Leinster SHC: Purcell the star of the show as Laois lower Meath's colours

May 01, 2017

Meath's Steven Clynch and Sean Quigley with Lee Cleere Laois during the leinster SHC clash at Pairc Tailteann

Laois made it two wins from two in the round robin series of the Leinster SHC with an emphatic win over Meath at Pairc Tailteann on Sunday

Laois ....... 3-25
Meath ....... 2-13

With team captain Ross King and his midfielder partner Patrick Purcell driving them forward from midfield, Laois took full advantage of the breeze blowing from the town goal to lay the foundations for success in the opening-half.

By the end Purcell had 3-6 from play and King 0-11, that included seven scores from placed balls.

However, it was only in the second-quarter that Eamonn Kelly's men laid the foundations for this win that keeps them on course for the business end of the provincial championship.

During that time Laois outscored Meath by 3-8 to 0-2 with the goals coming in the 21st, 27th and 32nd minutes. The visitors led by 3-13 to 0-7 at the interval.

King (free) added to his tally 45 seconds into the second-half. Neil Heffernan's 39th minute goal softened the scoreline from Meath's perspective.

Laois might have got in for a fourth goal but Meath 'keeper Shane McGann saved well from Paddy Whelan in the 42nd minute.

Just after the mid-point of the second-half, Joey Keena got Meath's second goal with assistance from Cormac Reilly, James Kelly and Kevin Keena.

That left 11 points between the side, 3-18 to 2-10. Meath's next score was a great point from wing-back Keith Keoghan. Coming up to the hour mark the Killyon man picked up his second yellow card and departed early.

In the 70th minute, Laois 'keeper Enda Rowland did well to save a penalty from his opposite number Shane McGann.

Meath wing-back Shane Brennan closed the scoring. Now the Royals turn their attention to the trip to Westmeath in two weeks time with qualification for the business end and demotion to the second championship tier both possible.

On the same day Kerry entertain Laois, in a repeat of the pulstating NHL Div 1B relegation play-off , which the O'Moore County won.

Wind-assisted Laois fell two points behind within two minutes of the off with Sean Quigley and Steven Clynch registering for Meath.

Laois soon settled and the scores were tied three times in the opening 19 minutes. The visitors kicked-on in the second-quarter. By the 27th minute Laois were 2-10 to 0-6 ahead after Purcell struck his second goal of the half.

A Steven Clynch free offered temporary respite for Meath, but Purcell's third goal made it 3-10 to 0-7 after 32 minutes. Three different players (Ross King (free), Sean Downey, Purcell) tagged on points for Laois  who led by 3-13 to 0-7 at the break.

Laois - Enda Rowland; Cahir Healy, Leigh Bergin, Dwayne Palmer; Ciaran Collier, Charles Dwyer, Lee Cleere; Ross King (C) (0-11, 6fs, 1 65), Patrick Purcell (3-6); Sean Downey (0-1), Matthew Whelan, Neil Foyle (0-2); Willie Dunphy (0-1), Stephen Maher, Paddy Whelan. Subs - Ben Conroy (0-1) for Healy (13), Aaron Dunphy (0-1) for Whelan (48), Aidan Corby (0-2) for Foyle (60), Eric Killeen for Dwyer (63), Stephen Bergin for Maher (67).

Meath - Shane McGann; Shane Whitty, Sean Geraghty, Cormac Reilly; Shane Brennan (0-1), Daragh Kelly, Keith Keoghan (0-1); Anthony Forde, Joey Keena (1-1); Sean Quigley (0-1), Steven Clynch (0-6, 4fs, 1 65), James Kelly; Gavin McGowan, Mark O'Sullivan (0-1), Adam Gannon (0-1). Subs - Neil Heffernan (1-1) for Quigley (ht), Kevin Keena for McGowan (ht), Cathal McCabe for Kelly (59), Peter Farrell for Clynch (61), David Reilly for O'Sullivan (65).

Referee - John Keenan (Wicklow)

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