Laois 0-16 Armagh 0-9
Allianz Football League Division 2
The Laois footballers are top of Division 2 of the Allianz Football League this evening following a hugely impressive win over Armagh in MW Hire O’Moore Park.
A superb 70-minute performance saw Mike Quirke’s men record a six-point win with Mark Barry top scoring with seven points and Evan O’Carroll hitting five.
Having rescued a draw against Roscommon last Sunday, there was a pep in their step from the start.
Armagh on the back of a big win over Cavan in their opening game were 2/5 favourites.
But the first half was more or less all Laois and they went in 0-8 to 0-2 ahead at the break.
Armagh flooded back 14 men when Laois had possession but Laois got most joy from pressurising Armagh’s kickout.
Evan O’Carroll (free) and Rian O’Neill (45) exchanged early points but in a low-scoring opening quarter Laois got the next two – a sweet effort from Michael Keogh and a free from Mark Barry.
Midfielder Niall Grimley responded for Armagh in the 20th minute but Laois then got five in a row. O’Carroll got the first with his left, then he pointed a free after being fouled himself.
Debutant Brian Byrne showed great pace to point from play, Lillis got an almost customary outside of the left boot effort and then Mark Timmons came up from full-back to leave Laois six up at the break.
After a turgid showing in the opening 35 minutes, Armagh upped the tempo considerably on the restart.
Mark Barry stretched Laois’s lead with a free but Armagh hit the next four – three Rian O’Neill frees and one from Conor Turbitt. They had the gap back to three by the 41st minute.
But Laois steadied and a couple of Barry frees and twom from O’Carroll had Laois 0-13 to 0-8 up entering the last 15 minutes.
Barry and Jamie Clarke swapped a couple of late frees – and there was no doubting Laois were deserving winners.
They host Cavan next Sunday when they’ll be looking to maintain their unbeaten record.
SCORERS – Laois: , Mark Barry 0-7 (six frees), Evan O’Carroll 0-5 (three frees), Kieran Lillis 0-1, Brian Byrne 0-1, Mark Timmons 0-1, Michael Keogh 0-1. Armagh: Rian O’Neill 0-5 (three frees, one ’45), Jamie Clarke 0-2 (both frees), Niall Grimley 0-1, Conor Turbitt 0-1, Jarlath Og Burns 0-1
LAOIS: Niall Corbett (Clonaslee); Brian Byrne (Graiguecullen), Mark Timmons (Graiguecullen), Gearoid Hanrahan (Mountmellick); Sean O’Flynn (Courtwood), Robbie Pigott (Portarlington), Paddy O’Sullivan (Portarlington); Kieran Lillis (Portlaoise), John O’Loughlin (Rosenallis); Sean Byrne (Portarlington), Mark Barry (O’Dempsey’s), Eoin Lowry (Killeshin); Michael Keogh (St Joseph’s), Colm Murphy (Portarlington), Evan O’Carroll (Crettyard). Subs: Trevor Collins (Graiguecullen) for Keogh (45), Damien O’Connor (Timahoe) for Byrne (60), Ross Munnelly (Arles-Kilcruise) for Murphy (65), Cahir Healy (Portlaoise) for Byrne (69 mins), Darragh Connolly (Ballyfin) for O’Carroll (70 mins)
ARMAGH: Blaine Hughes; Paddy Burns, Aaron McKay, Brendan Donaghy; Greg McCabe, Conor O’Neill, Stephen Sheridan; Niall Grimley, Oisin O’Neill; Mark Shields, Callum Cumiskey, Stefan Campbell; Rian O’Neill, Conor Turbitt, Jason Duffy. Subs: Aidan Nugent for Shields (28), Jarlath Óg Burns for Duffy (ht), Joe McElroy for McCabe (46), Jemar Hall for Cumiskey (56), Jamie Clarke for O O’Neill (60)
REFEREE: Jerome Henry (Mayo)