Home Sport GAA Looking back: 41 years since Laois and Kerry last met in championship

Looking back: 41 years since Laois and Kerry last met in championship

Many of the 1977 team which won the All-Ireland B championship were present in 1976 for the defeat against Kerry
Many of the 1977 team which won the All-Ireland B championship were present in 1976 for the defeat against Kerry

Brought to you in association with Hanlon Kitchens

Eamonn Kelly’s Laois senior hurlers will take on Kerry in Tralee today, 41 years after the sides last championship meeting.

Laois and Kerry have met several times in the league in recent years but never in the championship and the Kingdom hold a 100% record over the O’Moore’s.

After a thrashing by Dublin when six of the selected fifteen failed to show in the first round of the championship in 1975, Laois took a bold step to enter the senior B championship in 1976.

The draw meant a first round trip to Austin Stack Park in Tralee on a beautiful sunny day on May 9.

A strong wind blew down from Mount Brandon and the home team had first use of it.

Phil Dillon opened the scoring with a point from play for Laois before Todd Nolan, the experienced Kingdom forward, equalised almost immediately.

From the puck out, Phil Dillon, a star of Laois minor winning team twelve years earlier, beat a couple of defenders to get the first of the game’s six goals.

Kerry responded with three good points before Dillon added his second. Laois were then awarded a penalty taken by Christy Jones but the Kerry defence blocked the shot, however, the in running Paddy Dowling won possession to blast a second Laois goal.

Laois were now dominating and after twenty one minutes, Paddy Dowling set up Durrow man Martin Brophy who hammered home goal number three but Kerry had not gone away as Gary Scollard and Pat Moriarity added points.

Then Kerry piled on the pressure and Roger Hussey from Causeway beat the Laois defence to score a good goal and another point from Todd Nolan left the scoreboard reading Laois 3-3 Kerry 1-9 at half time.

Laois were stunned when Pat Moriarity rattled the net a minute into the new half.

The away side replied with three points in a row from Phil Dillon but Todd Nolan pointed at the other end.

George Lanham edged the visitors back in front but Kerry kept in touch all the time.

Then as Laois clung to a two point advantage a high ball in was stopped by John Carroll who was disposed as he was about to clear, a in penalty was signalled and the Crotta O’Neill’s man Todd Nolan hammered past the three Laois men on the line for a sensational lead.

From the puck out the final whistle sounded and Kerry were the winners on a scoreline of 3-12 to 3-11.

Kerry went on to win the title beating London by two points and in the All-Ireland quarter final in the Gaelic Grounds in Limerick they almost caused another upset just going down to Galway 3-9 to 3-12.

LAOIS: John Carroll (Camross); JJ Ging (Portlaoise), Pat Mahon (Rathdowney), Paddy Ging (Clonad); Christy Jones (Kilcotton), Mick Mahon (0-1) (Rathdowney), Eugene Moore (St Canice’s); George Lanham (0-1) (Clonad), Johnny Mahon (Rathdowney); Martin Brophy (1-1) (Durrow), Paddy Kelly (Borris-in-Ossory) (0-1), Phil Dillon (1-7) (Clonaslee); Mick Maggie Walsh (0-1) (Ballinakill) (RIP), Martin Cuddy (Camross), Paddy Dowling (1-1) (Camross) Subs John Galvin (Colt) for E Moore, Mick Dunphy (Cullohill) for M Brophy and Moling Morrissey (Clonaslee) for M Walsh

KERRY: John Conway; John O’Carroll, Ray Dineen, Tim Weir; Mike O’Carroll, John Fitzgerald PJ Holohan; Francie Donovan, Maurice Brick (0-1); Jim O’Sullivan (0-2), Gary Scollard (RIP) (0-1), Todd Nolan (1-6); Pat Moriarity (1-2), John Brick, Roger Hussey (1-0);

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