Laois 2-24 Antrim 1-19
Laois remain unbeaten in the Joe McDonagh for 2019 and look destined to reach the final after another good performance beating Antrim by 8 points at Portlaoise, 2-24 to 1-19 in an entertaining contest.
Enda Rowland was the hero for Laois as he made several top-class saves for Eddie Brennan’s charges. He would also save a first-half penalty. Laois had the wind in the opening half and they took massive advantage of it taking in a 10 point lead the break. Paddy Purcell got the first Laois goal inside the opening 10 minutes. Enda Rowland the creator with a long puck out which was caught by Purcell who burst through to finish to the net. Mark Kavanagh, Charles Dwyer and Jack Kelly posted white flags as Laois were in control. Ryan McCambridge and McManus hit points but Willie Dunphy grabbed a second goal not long after Antrim stalwart Neill McManus had his penalty saved by Rowland. 2-13 to 0-09 at the break.
Aaron Dunphy and another Rowland free extended the home sides lead. McCambridge responded for the Saffrons but the lead was out to 12 points when Mark Kavanagh knocked over a free. Ryan McCambridge who had a superb game for Antrim pointed yet again, along with a Ciaran Clarke effort. McManus and Molloy also tagged on points for the visitors. The score with 55 minutes played was 2-19 to 0-15 Laois still in control. Charles Dwyer and Stephen Bergin pointed, however, Antrim did get a deserved goal after 60 minutes with a 21 yard free from Neill McManus. Ryan McCambridge was shown a second yellow card on 65 minutes and that all but ended any chance of an Antrim comeback. Laois now go on to play Kerry in three weeks time.
Laois: Enda Rowland (0-03); Donnacha Hartnett, Matthew Whelan (0-01), Joe Phelan; Padraig Delaney, Ryan Mullaney, Lee Cleere; John Lennon (0-01), Jack Kelly (0-02); Cha Dwyer (0-05), Willie Dunphy (1-00), Paddy Purcell (1-00); Mark Kavanagh (0-07); Eanna Lyons, Ross King (0-01).
Subs: Aaron Dunphy (0-02) for Lyons (26), Conor Phelan (0-01) for Lennon (45), Stephen Bergin (0-01) for Delaney (48), Eoin Gaughan for King (58), Eric Killeen for Cleere (63)
Antrim:Ryan Elliott; Stephen Rooney, John Dillon, Phelim Duffin; Paddy Burke (0-01), Conor Boyd, Matthew Donnelly; Neil McManus, (1-03) Nicky McKeague; James McNaughton (0-03) , Ryan McCambridge (0-04), Keelan Molloy (0-03); Ciaran Clarke (0-02) , Conor McCann, Eoin O’Neill (0-02).
Subs: David Kearney (0-01) for Donnelly and Nigel Elliott for McKeague (both ht)
Referee: Patrick Murphy (Carlow)