Antrim may hit 0-23 in their Ulster qualifier last month against Down to make it to the O'Neill's Leinster U-20 Hurling Championship, but they exited at the first stage following a heavy 3-21 to 0-12 loss to Laois at Parnell Park.

The first half had been an even enough affair with Laois holding a three-point advantage at the turn, 0-09 to 0-06, but the O’Moore County opened up after the interval to secure a round two meeting with Kildare - James Duggan and Noah Quinlan [two] raising green flags.

Kildare are waiting there thanks to an impressive 1-18 to 1-12 win over Meath.

The Lilywhites were too strong at Páirc Tailteann and they laid the foundations early on by scoring the first eight points of the day.

They led 1-11 to 0-04 at the break and while the Royals were better in the second half, they were never really in contention with their goal coming late on.

It was a good day all round for Westmeath hurling as they defeated Carlow to progress to the second round.

With the seniors securing Division One hurling for 2023 following a brilliant performance against Down, there were signs at Netwatch Cullen Park that the future is bright as well following a 2-18 to 1-13 win.

Andrew Dermody’s side started slowly and were two points down after 10 minutes, but by the break they had raced into a 2-08 to 0-07 lead.

A late Carlow goal from the impressive Fiach O’Toole mattered little as Westmeath progressed to the next round. They will now face Wexford next weekend.