Home Sport GAA Goals make the difference as Laois march on

Goals make the difference as Laois march on

Paul Kingston retains his place in he side and is likely o line up in the full forward line alongside brother Donie

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Laois 4-15 Longford 0-16

Leinster Senior Football Championship Round 1

Laois’s ability to take their goal chances made all the difference as they recorded a big win over Longford in O’Moore Park this afternoon.

The prize is a Leinster quarter-final with Kildare in Tullamore in two weeks time.

Two goals in a minute before half time – from Paul and Donie Kingston – and two more early in the second half – from Paul Kingston and Alan Farrell ensured the Laois win.

Laois played with the wind in the first half and their determination to go long to Donie Kingston was evident early on as Evan O’Carroll went long to the big man and he palmed the ball to Niall Donoher who fisted it over the bar.

Laois went two up from the resulting kick-out with Evan O’Carroll scoring off his left boot.

And Laois were three up in as many minutes when Brendan Quigley’s long ball was once again won by Donie who passed to younger brother Paul who pointed.

Laois kept piling on the pressure and Donie kicked the first free of the afternoon to move Laois four clear.

Longford hit back with a Robbie Smyth free but it should surely have been a goal only for a wonderful save from Graham Brody to deny Seán McCormack in the build up.

Donie Kingston then kicked one from play before Smyth hit back with his second free to leave Laois ahead by 0-5 to 0-2 after 10 minutes.

Laois’s next score came from Eoin Buggie after a delightful crossfield ball by Colm Begley but it was cancelled out by Smyth’s third.

Brendan Quigley got Laois’s seventh point after a long ball bounced fortuitously over the bar but there was nothing lucky about Pádraig McMahon’s effort which moved Laois five clear.

And the margin was six after fifteen minutes when Donie Kingston kicked a free off his left foot following a foul on Alan Farrell.

Robbie Smyth was proving to be Longford’s only scoring threat and he notched another two as Longford enjoyed a scoring spree which saw Sean McCormack score as well.

Laois needed a repose and they did. John O’Loughlin moved them three clear before they struck for two goals in a minute.

The first came when Padraig McMahon picked out Paul Kingston on the edge of the 21 and he beat his man before finding the top corner.

And from the resulting kick out, Donie Kingston played a delightful one two with Evan O’Carroll before planting the ball in the bottom corner to give Laois a 2-10 to 0-7 half time lead.

Laois took that dominance out onto the pitch in the second half and scored a third goal with their first attack. Donie Kingston found Darren Strong in space and he played in Alan Farrell who’s scored with low shot.

Laois had a fourth goal after 40 minutes when Donie set up younger brother Paul who calmly shot low from the middle of the goal.

Laois were now fifteen points ahead with less than 25 minutes to play and it remained that way after Colm Begley and Robbie Smyth traded points.

Smyth, Darren Gallagher and Liam Connerton kicked three more for Longford but Darren’s Strong became Laois’s eleventh different scorer to put 13 between them with 15 minutes to play.

Smyth and Ronan McEntire raised white flags for Longford but Laois kept the margin at 13 thanks to Donie Kingston and John O’Loughlin.

Conor Berry and O’Loughlin swapped late points but it was immaterial at that stage as Laois eased home.

SCORERS – Laois: Donie Kingston 1-4 (0-2 frees), Niall Donoher 0-1, Evan O’Carroll 0-1, Paul Kingston 2-1, Eoin Buggie 0-1, John O’Loughlin 0-3 Brendan Quigley 0-1 free, Pádraig McMahon 0-1 Alan Farrell 1-0, Colm Begley 0-1, Darren Strong 0-1 Longford: Robbie Smyth 0-10 (0-7 frees), Sean McCormack 0-1, Darren Gallagher 0-1, Liam Connerton 0-1, Conor Berry 0-1

LAOIS: Graham Brody (Portlaoise); Damien O’Connor (Timahoe), Denis Booth (The Heath), Darren Strong (Emo); Pádraig McMahon (Ballyroan-Abbey), Stephen Attride (Killeshin), Eoin Buggie (Stradbally); Brendan Quigley (Timahoe), Colm Begley (Stradbally); Alan Farrell (Ballylinan), John O’Loughlin (St Brigid), Niall Donoher (Courtwood); Evan O’Carroll (Crettyard), Donie Kingston (Arles-Killeen), Paul Kingston (Arles-Killeen) Subs: James Kelly (St Joseph’s) for O’Connor (20mins), Gareth Dillon (Portlaoise) for Attride (58mins), James Finn (Ballyfin) for Donie Kingston (66mins), Kevin Meaney for Donoher (72 mins), Sean Moore for O’Loughlin (72 mins)

LONGFORD: Paddy Collum; Dermot Brady, Barry Gilleran, Andrew Farrell; Donal McElligott, James McGivney, Dessie Reynolds; Michael Quinn, John Keegan; Ronan McEntire, Sean McCormack, Diarmuid Masterson; Robbie Smith, Liam Connerton, Barry McKeon. Subs: Barry O’Farrell for Farrell (ht), Darren Gallagher for Masterson, Conor Berry for O’Farrell,

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Stradbally native Alan Hartnett is a graduate of Knockbeg College who has worked in the local and national media since 2008. Alan has a BA in Economics, Politics and Law and an MA in Journalism from DCU. His happiest moment was when Jody Dillon scored THAT goal in the Laois senior football final in 2016.