/ GAA

Laois 0-07 Cork 0-14

Updated: Sunday, 23 Feb 2014 09:54 | Comments

Conditions were extremely difficult in Portlaoise
Conditions were extremely difficult in Portlaoise

Six points from Pat Horgan proved decisive in Portlaoise where Cork moved to the head of Allianz Hurling League Division 1B with a 0-14 to 0-07 win over Laois.

But it was a game dominated by high winds that won't live too long in the memory.

The Rebels built a substantial eight-point lead at half-time and defended with their lives after the break.

Laois only scored one point from open play and lacked potency as they sought to build on their shock win over Offaly.

It was hardly convincing from last season's beaten All-Ireland finalists either who shot just 0-09 from play themselves.

Jimmy Barry-Murphy made eight changes to his Cork team after their Round 1 draw with Limerick.

They struggled for fluency and didn't create any clear cut goal scoring opportunities.

Credit to 'Cheddar' Plunkett's Laois who will take plenty from another battling display, six days after shocking Offaly.

They lacked a vital cutting edge to ever really hint at another win but were competitive throughout in front of their home fans in Portlaoise.

Cork blasted 10 wides in the first-half - 13 in total - despite playing with a strong wind behind them.

It meant they led by eight points at the interval when it should have been much more.

Dwayne Palmer was one of two late additions to the Laois team and replaced key forward Willie Hyland.

The Camross man dropped deep to play a sweeper's role and Cork found the home defence difficult to break down.

The Rebels were largely restricted to shots from distance and wing-back William Egan blasted one long range beauty.

Stephen Maher scored all three of Laois' first-half points from frees. They didn't score from open play until Tommy Fitzgerald's 53rd minute point.

Laois were awarded a 29th minute penalty for a foul on John Purcell whose shot moments earlier was saved.

But Laois 'keeper Eoin Reilly couldn't take advantage and drove his penalty puck straight at his opposite number.

It got a little better for the hosts with a third point before half-time followed by star man Hyland's introduction.

Cork led 0-11 to 0-03 at the break though it was far from over as they had to play into driving rain.

Laois took advantage of the big wind after the restart and took plenty of pot shots.

But their radar was off and eight wides cost them in their pursuit of a famous win as Cork wrapped it up with scores from Horgan and Alan Cadogan.

Cork: D McCarthy, C Spillane, S McDonnell, S O'Neill, L McLoughlin, C Joyce (0-01), W Egan (0-01), M Ellis, P Haughney, S Harnedy (0-02), J Coughlan, M O'Sullivan, A Cadogan (0-03), P Cronin, P Horgan (0-06, 5f).

Subs.: S Moylan (0-01) for Cronin, D Kearney for O'Sullivan, R O'Shea for Harnedy, C McCarthy for Haughney, M Cahalane for Horgan.

Laois: E Reilly, JA Delaney, B Campion, B Stapleton, J Fitzpatrick, M Whelan, C Dunne, P Whelan, C Collier, C Dwyer, J Purcell, S Maher (0-06, 6f), N Foyle, D Palmer, T Fitzgerald (0-01).

Subs.: R King for Foyle (blood), Hyland for Purcell, King for Foyle, J Campion for Dwyer, W Dunphy for P Whelan, PJ Scully for Dunphy.

Referee: C Browne (Galway).

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