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Friday 9 December 2016

Laois look sharp in beating Blues

OLGA Parkinson is related to Colm Parkinson. This Laois team could well find themselves on Newstalk before the end of the year.

They arrived in O'Toole Park last Saturday afternoon with a high reputation. They left on cloud nine.

It was their opening game in the All-Ireland Junior Premier Championship. They beat Dublin, 3-18 to 1-11.

They are a compact, well-drilled side. They were well able to spread the play. They used every room in the house.

PRESSURE

Their defence is solid. Even under pressure, they were able to take that extra second and move the sliotar into the side-aisles.

In attack, they have a duo that any team would savour - Laura Marie Maher and Louise Mahony. Between them, they hit a trolley full of scores.

Mahony's free-taking was top-class, while Maher's darting speed in along the right was opening doors and windows in the Kimmage Manor.

Maher scored a peach of a point following the break. Her first touch did all the hard work.

Dublin didn't lack gumption. They played with spirit right till the end.

This was always going to be their hardest match in the group.

It will serve them well for next week's home assignment against Roscommon.

And with 15 minutes left, Laois only led by four points. It was in the last chapter, on a sunny Crumlin afternoon, that they compiled a waterfall of scores.

Both counties had seven wides. The contest was level four times in the first half.

Yet four unanswered points gave the visitors their interval advantage of 0-9 to 0-5.

They were entitled to feel content at this stage. They had played against the breeze that blew into the road-end goal.

The hosts had started brightly. They struck two quick points from full-forward, Carolanne Canning and half-forward, Elaine Gallery.

Gallery was Dublin's top scorer with six points, five frees.

Canning would have got an early second half goal only for Laura Dunne to deflect her rasper over the bar.

But, 15 minutes into the half, Dublin did manage to shake the cobwebs. And a smashing goal it was too.

From wide on the right and almost on the end-line, Lynn Devoy arrowed over a cross.

And there on the back stick was Megan O'Reilly.

That left the Dubs trailing by four points, but two minutes later, Maher produced a Laois goal from an Amy Loughman pass.

Then on 56 minutes, Mahony's pass to Loughman set up their second goal. And a minute later, Laois had their third goal when Maher found Niamh Dollard.

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