Laois put the final nail in Antrim’s bid for promotion when they defeated the Saffrons by four points in Portlaoise on Saturday afternoon.
Although Neil McManus was the start player on show, hitting 13 points for the visitors, it was not enough to keep his side in the promotion race. Willie Hyland contributed 8 points to the winners tally, as the home side kept their hopes of making the top tier in 2012 alive for another week.
Scorers – Laois: W Hyland 0-8 (7f), C Murray 0-4, B Dunne, N Foyle (1f) 0-2, M Whelan (’65′), J Walsh, S Burke, J Brophy 0-1 each. Antrim: N McManus 0-13 (10f, 1 ’65′, K Stewart, S McCrory, D Hamill 0-1 each.
Laois: P Mullaney; JA Delaney, B Campion, B Stapleton; J Fitzpatrick, M Whela, B Galvin; J Walsh, S Burke; B Dunne, W Hyland, C Murray; J Purcell, T Fitzgerald, J Brophy. Subs: O Holohan N Foyle for Purcell HT, for T Fitzgerald 50, E Costello for Hyland 60.
Antrim: C O’Connell; N McAuley, C Donnelly, A Graffin; K McKeague, M Herron, J Campbell; K Stewart, C McFall; S McCrory, E McCloskey, N McManus; D Hamill, C Carson, L Kearns. Subs: S McNaughton for Kearns 50, K Molloy for McKeague 55, T McCann for McCrory 67
Referee – C Lyons (Cork).