Laois 2-12 Offaly 4-22

Updated: Monday, 26 May 2008 22:40

Derek Molloy scored Offaly's third goal against neighbours Laois
Derek Molloy scored Offaly's third goal against neighbours Laois


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Offaly eased their way into the Leinster Hurling Championship semi-finals with a comprehensive 16-point victory over neighbours Laois in Portlaoise.

Offaly led by three goals at half-time as the home county failed to take advantage of the wind at their back in the opening half.

Conor Mahon capped a dream Championship debut when he raised the first green flag of the game after just three minutes.

Brian Carroll scored six points in the half as Offaly dominated with Dylan Hayden scoring a second goal after 14 minutes following a good pass from Derek Molloy.

A third goal to Offaly on 22 minutes as they punished poor defending left Laois trailing by ten points. Goalkeeper Paddy Mullaney was blocked in his attempts to clear the sliothar and half-forward Molloy capitalised on the error by again raising the green flag with a drilled finish.

Laois had to wait until 28 minutes had elapsed for their first point from play with Willie Hyland, one of only two home scorers, sending the sliothar over the bar.

Hyland ended the scoring in the first half with another point from play in stoppage time as all their other six scores came from frees popped over by Noel Costelloe.

It was appropriate that Carroll should open the scoring on the resumption of play with a long range free as the Offaly number 13 contributed a grand total of 16 points on the day.

A fourth goal from Championship debutant Ger Healion after 49 minutes ended all home resistance as Laois now trailed by a massive 14 points.

Hyland did give Damien Fox's side some consolation with two goals when he drove two close range frees all the way to the net but Offaly were never in danger of losing their significant lead.

Shane Dooley came on to contribute two points to the Offaly total with another substitute, Alan Egan, also making the score sheet.

Carroll got the last two scores of the game to end with a personal tally of 16, and Offaly march on to a semi-final date with All-Ireland champions Kilkenny as Laois await the winners of Galway and Antrim in the qualifying stages.  

Laois: P Mullaney; J Delaney, B Campion, C Dunne; J Fitzpatrick, J Phelan, C Coonan; J Walsh, C Delaney; E Browne, E Holohan, W Hyland (2-03, 2f); J Brophy, T Fitzgerald, N Costelloe (0-09, 7f). Subs: N Holmes, J Rowney, J Dooley.

Offaly: B Mullins; D Franks, G Oakley, M Verney; D Horan, D Kenny, K Brady; J Rigney, C Mahon (1-00); D Hayden (1-01), G Healion (1-00), D Molloy (1-00); B Carroll (0-16, 12f, 1 65'), P Cleary (0-01), B Murphy (0-01). Subs: A Egan (0-01), C Hearnon, S Ryan, S Dooley (0-02) and J Bergin.