Emo 2-10 The Heath 0-15
Laois Senior Football Championship
Emo struck late to snatch victory from The Heath in this pulsating Laois SFC Round 2 clash in O’Moore Park on Saturday night.
Trailing by two with a minute or normal time left, Paddy Hosey’s goal turned the game on its head and saw them over the line. Having been in front for most of the second half they fell behind to a late Heath rally, only to respond with that late salvo to remain in the hunt for the 2021 Laois SFC.
The Heath now head to a relegation playoff and will have to pick themselves up after this, having played some really good football on the night but ending up empty handed.
Emo could hardly have asked for a better start as Padraig Kirwan blasted a shot to bottom corner with a little over two minutes on the clock, putting last year’s semi-finalists in the driving seat early on.
Paul Lawlor added a free soon after as The Heath struggled to establish themselves in the game, Daithi Carroll opening their account in the sixth minute with a good score from play.
Paddy Hosey had restored Emo’s four-point cushion in the next attack as they looked set to control proceedings, but The Heath slowly but surely worked their way into the game. Cathal Whelan pointed a couple of frees for them either side of a Paul Lawlor effort for Emo, and then Robbie Ging added another for The Heath after Daithi Carroll’s shot for a goal hit the crossbar.
That put the goal between the sides again but Emo would not score again in the half, as The Heath started to pick off scores. James Phelan jinked his way into space and pointed off his left before a good team move ended with a point from the right wing by Neil Keane.
That had the gap down to one and The Heath kept coming forward, with Daithi Carroll the next to score as he levelled the game with an effort from 35 yards out.
The momentum was with The Heath now and the managed to get their noses in front at the break as Neil Keane struck for his second, this one off his right boot, to see the men in black and amber lead 0-8 to 1-4 at the changeover.
Both sides struggled for fluency on the return to action but it was Emo who eventually settled down, with Paddy Hosey’s free in the 37th minute getting them up and running.
Nigel Murphy then hit a brace of points in the space of a minute, the second a superb effort off the outside of his right boot. Those put Emo two ahead, although the gap was halved when Daithi Carroll curled over a free, The Heath’s only score before the second water break.
Jack Owens and Paddy Hosey both replied for Emo and they lead by three when that water break came along, putting them in a strong position heading into the closing stages.
The Heath weren’t going to go down easy though, and a bustling run from Daithi Carroll in the 49th minute ended with a point, as they remained on Emo’s heels.
The gap was soon down to one and it was Carroll again, winning a free and sending it between the posts to leave the minimum in it with eight minutes to go.
The momentum was with The Heath now and they kept coming forward, winning a free in the right corner which Conor Booth curled over off his left foot to level the scores. The same player then put The Heath ahead with another free, this one off his right, before Daithi Carroll’s sixth point of the game put them two ahead.
The gauntlet had been thrown down to Emo and they responded impressively. Paddy Hosey cut in from the left wing in the final minute of normal time and somehow squeezed a shot to the net from an almost impossible angle.
Darren Strong then added a point from play to leave two in it, as The Heath had been stunned. They managed one late score, through Robbie Dowling, but it wasn’t enough as they lost out by the minimum.
SCORERS – Emo: Paddy Hosey 1-3 (0-1 free), Padraig Kirwan 1-0, Nigel Murphy 0-3, Paul Lawlor 0-2 (frees), Jack Owens 0-1, Darren Strong 0-1. The Heath: Daithi Carroll 0-6 (0-2 frees), Cathal Whelan 0-2 (frees), Neil Keane 0-2, Conor Booth 0-2 (frees), Robbie Dowling 0-1, Robbie Ging 0-1, James Phelan 0-1.
EMO: Niall Gorman; Liam Crowley, James O’Rourke, Paddy Dunne; Shane Murphy, Sean Greene, Cian Langford; Darren Strong, Brian Gorman; Paul Lawlor, Nigel Murphy, David Gorman; Padraig Kirwan, Jack Owens, Paddy Hosey. Subs: Chris Gleeson for D Gorman (36 mins), Eibhan Joyce for B Gorman (56 mins)
THE HEATH:Joseph Walshe; Gary Roe, Mark Dowling, Gareth O’Brien; Dylan Kavanagh, Denis Booth, Robbie Dowling; Daithí Carroll, Liam Kinsella; Brian Ging, James Phelan, Neil Keane; Cathal Whelan, Andrew Booth, Robbie Ging. Subs: Conor Booth for A Booth (half time, inj), Shane Carroll for Whelan (47 mins), Shane Booth for Kavanagh (56 mins)
Referee: Maurice Deegan (Stradbally)
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