By Denis J. Croke
It didn’t look good for Laois from the off. From the throw-in Colm Begley fell to the ground. While he was being treated Laois had two great opportunities to score, the first Kieran Lillis fisted wide from close range and seconds later Evan O’Carroll’s shot hit the upright.
From the rebound Cork went on the counter attack as Begley walked off the pitch. Cork took full use of the advantage of Laois being short a man in defence as Luke Connolly rampaged forward passed to Sean White who calmly finished under Niall Corbet for a goal.
With both sides landing four points, Donie Kingston (free), Brian Byrne (2) and Danny O’Reilly on target for Laois, the goal was still the difference at the water-break.
Another Donie Kingston free narrowed the gap but Cork wasted no time in putting five between the sides when Ruairi Deane slotted home Cork’s second goal.
From there to half time the teams equally shared six points leaving Cork ahead 2-7 to 0-7 at the break, but Cork were looking the far sharper.
Niall Corbet got the second half scoring up and running when he converted a 45 and added a second but in the mean time Cork had added two points.
Danny O’Reilly pointed for Laois in the 51st minute and we would go almost ten minutes before the next score which came from Cork, a Mark Collins free while another free from the same player were Cork’s only scores from placed balls.
A late Shane Forde point left Cork deserving 2-12 to 0-10 winners
Cork: Sean White and Ruairi Deane 1-0 each, Ian Maguire, John O’Rourke, Ciaran Sheehan and Mark Collins (fs) 0-2 each, Mattie Taylor, Kevin O’Driscoll, Luke Connolly and Shane Forde 0-1 each
Laois: Donie Kingston (0-3fs), Niall Corbet (45s), Danny O’Reilly and Brian Byrne 0-2 each, Kieran Lillis 0-1
CORK: Micheál Martin; Sean Powter, Daniel O’Mahony, Kevin Flahive; Keith O’Donovan, Sean Meehan, Mattie Taylor; Ian Maguire, Paul Walsh; Sean White, Ruairi Deane, Kevin O’Driscoll; John O’Rourke, Ciaran Sheehan, Luke Connolly.
Subs: Damien ore for Connolly (49m), Mark Collins for White (51m), Colm O’Callaghan for Sheehan (51m), Tadhg Corkery for Taylor (57m), Cian Kiely for O’Donovan (58m), Shane Forde for Powter (63m), Dan Dineen for O’Rourke (63m)
LAOIS: Niall Corbett; Robert Pigott, Mark Timmons, Gareth Dillon; Trevor Collins, Colm Begley, Patrick O’Sullivan; Kieran Lillis, John O’Loughlin; Daniel O’Reilly, Eoin Lowry, Brian Byrne; Paul Kingston, Donie Kingston, Evan O’Carroll.
Subs: Alan Farrell for Begley (2m, inj), Mark Barry for O’Carroll (49m), Gary Walsh for D. Kingston (50m), Eoin Buggie for O’Sullivan (59m), Michael Keogh for Lowry (59m), Sean O’Flynn for Byrne (66m), Brendan Carroll for P. Kingston (66m)
Full report, interview and comment in Tuesday’s Laois Nationalist