CORK 4-20 LAOIS 1-15
By John Fallon at Semple Stadium
Cork put their Munster final defeat behind them to qualify for the All-Ireland Quarter-Final series with an impressive win at Semple Stadium in Thurles.
Brian Hurley and Mark Collins did most of the damage as Cork took control before the break and then wrapped up the win in the third quarter.
The sides were level on four occasions in the opening half but Cork pulled away before the break to lead by 0-12 to 0-7.
Collins and Hurley posed a big threat up front for Cork and they kicked 0-9 between them in the opening half.
Collins landed six, three of them from play and Hurley posted three in addition to being a good target man for ball from out the field.
Donie Kingston was dominant in attack for Laois and kicked five points in the opening half, four of them from frees.
Cork finished the half impressively with Ronan O’Toole, Hurley, Ruairi Deane and Collins hitting the target as they went in leading by five at the interval.
Cork brought in Paul Kerrigan at the break and he made an immediate contribution, with his long delivery being knocked back inside by Collins for Hurley to sidefoot the ball to the.
Liam O’Donovan followed up with a fisted point for Cork to lead by 1-13 to 0-7 and leaving Laois with a mountain to climb.
That task became ever more difficult when Hurley blasted home his second goal after 42 minutes.
Hurley then turned provider to set up Collins for Cork’s third goal after 52 minutes to push them 3-17 to 0-9 in front.
Laois never gave up and Martin Scully found the net going into the final quarter to reduce the deficit but Cork hit back with a goal from Paul Kerrigan to seal an impressive win.
Scorers for Cork: Mark Collins 1-8 (0-4f), Brian Hurley 2-4, Paul Kerrigan 1-1, Ruairi Deane 0-2, Stephen Sherlock 0-2 (1 ’45), Ronan O’Toole 0-1, Kevin O’Driscoll 0-1, Liam O’Donovan 0-1,
Scores for Laois: Donie Kingston 0-9 (6f), Martin Scully 1-0, Trevor Collins 0-1, Colm Murphy 0-1, Eoin Lowry 0-1, Paul Kingston 0-1, Mark Barry 0-1, Evan O’Carroll 0-1.
CORK: Mark White: Kevin Flahive, James Loughrey, Kevin O’Donovan; Liam O’Donovan, Thomas Clancy, Mattie Taylor; Ian Maguire, Killian O’Hanlon; Kevin O’Driscoll, Seán White, Rúairí Deane; Luke Connolly, Brian Hurley, Mark Collins. Substitutes: Ronan O’Toole for O’Hanlon (19), Paul Kerrigan for Connolly (half-time), Tomas Clancy for Thomas Clancy (45), Michael Hurley for Brian Hurley (53), Stephen Cronin for White (62), Stephen Sherlock for Deane (70).
LAOIS: Graham Brody; Gareth Dillon, Denis Booth, Stephen Attride; Trevor Collins, Robert Pigott, Patrick O’Sullivan; John O’Loughlin, Kieran Lillis; Daniel O’Reilly, Paul Kingston, Martin Scully; Eoin Lowry, Colm Murphy, Donie Kingston. Substitutes: Colm Begley for O’Sullivan (half-time), Evan O’Carroll for P Kingston (45), Sean Byrne for O’Reilly (46), Mark Barry for Murphy (46), David Seale for Booth (55), Sean O’Flynn for Dillon (64).