Westmeath 1-10 after extra time (Laois win 4-3 on penalties)
There was plenty of excitement as extra time couldn’t separate Laois and Westmeath before the visitors missed two penalties that would have won them the game and paid the price.
This delayed quarter-final in Portlaoise started at a quick pace with the visitors soon a point to the good before Laois full forward Darragh Galvin hit three points on the trot to give his side a 0-4 to 0-2 lead with a quarter of the game played.
Jack Owens extended Laois’ lead before Jason Nugent grabbed a much needed score for the Lake County. The tit for tat nature of the scoring continued with Owens extending the advantage.
A good Eoghan Bracken score helped Westmeath narrow the gap to a single point at the break - 0-6 to 0-5.
Playing with the wind advantage in the second half Westmeath found it hard to get scores early on as Laois defended strongly. Jason Nugent finally brought the sides level before on 45 minutes came a the game’s crucial first goal. Kieran Colclough’s long range effort ended in the Laois net and suddenly Westmeath were 1-6 to 0-6 ahead.
The home side shouted on by a strong support dug deep and hit three points to level the game, with Jack Lacey’s score crucial. Westmeath went back ahead with minutes remaining but in added time a Matthew Byron kicked a free to level it for Laois and sent the game to extra time.
With the baltic conditions, both sides managed only a point a piece in each half of extra time with Sam Maxwell’s late leveller earning Westmeath a 1-10 to 0-13 draw and sending the game to penalties.
Westmeath scored their first three penalties and when Laois missed their second from four, Westmeath had two chances to win but saw their last two penalties missed before Laois won in sudden death 4-3.
Laois - M Byron (0-1f); M Dowling, A Mohan, N Keane; D Brophy, G Saunders, Jack Lacey (0-1); PJ Daly, B Howlin; R Coffey (0-4, 3f), J Owens (0-2), D Larkin; SM Corcoran, D Galvin (0-1m), Josh Lacey. Subs: M Barry (0-3, 2f, 1m) for Josh Lacey, S O’Neill (0-1) for SM Corcoran, SM Corcoran for B Howlin, R Bolger for D Brophy.
Westmeath - T Martin; C Daly, C Drumm, S McGonagle; E Bracken (0-1), E Mulvihill, D Seery; A Flanagan (0-1), J Tumelty; J Murtagh (0-1), S Allen, S McCartan; S Maxwell (0-1), TJ Cox (0-1f), J Nugent (0-2). Subs: J Lynam (0-1) for J Murtagh, T Ryan (0-2f) for J Tumelty, K Colclough (1-0) for S Allen, J Nagle for S McGonagle, J Torpey for J Nugent, S Fleming for A Flanagan, T Graham for D Seery.
Referee - C Byrne.Tweet