Laois 1-15 Galway 0-10
So tight is Division 2 of the Allianz Football League that Laois eased their relegation fears and boosted their promotion aspirations in one fell swoop with this merited victory over a disappointing Galway at O’Moore Park.
A Gary Walsh goal after just 35 seconds sent Laois on their way although they had to endure a nervy final ten minutes after Cahir Healy was sent off for a second bookable offence.
The home side had already gone on the defensive in that period and might have been made to pay but for some shockingly terrible shooting by Galway.
Substitute Danny Cummins was also unlucky to see his placed shot cannon off the Laois crossbar in the 66th minute, at a time when a goal would have reduced the deficit to three points. He also had a shot brilliantly blocked by Mark Timmons but that should not give the impression that Galway deserved to get something out of this.
They didn’t. Laois, while not quite as wasteful as Galway, were far from economical in the first half and the 1-7 to 0-6 interval lead was scant indication of their dominance.
Laois looked a real attacking threat throughout as Galway eschewed the mass defensive structure that is commonly utilised nowadays. A little more ruthlessness for Laois and they would have paid dearly for that.
Wonderfully converted frees by Walsh and Michael John Tierney maintained Laois’ comfortable margin after the resumption, while Ross Munnelly slotted two fine points from play, to go with his first-half pair.
Galway were reliant on Paul Conroy’s three frees to keep in touch but the centre-forward missed a host of other opportunities.
Galway didn’t manage any score from play in that second half, giving a clear reflection of their frailties at this juncture of the season.
For his part, Laois boss Justin McNulty would probably like his charges to show a greater killer instinct but for now, the win will do.
Scorers – Laois: G Walsh 1-4(0-3fs); R Munnelly, MJ Tierney(fs) 0-4 each; P Clancy, D Kingston, D O’Connor 0-1 each
Galway: P Conroy 0-4(3fs); M Martin 0-3(fs); G Sice, N Coleman, M Meehan(f) 0-1 each
Laois: E Culliton; C Healy, D Booth, K Lillis; D Strong, J O’Loughlin, P McMahon; B Quigley, C Boyle; R Munnelly, B Sheehan, C Begley; MJ Tierney, P Clancy, G Walsh. Subs: C Tierney for Sheehan (19-29); D Kingston for Clancy (43); Meredith for Sheehan (50); M Timmons for Lillis (57); D O’Connor for Munnelly (66); K Meaney for Strong (69)
Galway: M Breathnach; J Duane, F Hanley, G Sweeney; G Bradshaw, G O’Donnell, G Sice; N Coleman, A Griffin; M Boyle, P Conroy, S Denvir; E Concannon, M Meehan, M Martin. Subs: F Ó Curraoin for Griffin (42); S Armstrong for Concannon (44); C Doherty for Denvir (47); D Cummins for Martin (53); K Kelly for Bradshaw (57)
Referee: C Lane (Cork)