Laois 0-18 Waterford 1-11
Allianz Football League Division 4
Brought to you in association with Joe Mallon Motors Portlaoise
It was their tightest match to date but the Laois senior footballers have recorded a third straight win in their Allianz Football League Division 4 campaign.
They did enough to get the better of Waterford in O’Moore Park and sit top of the division after three games.
That could change tomorrow if Carlow and Antrim win again but new boss John Sugrue will be happy with how the opening phase of this season has gone and they now have a two-week break before their next outing away to Wicklow.
Playing with the aid of the breeze, Waterford asked plenty of questions of Laois in the opening half.
Impressive full-forward JJ Huthinson got two early points from play to put the visitors into an early lead but Laois were in front by the 12th minute thanks to two Gary Walsh frees and one from his club-mate Alan Farrell after very good build-up play from John O’Loughlin and Evan O’Carroll.
Hutchinson got his third point when he got in behind the Laois defence to punch over and the same player had a goal moments later, in the 16th minute, when a crossfield ball from Conor Murray found Hutchinson behind Shane Nerney and he finished smartly past Graham Brody.
That put Waterford 1-3 to 0-3 up but Laois responded well, scoring the next three points. Walsh got one from a free with Paul Kingston and Kieran Lillis firing over lovely points from play to get Laois back on level terms.
A Jason Curry free nudged Waterford back into the lead but another Walsh free and a peach of a point from Ross Munnelly had Laois 0-8 to 1-4 up at the break.
The introduction of Donie Kingston at half time saw the Arles-Killeen man make his first appearance of the season and he made his presence felt almost immediately, earning an early free for Ross Munnelly to convert.
A couple of nice Jason Curry points meant Waterford were still level by the 45th minute but Laois’s greater quality soon began to tell.
Gary Walsh’s good form continued – with a string of frees and two fine points from play – while Kingston also got two typically beautiful points and Lillis also added another sweet one.
Waterford added a couple of late points but there was no doubting it in the end as Laois had four points to spare at the final whistle.
SCORERS – Laois: Gary Walsh 0-10 (eight frees), Ross Munnelly 0-2 (one free), Kieran Lillis 0-2, Donie Kingston 0-2, Paul Kingston 0-1, Alan Farrell 0-1, Waterford: JJ Hutchinson 1-4 (0-1 free), Jason Curry 0-4 (two frees), Conor Murray 0-1, Donal Breathnach 0-1, Paul Whyte 0-1
LAOIS: Graham Brody (Portlaoise); David Holland (Portlaoise), Shane Nerney (O’Dempsey’s), Ruadhri C Fennell (Rosenallis); Trevor Collins (Graiguecullen), Colm Begley (Stradbally), Gareth Dillon (Portlaoise); John O’Loughlin (St Brigid’s, Dublin), Kieran Lillis (Portlaoise); Alan Farrell (Ballylinan), Paul Kingston (Arles-Killeen), Danny O’Reilly (Graiguecullen); Ross Munnelly (Arles-Kilcruise), Gary Walsh (Ballylinan), Evan O’Carroll (Crettyard). Subs: Donie Kingston (Arles-Killeen) for O’Carroll (half-time), Darren Strong (Emo) for Fennell (46 mins), Niall Donoher (Courtwood) for Farrell (54 mins), Brian Glynn (Portlaoise) for O’Reilly (64 mins), Eoin Buggie (Stradbally) for Dillon (65 mins), Benny Carroll (Portlaoise) for P Kingston (67 mins)
WATERFORD: Stephen Enright; Brian Looby, Thomas O’Gorman, Ray O’Ceallaigh; James McGrath, Shane Ryan, Aidan Trihy; Tommy Prendergast, Michael Curry; Conor Murray, Kieran Power, Dylan Guiry; Jason Curry, JJ Hutchinson, Paul Whyte. Subs: Donal Breathnach for Power (48 mins), Gavin Crotty for O’Ceallaigh (injured – 52 mins), Fearghal O’Currin for Prendergast (black card – 61 mins), Joe Allen for Trihy (62 mins), Martin Scurry for Guiry (68 mins)
REFEREE: James Bermingham (Cork)