Laois 0-14 Longford 0-12
Allianz National Football League Division 3 Round 5
A super second half display against a stiff wind saw Laois come from behind to defeat Longford in O’Moore Park this evening.
Laois trailed by a point at half time but came out a different team in the second half to record a win that get them back in the promotion hunt with two games to play.
There were fine displays from Evan O’Carroll and Marty Scully, while Sean O’Flynn and Trevor Collins made impacts off the bench, but John O’Loughlin was the driving force behind the win.
He was unreal in midfield all night. While Ross Munnelly, making his 100th league appearance, kept running until the 75th minute.
Laois played with the aid of a gale force wind in the first half but really failed to make any use of it.
Evan O’Carroll got proceedings underway but Longford, although getting to grips with the breeze in the opening quarter, were never far away.
The sides were level four times in the first 17 minutes as O’Carroll, Ross Munnelly and John O’Loughlin saw efforts cancelled out by James McGivney, Darren Gallagher and Liam Connerton.
Laois got the next two scores thanks to O’Carroll and Kingston but they would only manage one more point in the remainder of the half.
Longford drew level via McGivney and sub Mark Hughes before two more from Darren Gallagher moved Longford ahead for the first time.
Ross Munnelly, on his 100th league appearance, brought the half and Laois’s 13 minute scoring drought to a close with his second of the game and Laois headed for the dressing rooms trailing 0-8 to 0-7.
Laois started the second half well with Munnelly levelling things up but Longford had the breeze now and Darren Gallagher kicked them back in front with his second free before sub Mark Hughes made the gap two.
Laois captain Stephen Attride hit back and then a Donie Kingston point had us briefly level before Longford midfielder Michael Quinn restored their one point lead after 44 minutes.
Both sides then had real goal chances. Longford’s Darragh Doherty had the first but Laois keeper Graham Brody pulled off a stunning save.
Marty Scully then got in and he attempted to pass the ball across the square to the waiting Trevor Collins but Longford full back Andrew Farrell got back to flick the ball away.
Laois were dominating now and they got level after 55 minutes through a Donie Kingston free before an Evan O’Carroll 45 put Laois ahead with ten minutes to play.
With John O’Loughlin’s influence continuing to grow in midfield, a super Evan O’Carroll point regained the lead again and Longford would have to play the remaining five minutes with 14 men after sub Joseph Hagan was black carded.
Laois went two clear through Eoin Lowry as three minutes of injury time were signalled and held on for a crucial win.
SCORERS – LAOIS: Evan O’Carroll 0-4 (one free, one 45), Donie Kingston 0-3 (one free, one mark), Ross Munnelly 0-3, John O’Loughlin 0-1, Conor Boyle 0-1 (one mark), Stephen Attride 0-1, Eoin Lowry 0-1 LONGFORD: James McGivney 0-2, Darren Gallagher 0-4 (two frees), Liam Connerton 0-1, Darragh Doherty 0-2, Mark Hughes 0-2, Michael Quinn 0-1
LAOIS: Graham Brody; Stephen Attride, Mark Timmons, Gareth Dillon; Marty Scully, Robbie Pigott, Colm Begley; John O’Loughlin, Kieran Lillis; Conor Boyle, Benny Carroll, Sean Byrne; Ross Munnelly, Donie Kingston, Evan O’Carroll. Subs: Trevor Collins for Byrne (ht), Sean O’Flynn for Pigott (50m), Colm Murphy for Kingston (58m), Eoin Lowry for Boyle (61m), Paul Cahillane for Scully (70m)
LONGFORD: Paddy Collum; Patrick Fox, Andrew Farrell, Barry O’Farrell; Colm P Smyth, Donal McElligott, Darren Quinn; Darren Gallagher, Michael Quinn; Ronan McEntire, James McGivney, Daniel Mimnagh; Darragh Doherty, Conor Barry, Liam Connerton. Subs: Mark Hughes for Berry (19m), John Keegan for McEntire (ht), Joseph Hagan for Hughes (66m)
Referee: Conor Lane (Cork)