Leinster MHC: Laois romp past Meath

May 04, 2013
Laois 3-16
Meath 1-5

Laois bagged a second half hat-trick as they comfortably disposed of the Royals by 17-points in this Electric Ireland Leinster Minor Hurling Championship tie at O'Moore Park, Portlaoise this afternoon.

Goals from Conor Ryan, Stephen Bergin and substitute John Lennon came during a second half dominated by Pat Critchley's charges as Meath bowed out of the competition.

The hosts showed two changes in personnel from the team which lost to Kilkenny in their opening game, with Castletown-Slieve Bloom's Evan Cuddy and Clough/Ballacolla's Stephen Bergin both handed starting berths.

Cuddy featuring as a substitute in that 17-point loss to the Cats.

Both of the visitors changes to their side, from the team which claimed a four-point win over Westmeath last weekend came in defence, with Luke Martin replacing Charlie Bird at full-back and Conor Sheerin in for Gareth Rooney.

Despite the one-sided nature of the final score-line it wasn't all one-way traffic in this game with the sides well matched in the opening quarter.

Meath settled quickest with Jack Regan slotting over the first of his four first-half points in the third minute.

Laois equalised through Joe Campion, but Kiltale clubman Regan put Meath back ahead after five minutes.

The hosts responded with a trio of unanswered points with Mark Kavanagh, Ryan and Stephen Bergin on target to take a 0-4 to 0-2 lead after nine minutes.

Meath weren't without their scoring chances, but were wasteful in front of the posts with a trio of wides inside a two-minute spell.

Regan, Seán Quigley and Jack Fagan worked hard upfront, while Martin Healy made an excellent block at the back, but the scores weren't forthcoming.

Laois moved three points clear at the end of the opening quarter with a Leigh Bergin score, but 45 seconds later the ball was in the back of the O'Moore's net for the first time.

Doyle combined with Fagan, as the latter slotted past Laois goalkeeper Enda Rowland to ensure a 1-2 to 0-5 score-line in the 16th minute.

But this was as close as Meath got to their opponents, as Laois tagged on six points to Meath's one to ensure a 0-11 to 1-3 interval score-line.

The Royals with six wides before the interval, while Regan was denied of a second goal for the visitors in the 22nd minute, after his 21-metre free was blocked between Laois defenders Ryan Mullaney and Evan Cuddy on the O'Moore's goal-line.

Laois exerted firm control on the restart, with Meath handed little in terms of scoring opportunities.

Points from Colm Stapleton and Aidan Corby opened up a seven-point lead, before Ryan bagged Laois's first goal in the 36th minute.

Laois could even afford four early wides, before Stephen Bergin bagged their second goal in the 41st minute to ensure a 2-13 to 1-3 advantage.

Meath's first attack of the half came in the 42nd minute, when Quigley's goal-bound shot was blocked by Rowland.

The St Lazerian's clubman was solid between the posts in the second half, and came out high to deny Regan of a score 13 minutes from the end.

Fagan kept Meath in touch with a 47th minute point, but substitute Lennon bagged Laois's third goal soon-after, following good work by Darragh Cripps.

Points from Lennon and Gavin Dunne opened up a 17-point lead with five minutes remaining.

Laois played the closing five minutes with 14 men, after using their full quota of subs and being unable to replace midfielder Leigh Bergin who had to exit the field through injury in the 55th minute.

This mattered little through with Regan and Cripps trading points in the closing stages, with Laois unlucky not to claim a fourth goal when Joe Campion was denied by the crossbar in the 58th minute.

For Laois, they now face a date with Offaly, while Meath's attentions now turn to the All-Ireland B Championship

Scorers for Laois: Stephen Bergin 1-3; Conor Ryan, John Lennon 1-1 each; Aidan Corby 0-3; Mark Kavanagh (1f), Leigh Bergin 0-2 each; Colm Stapleton, Joe Campion, Gavin Dunne, Darragh Cripps (1f) 0-1 each.

Scorers for Meath: Jack Regan (3f) 0-4; Jack Fagan 1-1.

LAOIS: Enda Rowland; Ronan Broderick, Ryan Mullaney, Evan Cuddy; Dwayne Palmer, Ciarán McEvoy, Liam O'Connell; Leigh Bergin, Colm Stapleton; Conor Ryan, Joe Campion, Aidan Corby; Stephen Bergin, Ciarán Collier, Mark Kavanagh. Subs: John Lennon for Collier (42); Darragh Cripps for Kavanagh (42); Conor Phelan for O'Connell (44); Ronan Delahunty for Ryan (48); Gavin Dunne for Palmer (51).

MEATH: Adam Shelley; Martin Healy, Luke Martin, Conor Sheerin; Luke Swayne, Luke Ricard, David Reilly; Stefan Kelly, Ryan Raleigh; Sean Quigley, Jack Regan, Josh Wall; Sean Doyle, Mark Healy, Jack Fagan. Subs: Kevin McKeown for R Raleigh (HT); Jack Payne for Martin (44); Gareth Rooney for Martin Healy (44); Patrick Leahy for Mark Healy (47); Connell Stafford for Kelly (49).

REFEREE: Maurice Flynn (Kilkenny)

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