Leinster SFC: O'Moore the merrier as Lake men get that sinking feeling

May 26, 2018

Paul Kingston of Laois fires in one of his three goals despite the attempted block of Westmeath's Alan Stone ©INPHO/Laszlo Geczo

Paul Kingston netted a magical second-half hat-trick as Laois inflicted a heavy 4-13 to 1-12 defeat on neighbours Westmeath at Tullamore.

The result means that John Sugrue's charges will be in Croke Park on June 10th for a provincial semi-final meeting with either Kildare or Carlow, while the losers go into Monday morning's first-round Qualifier draw.

Once they got into their stride, the O'Moore County - clearly benefiting from their run-out against Wexford a fortnight ago - played some excellent football and were clearly the stronger side, reeling off six unanswered scores to carry a commanding 0-10 to 0-6 lead into the break.

John Connellan opened the scoring from a free and Alan Farrell replied before Ger Egan and Luke Loughlin edged Colin Kelly's charges two clear. It was double scores when Kieran Martin cancelled out a Donie Kingston free and Loughlin made it 0-5 to 0-2 as the Lake men made a solid start.

Ross Munnelly (free) and Paul Kingston pulled a couple back but Egan drilled one over as Westmeath held a 0-6 to 0-4 advantage going into the last seven minutes of the opening period.

But Munnelly (two frees), substitute Niall Donoher (2), Colm Begley and Trevor Collins all pointed to assure the Division Four winners of a four-point interval cushion.

Loughlin and Paul Kingston pointed at either end when the action resumed and it was all over bar the shouting when the latter lashed a brilliant goal to the back of the Westmeath net on 45 minutes to make it double scores, 1-11 to 0-7.

When Egan had the audacity to pull one back from a free, Kingston replied with his second goal! But, with John Heslin now on the field, the Lake men rallied with a run of three points followed by a Mark McCallon goal - 2-11 to 1-10 after 56 minutes.

Kingston completed his hat-trick with another sensational goal eleven minutes from the end to banish any thoughts of a comeback; substitute O'Carroll added the fourth major seven minutes from time and Gary Walsh completed the rout deep into injury time as Laois recorded their ninth straight competitive victory.

Laois - G Brody; S Attride, M Timmons, G Dillon; T Collins (0-1), C Begley (0-1), F Crowley; J O'Loughlin, K Lillis; A Farrell (0-1), P Kingston (3-2), D O'Connor; R Munnelly (0-3f), D Kingston (0-1f), B Carroll. Subs: N Donoher (0-2) for A Farrell, E O'Carroll (1-1) for B Carroll, D Strong for D O'Connor, D Conway for R Munnelly, G Walsh (0-1) for D Kingston, D Booth for S Attride.

Westmeath - S Gallagher; M McCallon (1-0), S Duncan, J Gonoud; J Egan, A Stone, N Mulligan; D Corroon, D Daly; K Martin (0-1), C McCormack, G Egan (0-4); L Loughlin (0-3, 2f), R O'Toole (0-1), J Connellan (0-1f). Subs: F Coyne (0-2) for J Connellan (BC), R Wallace for D Daly, A McGivney for J Egan, J Heslin for R O'Toole, B Sayeh for N Mulligan, D Whelan for M McCallon.

Referee - P Hughes.

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