| 11.3°C Dublin

Mortimer goes his own way

MAYO'S all-time leading scorer Conor Mortimer has decided to quit the county set-up and looks primed to sit the rest of the summer out.

A statement from the county board insisted that Mortimer had left "for personal reasons" but the player is understood to be upset at being left out of the Mayo team for Sunday's Connacht final with Sligo, the second Championship match in succession in which he has not been selected to start.

Manager James Horan backed the statement, stressing "Conor has left the Mayo panel for personal reasons. He is a fantastic footballer and the door is always open to footballers who are playing club football at the required standard and that has always been the case."

Mortimer, 30, joined Dublin club Parnell's last year but was a notable absentee back in early June when Templeogue Synge St defeat the Coolock side in the Dublin SFC.

Horan had drafted him straight back into his panel after completing a gruelling recovery from a cruciate ligament injury which ruined his 2011. This year, he became Mayo's top scorer in League and Championship history, surpassing Joe Corcoran's long-standing record when he scored eight points against Dublin in Castlebar.

FACED with not winning one of the major provincial hurling titles for the first time since 1989, the Kilkenny under-21s preserved the county's record by blitzing unfancied Laois in O'Moore Park to wrap up their respective Leinster crown.

Laois, conquerors of Dublin and Carlow, were hit hard and early by the full force of the Cats and eventually, went down by 4-24 to 1-14. By the fourth minute, they were already 1-4 to 0-0 behind, the goal coming from Ger Aylward. John Power struck in their second goal in the 11th minute and by the time he scored again 11 minutes later, Kilkenny were cruising.

By half-time they led 3-14 to 0-6 and any hope of an upset was gone.