GAA: Laois set up Wexford quarter-final

laois leinster senior hurling championship wexford quarter final draw
14 May 2017; Patrick Purcell of Laois in action against Jack Goulding of Kerry during the Leinster GAA Hurling Senior Championship Qualifier Group Round 3 game between Kerry and Laois at Austin Stack Park in Tralee, Co Kerry. Photo by Ray McManus/Sportsfile

Laois face Wexford in Leinster SHC Quarter-Finals

By Damian Dolan

Laois overcame Kerry by 2-21 to 3-15 to set up a Leinster Senior Hurling Championship Quarter-Final clash with Davy Fitzgerald’s Wexford.

Kerry kept the game alive until the last puck of the ball, but ultimately the difference proved to be the expertise of Laois’ Ross King from placed balls and the sending off of Kerry defender Sean Weir in the 46th minute.

“We came down here in February in the league and got turned over. We felt the players owed it to themselves to go out and perform and they did it the hard way this time,” said Laois manager Eamon Kelly.

“We probably had a patchy enough first half considering we gave two goals away before half-time, but they stuck to their task well and those early second- half scores were key.”

Despite missing out on what would have been their first-ever quarter-final appearance, Kerry did at least have the consolation of retaining their Leinster SHC status by virtue of scoring difference with Meath, whose defeat to Westmeath condemned them Christy Ring hurling in 2018.

Maroon machine

Westmeath’s 1-18 to 0-19 victory over Meath at TEG Cusack Park, Mullingar, saw them advance to a quarter-final meeting with Offaly, and in doing so ensured Meath’s departure from the Leinster SHC.

Meath only had themselves to blame, however, as they failed to take advantage of an extra man and the wind in the second half, and eventually fell just two points short.

Michael Ryan’s Westmeath side overcame a straight red card to Derek McNicholas, brandished following an altercation with Shane Brennan just before the break. But Meath couldn’t capitalise and Killian Doyle produced the killer blow in the 51st minute with a low strike inside the near post. That inspired the men in maroon to go on and secure victory.

Two late frees from Seán Quigley brought Meath to within just two, but it wasn’t enough to save their Leinster Championship status.

Westmeath boss Ryan said: “Every time they scored, our response was very good. We played a good brand of hurling and worked the ball into the corners in the second half.”

Dublin and Galway also collide at the Quarter-Final stage at O’Connor Park, Tullamore, on
Sunday May 28. Kilkenny receive a Bye and will await the winners of Laois and Wexford in the semi-finals.

Westmeath v Offaly
Laois v Wexford
Dublin v Galway

Winners of Laois/Wexford v Kilkenny
Winners of Dublin/Galway v Winners of Westmeath/Offaly

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