Padraic Mannion, Galway, and Mark Dowling, Laois, in Leinster SHC action.
Padraic Mannion, Galway, and Mark Dowling, Laois, in Leinster SHC action.

Leinster SHC: Galway register emphatic win

Leinster Senior Hurling Championship

Galway 2-37 Laois 0-21

By Steven Miller at MW Hire O'Moore Park

Galway had 22 points to spare over Laois in O'Moore Park this evening to continue their unbeaten championship start and edge them closer to a Leinster hurling final appearance. 

Though there was only six points in it at the break, second half goals from Conor Whelan and Joseph Cooney propelled Galway to a big win, with Cathal Mannion, Tom Monaghan and Conor Cooney also very much to the fore. In all 14 different players registered scores. 

On top of that even goalkeeper Eanna Murphy came forward to point a massive effort from distance. 

On a lovely evening in ideal conditions, Laois opened the scoring with a nice point from play but despite bringing Fiachra C-Fennell back as a sweeper, Galway were uttterly dominant in the opening ten minutes.

Cathal Mannion, who hit 0-5 in the opening half, Tom Monaghan, Joseph Cooney, Cianan Fahy and Conor Whelan were all on target.

They hit nine points from play in as many minutes to be 0-9 to 0-1 up and it was looking bad for the home side as they struggled to get to the pace of the game.

But Laois withstood that onslaught and hit the next four themselves, two from Cha Dwyer and two from Purcell.

Mannion got his third in response for Galway but a Ross King free and another effort from O'Dwyer from play has Laois back within three by the midway stage of the half.

Mannion and King went on to trade scores and Laois keeper Enda Rowland pointed a long-range free but with Conor Cooney (frees), corner-back Jack Grealish and Joseph Cooney pointing, Galway had a six-point lead again late in the half.

James Keyes hit two in a row for Laois but Galway closed out the half with points from Brian Concannon and Monaghan to lead 0-18 to 0-12 at the break.

Galway got the first four points of the second half to put distance between the sides and though Laois battled valiantly on and got some fine scores from Sean Downey, James Keyes, Ross King, PJ Scully and debutant sub Mossy Keyes, Galway were never likely to be reeled in.

Joe Cooney got their first goal in 50th minute and Conor Whelan got their second with ten minutes to play to send the large Galway support home happy.

For Laois, Westmeath come to O'Moore Park next Saturday when the loser will drop to Joe McDonagh Cup status for 2023.

Scorers for Galway: Conor Cooney 0-8 (five frees), Cathal Mannion 0-7, Tom Monaghan 0-6, Joseph Cooney 1-2, Conor Whelan 1-2, Darren Morrissey 0-2, Padraic Mannion 0-2, Cianan Fahy 0-2, Brian Concannon 0-1, Jack Grealish 0-1, Fintan Burke 0-1, Eanna Murphy 0-1, Evan Niland 0-1 (free), Jason Flynn 0-1.

Scorers for Laois: Ross King 0-6 (five frees), Paddy Purcell 0-3, Cha Dwyer 0-3, James Keyes 0-3, PJ Scully 0-2, Enda Rowland 0-1 (free), Jack Kelly 0-1, Sean Downey 0-1, Tomas Keyes 0-1,

GALWAY: Eanna Murphy; Jack Grealish, Daithi Burke, Padraic Mannion; Darren Morrissey, Gearoid McInerney, Fintan Burke; Cathal Mannion, David Burke; Joseph Cooney, Conor Cooney, Tom Monaghan; Cianan Fahy, Conor Whelan, Brian Concannon. 

Subs: Ronan Glennon for David Burke (51), TJ Brennan for Daithi Burke (57), Evan Niland for Cooney (58), Johnny Coen for Morrissey (64), Jason Flynn for Whelan (65).

LAOIS: Enda Rowland; Padraic Dunne, Sean Downey, Donnachadh Hartnett; Ryan Mullaney, Ciaran McEvoy, Jack Kelly; Aidan Corby, Paddy Purcell; Fiachra C Fennell, James Keyes, Cha Dwyer; Ben Conroy, Ross King, Mark Dowling. 

Subs: PJ Scully for Dowling (injured - 17), Ciaran Byrne for Dwyer (injured - 33), Eric Killeen for Mullaney (54), Tomas Keyes for Conroy (58), Frank Flanagan for McEvoy (69).

REFEREE: Sean Cleere (Kilkenny).