Laois 2-10 Sligo 0-18
Allianz Football League Division 3
Laois fell to their third loss in Division 3 when Sligo staged a big second-half comeback in Markievicz Park on Sunday afternoon.
Goals from Donie and Paul Kingston had Laois 2-6 to 0-7 up at the break but the sending off of Kevin Meaney just before the half time was the turning point in the game.
The 14 men fought valliantly throughout the second half and kept Sligo at bay until five minutes from time when they took the lead for the first time.
Donie Kingston drew Laois level but two injury time points from Stephen Gillmartin and Neil Ewing got Sligo over the line in a result which leaves Laois staring at relegation battle with three games remaining.
It had all started so well for Laois. With Paul Kingston putting in his best display of the season so far and Donie also in top form, Laois caused considerable problems for the home side’s defence.
Paul got the first goal when he won a long ball behind his man and while his first effort was saved, he responded quickly to tap the rebound into the net. Donie added a point straight away and a Paul Kingston point had Laois 1-3 to 0-3 up after 20 minutes.
At the stage Laois had already been dealt a major injury blow when Colm Begley was forced off but Padraig McMahon came in and went on to put in a very impressive showing in what was his first major appearance with Laois in well over two years.
Laois were well on top in the 15-minute spell before half time and they seemed to be making their superiority count when a long delivery from Kevin Meaney found Donie Kingston in behind Charlie Harrison. He gave Adrian Devaney no chance from close range and when David Conway added a nice points moments later Laois seemed well in control with a 2-5 to 0-4 lead.
But the game was soon to have its main talking point. The extremely impressive Niall Murphy was fouled bearing down on goals and in a quick flashpoint it appeared that Kevin Meaney swung out wildly. Referee Barry Tiernan consulted with his umpires and Meaney was duly shown a straight red.
Laois were seven points up at that stage but Sligo outscored Laois by 0-3 to 0-1 before half time – Laois’s point a nice effort from McMahon. But you knew that it was all set up for a serious second-half battle.
And so it proved. Sligo dominated possession and quickly eat into the lead. But Laois raided every so often and with John O’Loughlin and David Conway pointing and Brendan Quigley making an impact on his introduction too, they stayed ahead until five minutes from full time.
Murphy’s fifth point from play gave Sligo the lead for the first time since the opening minutes but Donie Kingston instantly levelled things up.
But all the momentum was with Sligo and sub Cian Brehony pointed from way out to give them the lead again.
Laois had one last chance to draw it but Kingston’s long range free dropped short in the square and from the resulting stack Neil Ewing got the insurance point.
After four games it means Laois have just two points and are deep in relegation bother.
They are away to Antrim in two weeks time before finishing up with a home game against Longford and a trip to Tullamore to play Offaly.
Offaly were heavily beaten by Armagh on Sunday and drop to the bottom on scoring difference while Antrim went down narrowly to Louth. The game between Tipperary and Longford was postponed because of an unplayable pitch.
SCORERS – Laois: Donie Kingston 1-4 (0-3 frees), Paul Kingston 1-1, David Conway 0-2 Padraig McMahon, John O’Loughlinand Stephen Attride 0-1 each. Sligo: Niall Murphy 0-5, Adrian Marren 0-4, Stephen Coen 0-4, Keelan Cawley, John Kelly, Patrick O’Connor, Neil Ewing, Cian Brehony and Stephen Gilmartin 0-1 each.
Padraig McMahon for Begley (13 mins)
Brendan Quigley for Luttrell (45 mins)
Gareth Dillon for O’Reilly (45 mins)
Ross Munnelly for Conway (52 mins)
Stephen Gilmartin for Davey (half-time)
Brendan Egan for Harrison (52 mins)
Pat Hughes for Coen (57 mins)
Cian Breheny for Kyle Cawley (57 mins)