The Laois footballers were forced to endure a nervous finish in Ennis this afternoon but they won’t mind too much as they held on to record a vital win over Clare in Round 4 of their Allianz Football League Division 2 campaign.
Here we pick out some of the game’s main talking points.
Man of the Match – Eoin Lowry
Mark Timmons, Paddy O’Sullivan, Colm Murphy and Evan O’Carroll all had fine games for Laois but our choice of man of the match on this occasion is Eoin Lowry.
He started centre forward and as he has done in the last couple of games, he got on quite a lot of ball. He scored a point from play in each half and gave off a couple of great passes, won vital possession late on and wasted very little over the course of the game.
Return to form
The Laois footballers went down badly to Cavan seven days ago but they showed no ill effects of that and were very impressive in the first half as they went eight points up at one stage before leading 1-8 to 0-5 at the break.
They went long spells without a score in the second before doing enough late on to hold on for the win.
Evan O’Carroll and Colm Murphy were both in fine form in the first half and though Laois did cling on, they were unlucky to see a Sean Byrne shot on goal hit the bar and the Clare penalty decision seemed harsh.
Mayo referee Liam Devanney was consistent for things like over carrying and picking the ball off the ground as well as bringing frees forward.
He irked the Laois supporters with a couple of hard calls against Evan O’Carroll while the afore-mentioned penalty decision for a footblock by Robbie Pigott – when it looked more like he had blocked the ball with his body – was a huge call.
Clare, too, had a number of grievances so it probably did cancel out in the end.
More injury woe for Healy
Having come on as a sub in Laois’s first two games, Cahir Healy started here for what was his first start for Laois since 2012.
But his afternoon ended on a sour note when he was forced off injured after 24 minutes when he seemed to damage his knee. Though it’s far too early for a diagnosis, it’s not the type of thing you like to see happen to any player, particularly one who is only returning from a cruciate setback.
Other results and how they stand
Cavan, who beat Fermanagh on Saturday night, are now outright first on six points with Laois, Armagh, Roscommon and Westmeath on five points.
Westmeath came from behind to draw with Armagh while Roscommon beat Kildare in Newbridge.
Kildare, Fermanagh and Clare are all on two following the weekend’s results.
Next week Laois host Kildare in MW Hire O’Moore Park on Saturday night while on Sunday Roscommon host Westmeath, Fermanagh are at home to Armagh and Cavan are at home to Clare.