Laois grab late draw against Westmeath as pair set for Croke Park final battle in two weeks
IT FINISHED HONOURS even between Laois and Westmeath this afternoon, the clash in Portlaoise serving as a warm-up to the Joe McDonagh Cup final tie between the counties later this month.
Eoin Gaughan’s late free for Laois saw them peg Westmeath back to clinch a 1-22 apiece draw after Killian Doyle had edged Westmeath in front moments previously.
Laois were already assured of a place in the decider before today’s game with the draw seeing them clinch top spot in the group. Westmeath were already on the brink of qualification for the final and the draw confirmed their advancement.
The teams will now face off on Sunday 30 June in Croke Park at 1.45pm before the Leinster senior hurling final. They will then advance to the All-Ireland championship on the weekend of 6-7 July against the third placed teams from the Leinster and Munster round-robin series.
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Westmeath were in front 1-10 to 0-8 at the interval with Robbie Greville’s goal on 19 minutes a key score. Laois pulled themselves back into contention in the second half with Stephen Maher drawing them level, 1-13 to 0-16 by the 51st minute.
A goal from Mark Dowling gave Laois further impetus but Westmeath hit the front thanks to the accuracy of Doyle until Gaughan secured a share of the spoils.
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