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Laois 0-10 to Cork 2-12

By Matthew Hurley at MW Hire O’Moore Park

Image Via Irish Sun

Cork got a much-needed win over a dogged Laois side on Saturday evening. It may not have been the prettiest game to watch but Ronan McCarthy’s men will not care as they banished the memories of the Kildare loss last week.

The match got off to the worst possible start for the hosts, as experienced defender Colm Begley limped off injured and Sean White found the back of the net for the Rebels. Laois did fight back somewhat, but them two moments were the blueprint of what was to come.

Laois never led in this game despite Cork being sloppy at times and when Ruarai Deane found Niall Corbett’s net, the gap was up to five points and with the visitors ending up with a 73% conversion rate, the result was inevitable.

There were some promising signs for the Leinster county at stages of the game, especially early on in the contest, as forwards Daniel O’Reilly and Bryan Byrne hit 2 points each, but this was a Cork team who has yet to find it’s mojo for 2021. That side of things would be worrying for boss Mike Quirke as he enters an inevitable relegation play-off. The fact they didn’t score in the last 20 minutes showed how much they gave in the first 50. Even then they were down by 5, which emphasises how far they are away from the quality of the other counties in this southern group.

Cork weren’t impressive, it was just a business-likeperformance. The individual display of Full-Back Daniel O’Mahony will please the Cork management though. He kept star man Donie Kingston quiet for large parts of the game, leaving the Laois sharpshooter with only 3 points from frees. Considering the U20 from last year struggled on Darragh Kirwan last week, this performance will give the youngster confidence moving on to the big task next week.

It was great to see Ciaran Sheehan, Luke Connolly and Mark Collins all get sufficient game time after their injuries, which will only improve their match sharpness for the weeks ahead. A total of 10 different scorers tonight is also satisfactory, as is the fact they won by 8 points (same margin as Clare’s victory last week).

The sloppy errors, slow lethargic play and a kick out strategy needs to be fixed by McCarthy and his backroom team during the week. The performance tonight was enough to beat a dogged side that lacked quality, but against an in-form Clare side, it will not suffice.

Laois: N Corbett (0-2,2f); R Piggott, M Timmons, G Dillon; T Collins, C Begley, P O’Sullivan; K Lillis (0-1), J O’Loughlin; E Lowrey, P Kingston, D O’Reilly (0-2); B Byrne (0-2), D Kingston (0-3,3f), E O’Carroll.

Subs: A Farrell for Begley ‘2 mins, M Barry for O’Carroll ’50 mins, G Walsh for D Kingston ’51 mins, E Buggie for O’Sullivan ’59 mins, M Keogh for Lowrey ’61 mins, B Carroll for P Kingston ’65 mins, S O’Flynn for Byrne ’67 mins.

Cork: M Martin; S Powter, D O’Mahony, K Flahive; K O’Donovan, S Meehan, M Taylor (0-1); I Maguire (0-2), P Walsh; S White (1-0), R Deane (1-0), K O’Driscoll (0-1); J O’Rourke (0-2), C Sheehan (0-2,1m), L Connolly (0-1).

Subs: D Gore for Connolly ’50 mins, M Collins (0-2,2f) for Sheehan ’51 mins, C O’Callaghan for O’Driscoll ’56 mins, T Corkery for O’Donovan ’57 mins, C Kiely for Taylor ’57 mins, D Dineen for O’Rourke ’63 mins, S Forde (0-1) for Powter ’63 mins.

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