Armagh's hopes of finishing their Littlewoods Ireland National Camogie League Division Two campaign on an encouraging note were dashed even before the half-time whistle had sounded at Granemore yesterday.
By that stage, ace Laois finisher Niamh Dollard had helped herself to 2-2 in thrusting her side into an unassailable position against an orchard county side that encountered difficulty throughout in scoring from play.
They made a sluggish start to the game, never really managed to get into their stride and might well have suffered an even heavier defeat but for some Laois profligacy. Even though there was nothing at stake in the contest, Armagh had been hopeful of deriving an infusion of fresh spirit before the championship season but it was not to be.
Instead, Laois, with Lizzy Ryan and Rosemarie Bermingham providing capable support for the outstanding Dollard, cantered through the second half.
It was left to Ciara Donnelly to try and resurrect a modicum of pride for the home side but even this normally productive forward was essentially restricted to scoring from frees. Grainne Kelly contributed a couple of points for the losers on a day when their resistance was feeble to say the least.
But there was certainly nothing feeble about Down's spirit when they triumphed against Meath in the All-Ireland Minor B Championship Group One.
The Mourne county may have suffered disappointments recently at different levels but the commitment and effort of the team in Saturday's clash with the royal county offered hope for the summer. Down never looked in any real danger and closed the game out efficiently.
In the Littlewoods Ireland Division Three final, Kerry beat Roscommon by 2-8 to 0-4.