Laois edge win over Offaly in entertaining derby

Laois edge win over Offaly in entertaining derby
Pictures: INPHO/Laszlo Geczo

Laois 0-20 - 0-15 Offaly

Laois edged out neighbours Offaly in a highly entertaining Midlands derby to seal their place in Round 4 of the All-Ireland Qualifiers.

Laois got off to a bright start thanks to a Paul Kingston point after just 17 seconds, but Offaly were quick to draw level thanks to a Niall McNamee free.

Ruairí McNamee and Ross Munnelly (free) traded points to keep the teams deadlocked, and that set the scene for an entertaining and fiercely competitive first half.

Laois opened up a three point lead thanks to two super scores from Donie Kingston and one from Kieran Lillis, but Offaly fought back.

Roared on by a big travelling support, goalkeeper Paddy Dunican came forward to kick a long-range free before making a brilliant point-blank save from Colm Murphy.

Laois edge win over Offaly in entertaining derby

That save lifted the Offaly team and support, and Ruairí McNamee and Bernard Allen soon had them bnack on level terms at 0-5 each.

Again Laois tried to set the pace by pushing ahead, points from Kieran Lillis and Paul Kingston helping them into the lead, but again Offaly came back.

Niall McNamee hit some form at full-forward, and by half time the sides were level again at 0-10 apiece.

Laois were much the better team after the restart, as brothers Paul and Donie Kingston caught fire to help kick them into a 0-18 to 0-12 lead after 57 minutes.

Offaly offered plenty of effort but a more tenacious Laois defence held them to just five points in the second half.

Sub Evan O’Carroll kicked two superb scores for Laois, the last one putting the seal on a well-deserved win.

SCORERS:

Laois: D Kingston 0-6 (3f), P Kingston 0-4, R Munnelly (1f), C Murphy, K Lillis, E O’Carroll 0-2 each, E Lowry, R Pigott 0-1 each.

Offaly: R McNamee 0-4, B Allen, N McNamee (1f), P Dunican (3f) 0-3 each, A Sullivan, J Moloney 0-1 each.

LAOIS: G Brody; S Attride, D Booth, G Dillon; T Collins, R Pigott, P O’Sullivan; J O’Loughlin, K Lillis; D O’Reilly, D Kingston, M Scully; P Kingston, C Murphy, R Munnelly.

Subs: E Lowry for Munnelly (48), E Buggie for O’Sullivan (52), D O’Connor for O’Reilly (64), S Byrne for Lillis (64), D Seale for Attride (68)

OFFALY: P Dunican; E Rigney, D Hogan, D Dempsey; C Donohoe, J Moloney, N Darby; E Carroll, P Cunningham; S Horan, A Sullivan, C Mangan; B Allen, N McNamee, R McNamee. Subs: M Abbott for Carroll (49), P McConway for Cunningham (55), J O’Connor for Donohoe (60), P Cunningham for Sullivan (68), S Tierney for R McNamee (72)

Ref: David Coldrick (Meath)

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