Laois 2-11 Wicklow 2-10
Bord na Mona O’Byrne Cup Round 3
Played in the Bray Emmetts club grounds, Laois conceded two first-half goals and that looked as if it would be crucial. But Laois fought back well in the second half to record end their O’Byrne Cup campaign with a win.
Laois had lost to Meath and Wexford before Christmas meaning a semi-final place was beyond their reach they and now have a three-week break without competitive action before their Allianz Football League Division 3 opener away to Down on Saturday, January 26.
Laois went 0-2 to 0-0 behind early on but points from Evan O’Carroll and Rory Bracken had them level before Donie Kingston nudged them ahead in the ninth minute.
Anthony McLoughlin’s first score tied things but before a Wicklow goal from Patrick O’Connor put the hosts three clear.
Evan O’Carroll responded with two points for Laois but 1-1 from McLoughlin in quick succession – the goal coming after a Mark Jackson free came back off the post – put Wicklow five up with three minutes to go in the half.
Evan O’Carroll replied with his fourth point of the half but Wicklow led 2-4 to 0-6 at the break.
Laois made a host of changes at the break and Paul Kingston was the one that would have the biggest impact. He pointed within minutes of the restart and that was followed by points from his brother Donie and O’Carroll again.
Wicklow settled themselves with a couple of points before debutant Eoin Dunne from Rosenallis pointed and then Paul Kingston got the first of his second-half goals with eight minutes remaining.
Wicklow again nudged ahead through Anthony McLoughlin and looked as if they might have enough to win before Kingston pounced for his second goal and Laois held on.
Laois have scheduled practice games against Tipperary and Kerry over the next couple of weeks and manager John Sugrue – who watched the game on crutches following a recent cruciate operation – is expected to finalise his panel in the coming weeks.
SCORERS – Laois: Evan O’Carroll 0-5, Donie Kingston 0-3, Rory Bracken 0-1. Paul Kingston 2-2, Eoin Dunne 0-1. Wicklow: Padraig O’Toole 0-1, Dean Healy 0-1, Anthony McLoughlin 1-5, Patrick O’Connor 1-0, Mark Jackson 0-1, Conor McGraynor 0-1
LAOIS: Eoghan Keogh (Mountmellick); David Seale (Portlaoise), Mark Timmons (Graiguecullen), Adam Campion (St Joseph’s); Eoin Buggie (Stradbally), Paddy O’Sullivan (Portarlington), Trevor Collins (Graiguecullen); Rory Bracken (O’Dempsey’s), John O’Loughlin (St Brigid’s, Dublin); James Mullaney (Castletown), Conor Boyle (Portlaoise), Brian Byrne (Graiguecullen); Michael Keogh (St Joseph’s), Evan O’Carroll (Crettyard), Donie Kingston (Arles-Killeen). Subs: Paul Kingston (Arles-Killeen) for Mullaney (HT), Robert Tyrell (Camross) for Bracken (HT), Marty Scully (Ballyroan-Abbey) for Byrne (HT), Damien O’Connor (Timahoe) for Boyle (injured – HT), Denis Booth (The Heath) for O’Sullivan (injured – 40), Kevin Meaney (Arles-Kilcruise) for O’Loughlin (46), Finbarr Crowley (Emo) for Timmons (55), Graham Brody (Portlaoise) for E Keogh (55), Eoin Dunne (Rosenallis) for O’Carroll (58), Danny O’Reilly (Graiguecullen) for M Keogh (60)
WICKLOW: Mark Jackson; Oisin Manning, Jamie Snell, Ross O’Brien; David Devereaux, Shane Mooney, Darragh Fitzgerald; Padraig O’Toole, Dean Healy; Mark Fitzsimons, Anthony McLoughlin, Gearoid Murphy; Chris O’Brien, Conor McGraynor, Patrick O’Connor. Subs; Ross Davis for O’Connor, Fintan O’Shea for Fitzsimons, Darren Hayden for Smyth