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Remember the Game: National League semi final misery for Laois against Louth in 2000

Laois 1-8 Louth 0-13
2000 National Football League Division 2 Semi Final

This week’s Remember the Game takes us back 21 years to when the Laois footballers faced Louth in a National Football League semi final in Mullingar.

Back in those days, there were two Divisions with all 32 teams split into that which was then separated into two spheres of eight.

And the league actually began at the end of the previous year, so the first round of the 2000 edition actually began in November 1999.

Laois, under the management of Tom Cribbin at the time, were placed in Division 2B and absolutely walked it.

They comfortably dismissed Cavan, Monaghan, Longford, Wexford, Tipperary, Waterford and Carlow to finish top – six points clear of Cavan who finished second thanks to a superior points difference over Monaghan and Longford.

Louth finished second in Division 2A with six wins from their seven games – only losing out to table toppers Offaly.

Laois went into this semi final as favourites but trailed 0-7 to 0-5 at half time, with Arles-Kilcruise’s Chris Conway Laois’s only scorer.

The O’Moore’s were much better in the second half as substitute Hughie Emerson, as he so often did, made a huge impact.

He set up Stephen Kelly for the game’s only goal and then won a penalty 20 minutes from time but Chris Conway’s effort was saved.

There was only a point in it at that stage but Louth kicked on again and while Laois had chances at the end, it wasn’t to be.

Louth advanced to the league final and actually avenged their round robin defeat against Offaly – winning 1-13 to 0-13 in the final in Croke Park.

Laois’s championship campaign was short lived as they went down 1-12 to 0-11 to Westmeath on June 5 in the quarter final and with no backdoor in those days, that was the end of the line.

Check out some Alf Harvey pictures from the game below:

SCORERS – Laois: Chris Conway 0-6, Stephen Kelly 1-0, Kevin Fitzpatrick and Noel Garvan 0-1 each Louth: JP Rooney 0-3, Martin Fennelly and Martin Stanfield 0-2 each, Aaron Hoey, Simon Gerrard, Oliver McDonnell, Darren Kirwan, David Reilly and Aidan O’Neill 0-1 each

Laois: Fergal Byron; Eamonn Delaney, Tom Kelly, Colm Parkinson; Derek Conroy, Kevin Fitzpatrick, Joe Higgins; Larry Keenan, David Sweeney; Aidan Fennelly, Mick Lawlor, Noel Garvan; Greg Ramsbottom, Stephen Kelly, Chris Conway. Subs: John Kealy for Keenan, Ian Fitzgerald for Lawlor, Hughie Emerson for Ramsbottom, Barney Maher for Fitzpatrick, Paul Dunne for Sweeney

Louth: Colm Nally; Brian Phillips, Stephen Melia, Brendan Reilly; Peter McGinnitty, Aaron Hoey, Simon Gerrard; Aidan O’Neill, Martin Farrelly; Martin Stanfield, Nicky Malone, Oliver McDonnell; David Reilly, Darren Kirwan, JP Rooney. Subs: Cathal O’Hanlon for Kirwan, Paddy McGuigan for B Reilly, Seamus O’Hanlon for D Reilly

Referee: Gerald Kinneavy (Roscommon)

SEE ALSO – Remember the Game: Laois defeat Wexford to stave off Division 1B relegation in 2004

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Stradbally native Alan Hartnett is a graduate of Knockbeg College who has worked in the local and national media since 2008. Alan has a BA in Economics, Politics and Law and an MA in Journalism from DCU. His happiest moment was when Jody Dillon scored THAT goal in the Laois senior football final in 2016.