Laois took a huge step towards reaching the Joe McDonagh cup final yesterday when they outlasted Offaly in Tullamore, racking up 34 points despite shooting 17 wides over the course of the game.
A goal from Oisín Kelly helped Offaly go into the dressing room level at half time, 1-10 to 0-13, but Laois were utterly in control in the middle third, causing chaos on the Offaly puckout.
Goals from Cha Dwyer and Paddy Purcell opened up a gap after half time, but Offaly found a run of form and hit the front through goals from Kelly and Conor Mahon.
Their defensive weakness continued to haunt them however and Laois soon drew level, with Ross King playing a starring role.
A goal from Stephen Bergin proved decisive, as was a late save from Enda Rowland to deny Joe Bergin.
Scorers for Laois: M Kavanagh 0-11 (0-8f, 0-1 sideline), C Dwyer 1-3, E Lyons and P Purcell 1-1 each, R King 0-4, S Bergin 1-0, W Dunphy & C Phelan 0-1 each.
Scorers for Offaly: J Bergin 0-11 (0-7f), O Kelly 2-3, C Mahon 1-1, D O’Toole Greene, C Gath, N Houlihan, C Egan, K Dunne, C Longton 0-1 each.
Laois: E Rowland; D Hartnett, J Phelan, M Whelan; P Delaney, R Mullaney, L Cleere; J Lennon, J Kelly; C Dwyer, W Dunphy, P Purcell; M Kavanagh, E Lyons, R King.
Subs used: C Phelan for Lennon (48), N Foyle for Lyons (58), A Dunphy for Kelly (63), S Bergin for Dunphy (66), E Killeen for J Phelan (70+8).
Offaly: E Cahill; P Rigney, B Conneely, T Spain; C Gath, P Camon, N Houlihan; D O’Toole Greene, K Dunne; C Kiely, S Dooley, C Egan; C Mahon, J Bergin, O Kelly.
Subs used: C Langton for Kiely (58), J Gorman for Dooley (66), D Shortt for O’Toole Greene (69)
Referee: Colum Cunning (Antrim)