The Laois full-back line won’t forget Brian Hurley and Mark Collins in a hurry. Just when they thought dealing with Dublin and less so Meath was problematic enough, up popped the Castlehaven pair to make it the worst nightmare possible.
None of them could handle either of the deadly duo who shared three of the four goals and made important assists as well. Both tormented the defence with a string of points to keep the scoreboard ticking along in the right direction from a Cork perspective.
Once Cork came to terms with what Laois had to offer and, to be fair, it was considerable enough for half-an-hour (0-8 to 0-7), there was only one team in it.
The power and surging runs of captain Ian Maguire had the desired effect on his colleagues who ground out the Laois challenge slowly, but surely, as the Rebels maintained a high tempo and made excellent use of possession, another encouraging sign on the team’s undoubted progress.
Laois reckoned they had some measure of momentum coming into the last round of the qualifiers, particularly after coping with a tricky test up in Derry, but once Cork found their groove, confidence swept throughout the team.
Beaten provincial finalists, yes, but Cork carried the same hunger and drive into Semple Stadium as Laois found to their cost and compiling 4-20, and all bar 0-4 from play, was just further evidence of the growing confidence.