Galway take full advantage of fair wind to trounce Laois

By John Fogarty

Galway 3-28 Laois 1-14

It was groundhog day in Tullamore as for the second time in 14 days, Galway took advantage of a first-half wind to finish off their opponents by half-time.

They might be concerned they haven't been tested, but there can be no doubt they are in fine scoring form going into the July 5 Leinster final where they will play Kilkenny or Wexford.

In front of an 8,802 O'Connor Park crowd, Laois were actually on level terms up until the 17th minute when Galway broke free of their shackles and proceeded to rattle off a criminally handsome 1-16 in the remaining 21 minutes of the half.

Much should be made of their wind assistance - and true enough Johnny Coen's long delivery which found the net wouldn't have been scored without - but, much like they were against Dublin, Galway were far hungrier and sharper.

Laois were all about containment but the banks were burst by the 26th minute when Padraig Mannion, scoring the first of two points, became the third member of the Galway full-back line to score. That made it 1-8 to 0-2 in the Tribemen's favour and they were profiting from a Laois side that looked frigid in possession.

Eoin Reilly made a marvellous save from Cyril Donnellan in the 27th minute but Joe Canning pointed the resultant 65, one of nine points he struck over in the first half. Canning operated at half-forward as Anthony Cunningham chose to deviate from the attacking formation he operated against Dublin.

Galway were 18 points up on Dublin by the 19th minute in the quarter-final and here they hit the same mark in the first minute of injury-time through Niall Healy. Canning then added his fifth free and they led 1-18 to 0-2 at the interval.

Stephen Maher goaled for Laois in the 45th minute but Galway continued to keep the scoreboard ticking over and four minutes later Canning fashioned a goal having caught an angled long ball in from his Portumna team-mate Andy Smith.

Davy Glennon palmed a goal in the 58th minute. Glennon was clearly fouled as he made his way towards the goal but iused his hand to push the ball to the net having lost his hurley. After consulting with his umpire, Fergal Horgan deemed it was legitimate.

Scorers for Galway: J Canning (1-15, 9 frees, 2 65s); D Glennon (1-2); J Coen (1-0); David Burke, P Mannion, N Healy, A Smith (0-2 each); J Hanbury, C Mannion, P Brehony (0-1 each).

Scorers for Laois: Z Keenan (0-5, 3 frees, 2 65s); S Maher (1-1); P Purcell (0-3); P Whelan (0-2); T Fitzgerald, C Dwyer, J Campion (0-1 each).

Subs for Galway: D Glennon for N Healy (40); J Cooney for C Donnellan (48); P Brehony for A Harte (52); G McInerney for D Collins (56); C Moore for C Mannion (61);

Subs for Laois: P Whelan for JA Delaney (47); N Foyle for J Campion (55); B Conroy for T Fitzgerald (64);

GALWAY: C Callanan; P Mannion, J Hanbury, J Coen; Daithí Burke, I Tannian, D Collins; A Smith, A Harte; C Mannion, C Donnellan, J Canning, David Burke, J Glynn, N Healy.

LAOIS: E Reilly; B Stapleton, T Delaney, C Healy; M Whelan, J Fitzpatrick, JA Delaney; P Purcell, D Palmer; W Hyland, T Fitzgerald, J Campion; C Dwyer, Z Keenan, S Maher.

Referee: F Horgan (Tipperary)

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