Laois 0-12 Westmeath 0-10
Leinster Senior Football Championship Quarter Final
The Laois senior footballers are back in the Leinster semi final after a hard fought win over Westmeath in Tullamore this afternoon.
John Sugrue’s men had Evan O’Carroll to thank for eight points along with some stunning defensive displays from Denis Booth, Sean O’Flynn, Paddy O’Sullivan and Colm Begley as they now advance to face Meath.
Laois played with the wind in the first half of the game and they operated a very different system than the one we are used to seeing – with many men funneled back behind cutting out Westmeath attacks.
Paul Kingston and Evan O’Carroll were on the scoreboard in the opening five minutes as Westmeath would go 22 minutes before their first score.
The only blotch on Laois’s copybook in that opening period was the loss of full back Mark Timmons to a hand injury after 7 minutes which forced him off.
There were a few dicey moments for Laois in that opening half for Laois at the back but Paddy O’Sullivan, Gareth Dillon and Robbie Piggott made crucial blocks and interceptions at different times.
Laois were five points up before Egan landed Westmeath’s first free and although he did get a second before the end, O’Carroll, Kingston and Conor Boyle all raised a white flag each to take a 0-8 to 0-2 lead at half time.
John Heslin reduced the gap 15 seconds from the throw in but Evan O’Carroll hit back with his sixth point.
Egan landed two more frees but Evan O’Carroll’s seventh point left Laois five clear with twenty minutes to play.
But Egan landed another brace and the margin was three as we entered the final quarter.
Evan O’Carroll moved the margin out to four again but Ronan O’Toole kept the gap at three with ten minutes to go.
Egan and sub Callum McCormack both pointed for Westmeath and the score read 0-11 to 0-10 as we entered injury time – of which there would be three minutes.
Laois had the ball in the net in the first minute of it but it was disallowed as Marty Scully fisted the ball straight into the net when he tried to handpass it over the bar.
But Eoin Lowry made things safe in the final minute as Westmeath were denied.
SCORERS – LAOIS: Evan O’Carroll 0-8 (five frees), Paul Kingston 0-2, Conor Boyle 0-1, Eoin Lowry 0-1 WESTMEATH: Ger Egan 0-7 (six frees), John Heslin 0-1, Ronan O’Toole 0-1, Callum McCormack 0-1
LAOIS: Graham Brody (Portlaoise); Denis Booth (The Heath), Mark Timmons (Graiguecullen), Gareth Dillon (Portlaoise; Sean O’Flynn (Courtwood), Colm Begley (Stradbally), Paddy O’Sullivan (Portarlington); John O’Loughlin (St Brigid’s), Kieran Lillis (Portlaoise); Daniel O’Reilly (Graiguecullen), Conor Boyle (Portlaoise), Damien O’Connor (Timahoe); Paul Kingston (Arles-Killeen), Colm Murphy (Portarlington), Evan O’Carroll (Crettyard). Subs: Robbie Piggott (Portarlington) for Timmons (7, inj), Marty Scully (Ballyroan-Abbey) for Murphy (ht), Donie Kingston (Arles-Killeen) for Boyle (60), Eoin Lowry (Killeshin) for O’Reilly (67), Brendan Quigley (Timahoe) for O’Connor (67), Sean Byrne (Portarlington) for Begley (70, inj)
WESTMEATH: Eoin Carberry; Kevin Maguire, Boidu Sayeh, Ronan Wallace; James Dolan, Noel Mulligan, Killian Daly; Sam Duncan, Denis Corroon; David Lynch, John Heslin, Frank Boyle; Ronan O’Toole, Kieran Martin, Ger Egan. Subs: Callum McCormack for Duncan (31, inj), Luke Loughlin for Boyle (ht), Darren Giles for Corroon (61)
Referee: Fergal Kelly (Longford)