Waterford strolled past Laois with 33 points to spare as they hit seven goals in a stunning attacking display to blow away their opponents at Walsh Park.

Stephen Bennett had a hat-trick, while there was also goals for Ciaran Kirwan, Patrick Curran, Cathrach Daly and Austin Gleeson in a serious show of stature from the Deise men.

Waterford opened the scoring when the returning Tadhg De Burca picked out Ciaran Kirwan and they doubled their lead courtesy of a dead ball from Stephen Bennett. Laois got on the scoresheet courtesy of Willie Dunphy, before the paint of the crossbar denied the Deise the day's opening goal - a rasping drive from Austin Gleeson.

Bennett and Kirwan were on song once again as Liam Cahill’s side didn’t have to wait long to gather the first of their five first-half goals, Cathrach Daly batting past the onrushing Enda Rowland after a great interception by Jack Prendergast.

Stephen Bergin responded for Cheddar Plunkett’s men but it was looking like a tough afternoon when the home side tacked on further scores from Bennett and Gleeson.

Credit to Laois, they stuck at their work and bore fruit from their labour - hitting six unanswered scores to bring it back to a two-point game across a spell of twelve minutes.

Waterford were denied their second goal when Rowland saved well from Kirwan - and points from Stephen Maher (3), Ross King, Enda Rowland and Ryan Mullaney had the midland men right back in the contest - but not for long.

The Deise fans were left shocked when Billy Power fired into the side netting with a great chance of a goal, but it was to matter very little as they fired four home in four minutes to the joy of a vocal Walsh Park crowd.

Tadhg De Búrca of Waterford in action against Podge Delaney of Laois

Jack Prendergast and a brace from Patrick Curran restored a five point advantage for Waterford, before a rocket from Austin Gleeson into the top right corner on 31 minutes had the fans clapping on their feet.

Ross King responded for a shell-shocked Laois, but just seconds later, Curran raised the third green flag of the afternoon as his tame effort trickled over the line despite the best efforts of Sean Downey to stop it in its’ tracks.

It got worse for Laois as the Deise ran at the wide-open defence and smelt blood - Billy Power played provider for Stephen Bennett to drill one into the left hand corner on 35 minutes, before Jack Prendergast set up Ciaran Kirwan for goal number five just seconds later.

Points from Cathrach Daly and Jack Fagan further added to the misery of the visitors as it was suddenly 5-12 to 0-11 at the break.

The second-half got off to the worst possible start for Laois as Ben Conroy received a straight red for his strike on Tom Barron, but they did conjure three points in a row thanks to Ross King and Stephen Maher.

Austin Gleeson struck two, while Patrick Curran, DJ Foran and Bennett were also on target before an Enda Rowland free broke the spell.

Tom Barron and Bennett further accentuated the Deise dominance but points from Aidan Corby and Fiachra Fennell cancelled them out for Laois.

Bennett and Ian Beecher were next to fire over before Bennett was dragged down, Sean Downey black carded as Laois lowered to thirteen, and the Ballysaggart ace made no mistake in plundering the net from the penalty spot.

Mark Fitzgerald hit a fine score on his Deise debut before further scores from Kirwan and Curran. Curran was the next to be brought down illegally in the area, giving Bennett the opportunity to strike his third goal which he duly took.

Further points from the excellent Curran, Ian Beecher, Billy Power, Tom Barron and Bennett added further gloss to the scoreline - a superb display from the Deise, a day to forget for Laois.

Waterford: Billy Nolan; Conor Gleeson, Conor Prunty, Iarlaith Daly; Jack Fagan (0-1), Tadhg de Burca, Tom Barron (0-2); Cathrach Daly (1-1), Jack Prendergast; Patrick Curran (1-7), Austin Gleeson (1-3), DJ Foran (0-1); Stephen Bennett (3-8, 0-6f; 2-0 pen), Ciaran Kirwan (1-4), Michael Kiely

Subs: Billy Power (0-1) for Michael Kiely (21); Darragh Lynch for Tadhg De Burca (49); Mark Fitzgerald (0-1) for Austin Gleeson (51); Ian Beecher (0-1) for Jack Prendergast (54); Darragh Lyons for Conor Prunty (60)

Laois: Enda Rowland (0-02; 0-02f); Diarmuid Conway, Sean Downey, Donnchadh Harnett; Podge Delaney, Liam O'Connell, Ryan Mullaney (0-1); Fiachra Fennell (0-1), Jack Kelly; Stephen Bergin, John Lennon, Ross King (0-4); Ben Conroy, Willie Dunphy (0-1), Stephen Maher (0-08; 0-07f)

Subs: PJ Scully for Willie Dunphy (HT); James Keyes for John Lennon (HT); Conor Phelan for Stephen Bergin (0-1) (HT); Aidan Corby (0-1) for Jack Kelly (44); Padraic Dunne for Podge Delaney (60)

Referee: Paud O'Dwyer (Carlow)