Celtic Challenge Rd 3
By Pat Delaney
THE score line tells its own story, but for the opening half Laois did match their opponents all over the field. A well taken goal by the Harps full forward Jim O’Connor before the break should have given Laois a boost.
Earlier on Wexford, who are the unbeaten team in this group, had managed two well taken goals and their forwards were very sharp picking off some great points from all angles.
Last time out Laois faded away against Dublin Clarke and on the same evening in the Centre of Excellence Offaly were providing the opposition for the Slaneysiders but the Midlanders had no answer.
The venue on last Wednesday was Bunclody and the home team began with a succession of early points before Cillian Dunne and Daniel Bowe brought the visitors into contention. Further points by Josh O’Brien-Holmes and Darragh McSpadden narrowed the gap and that before the hosts shot a brace of goals. Laois then struck for a goal that gave the scoreboard a more respectable appearance, Wexford 2-10 Laois 1-8.
Wexford were making sure Laois would not hamper their progress to the knock out stages and within three minutes they had added a goal and a point. Just as Laois tried to steady the ship they were hit with a fourth goal and immediately Wexford added another brace of points and by the end of the third quarter this game was well and truly over.
Laois made a few changes but it mattered little but credit the Harps full forward Jim O’Connor when he got inside the Wexford defence to shoot his second goal.
After that points by Cillian Dunne and Jack Foyle brought the sides closer but a fifth Wexford goal made the home team secure and they could afford to empty their bench and ran out comfortable winners.
Wexford look favourites to win this group while Laois now travel to Abbotstown Dublin taking on Dublin Plunkett’s hoping to keep their hopes alive.
LAOIS: Ben Campion (Rathdowney/Errill); Lochlin Conway (Clough/Ballacolla), Mick O’Brien (Mountrath), Rian Edwards (Harps); Philip Tynan (Borris/Kilcotton), Aodh Bowes (Rosenallis), Padraig Brennan (Clough/Ballacolla); Joe Corby, Daniel Bowe (0-2 Rathdowney/Errill); Darragh McSpadden (0-1), Jack Foyle, Josh O’Brien-Holmes (0-2 Mountrath): Sam Quinn (Abbeyleix), Jim O’Connor (2-0 Harps), Cillian Dunne (0-5 Clough/Ballacolla).