: N Corbett; T Collins, S Lacey, G Dillon; D O’Reilly, C Begley, P O’Sullivan; K Lillis, J O’Loughlin; S Byrne, E O’Carroll, E Lowry; P Kingston, D Kingston, C Murphy.
Subs: M Barry for Murphy (49 mins), F Crowley for O’Loughlin (53 mins), M Timmons for Byrne (55 mins), D Whelan for Lowry (56 mins), R Munnelly for P Kingston (56 mins)