Allianz Football League Division 3
Laois registered their first win in Division 3 of the Allianz football league after an incredible comeback win.
The O’Moore County have won eight of their last ten meetings with Armagh and they inflicted more misery on Kieran McGeeney’s outfit when Darren Strong and Donie Kingston kicked injury time points to win the game.
Peter Creedon’s side, already heavily depleted through injury, lost Colm Begley before the throw in and he was replaced by Seán Ramsbottom.
They trailed by four points as we entered the final ten minutes of the game but everything changed when Donie Kingston converted a penalty and Laois pushed on to get a vital win.
The home side, playing against the breeze in the first half, opened the scoring through a Stefan Campbell free.
But Laois responded brilliantly. Cormac Murphy, making his league debut, levelled matters in the fourth minute before the O’Moore County took the lead before the 10th minute.
Seán Ramsbottom split the Armagh defence with a neat foot pass and Niall Donoher raced clear before unleashing a shot which sailed into the back of the net.
His Courtwood teammate Danny Luttrell pushed Laois four clear a minute later but Armagh responded via Campbell and corner back Paul Hughes.
Donie Kinston landed a brace of frees but Armagh, who were guilty of kicking a number of wides, kept the deficit to three with an Oisin O’Neill point after 27 minutes.
Laois failed to score again in the first half and Armagh managed to get themselves level by half time.
Aidan Forker, Stephen Sheridan and Oisin O’Neill all raised white flags to leave the scoreline reading 1-4 to 0-7. Armagh almost had a goal in the first period also but Graham Brody did excellently to thwart Ethan Rafferty at point blank range.
Laois needed a good start against the wind on the resumption of play and they got it when Donie Kingston put them back in front with his third free.
Niall Donoher pushed Laois further in front but Armagh were not going away and Stefan Campbell kicked a brace to level matters after 40 minutes.
The Orchard County then enjoyed a purple patch as first half substitute kicked two points, one either side of an Oisin O’Neill free, to move them 0-12 to 1-6 after 50 minutes.
Rory Grugan pushed Armagh four clear as we entered the final twenty minutes of the game and Laois looked in real trouble.
Armagh were relentless and Stefan Campbell added another free to move them five clear before Laois finally lifted the siege as Niall Donoher raised a much needed white flag.
Laois were then given the chance to get back in the game with nine minutes to go when Donie Kingston was pulled down in the square by Mark Shields.
The Armagh defender was sent off and Kingston buried the resulting spot kick to narrow the margin to the minimum.
Jamie Clarke replied instantly for Laois but Donie Kingston kept the pressure on with another point.
Niall Rowland put Armagh two clear once again but Kingston reduced the arrears to the minimum again with just three minutes of normal time to play.
Laois had a chance to snatch a draw but substitute Eoin Lowry dragged his effort from a 45 wide in the first minute of injury time.
Many of the away support thought the game was over but Laois struck late to not only draw the game, but win it.
Donie Kingston kicked a long range free and Darren Strong then kicked what proved to be the winner in the fourth minute of injury time.
Both sides lost players before the end as Paul Kingston was sent off for Laois for a second yellow card and Aidan Forker was also dismissed for the home side.
Armagh had a chance to get a draw with the last kick of the game but Oisin O’Neill’s free went wide and the final whistle sounded.
SCORERS – Laois: Niall Donoher 1-2, Donie Kingston 1-6 (1-0 penalty, 0-5frees), Darren Strong, Danny Luttrell and Cormac Murphy 0-1 each Armagh: Stefan Campbell 0-5 (3frees), Oisin O’Neill 0-3 (1free), Jamie Clarke 0-3, Aidan Forker, Stephen Sheridan, Niall Rowland, Rory Grugan (1free) and Paul Hughes 0-1 each
Graham Brody (Portlaoise)
Darren Strong (Emo)
Denis Booth (The Heath)
James Kelly (St Joseph’s)
Eoin Buggie (Stradbally)
Kieran Lillis (Portlaoise)
Stephen Attride (Killeshin)
Seán Ramsbottom (Timahoe)
Danny Luttrell (Courtwood)
Cormac Murphy (Crettyard)
Ambrose Doran (Graiguecullen)
Niall Donoher (Courtwood)
Ruairi O’Connor (Timahoe)
Donie Kingston (Arles-Killeen)
Kevin Meaney (Arles-Kilcruise)
David Conway (Arles-Kilcruise) for O’Connor (14 mins)
Ross Munnelly (Arles-Kilcruise) for Murphy (46 mins)
Padraig McMahon (Ballyroan-Abbey) for Doran (49 mins)
Paul Kingston (Arles-Killeen) for Ramsbottom (55 mins)
Danny O’Reilly (Graiguecullen) for Lillis (63 mins)
Eoin Lowry (Killeshin) for Donoher (63 mins)
Oisín Mac Íomhair
Jamie Clarke for Mac Íomhair (22 mins)
Aaron Findon for Rafferty (half time)
Gavin McParland for Duffy (53 mins)
Ciarán O’Hanlon for Grugan (67mins)