Action from the Laois SFC Round 2 clash between Arles-Kilcruise and Ballylinan at O'Moore Park. Photo: Denis Byrne
In another dramatic finish, a controversial Ross Munnelly penalty in the ninth minute of injury-time salvaged a draw for Arles-Kilcruise against Ballylinan in an action-packed game of Championship football in O'Moore Park this afternoon.
Arles-Kilcruise 2 - 12
Ballylinan 3 - 9
Laois Shopping Centre Senior Football Championship Round 2 Losers
Arles-Kilcruise were held scoreless in the second-half for 23 minutes before they turned the fixture on its head and snatched a draw at the death in controversial circumstances.
Arles-Kilcruise raced into an early four point lead, Ross Munnelly opening the scoring with a point before connecting with Chris Conway's ball across the square after just three minutes to lift the first of four green flags in the opening half.
Ballylinan eased themselves into the proceedings with Andy McEvoy converting a free to set them underway, but Munnelly did likewise to keep the margin at four points.
The second goal of the day arrived 12 minutes in when Seamus Lacey palmed Alan Farrell's tempting pass into the back of the net. Arles-Kilcruise remained on top with points from Caomhan Brennan, Chris Conway and Munnelly as we entered the final ten minutes of the half.
Ballylinan burst into life to slot 1-3 without reply to storm into a two point lead, Andy McEvoy on hand to bag their second.
Kilcruise rattled off three more points before the break, a brace from Munnelly, but Ballylinan weren't finished yet as their third goal arrived in the first minute of injury-time, Cathail Dunne providing the finish on this occasion to send them in three points ahead at the interval.
The second-half didn't quite live up to the first in the scoring stakes, with just nine scores kicked in total.
Ballylinan kicked the first three points of the half in a slow-burning 20 minutes through Ciaran Farrell, Alan Farrell and a Cathail Dunne free.
Arles-Kilcruise did not reopen their account until the 53rd minute, but would kick four on the bounce to make it a two point game two minutes from time. PJ Lawlor ended their drought with a fine point and more followed from Munnelly, Kevin Meaney and David Conway.
Ballylinan game themselves a three point cushion in the third minute of injury-time through Larry Kealy as they looked to have sealed it, but more late drama was to follow.
After tempers flared in the fifth minute of injury-time, both sides were reduced to fourteen men with Kevin Meaney and Jamie Farrell seeing red.
Then, in the eighth minute of what was initially three minutes of added time, Arles-Kilcruise's Ross Munnelly blasted a 21 metre free at the mass of Ballylinan players on the line - and referee Clifford Ward pointed to the penalty spot for a technical foul.
Munnelly stepped up to the resulting spot kick and sent Tom Wright the wrong way to salvage a draw for Larry Wall's men with the last kick of the game, forcing a replay between the neighbours.
*See Tuesday's Leinster Express Sport for full coverage
Scorers: Ross Munnelly 2-6 (1-0 pen, 0-3 frees), David Conway 0-2, Caomhan Brennan, Chris Conway (free), PJ Lawlor and Kevin Meaney 0-1 each.
Team: Ciaran Lawlor; Cialann Mulhall, Padge Conway, Sean Meaney; JP Conway, Colm Munnelly, Conall Brennan; Stephen Miller, Kevin Meaney; Caomhan Brennan, Brendan Conway, David Conway; Chris Conway, PJ Lawlor, Ross Munnelly. Subs: Anthony McElroy for Padge Conway (18 mins), Dylan Waters for Brendan Conway (35 mins), Chris O'Donovan for Chris Conway (BC, 42 mins), Liam Whelan for McElroy (63 mins), Kevin O'Neill for Waters (65 mins).
Scorers: Andy McEvoy (0-1 free) and Cathail Dunne (0-1 free) 1-2 each, Seamus Lacey 1-0, Ciaran Farrell 0-2, Robbie Donoher, Alan Farrell and Larry Kealy 0-1 each.
Team: Tom Wright; Cathal Leonard, Conor Behan, Kevin Byrne; Alan Farrell, Oisin Leonard, Robbie Donoher; Jamie Farrell, Richie Ryan; Ciaran Fennessy, Ciaran Farrell, Seamus Lacey; James Redmond, Cathail Dunne, Andy McEvoy. Subs: John Kealy for Ryan (10 mins), Dermot Leonard for Behan (44 mins), Larry Kealy for Fennessy (51 mins), Padraig Walsh for Redmond (51 mins), Richie Ryan for Alan Farrell (BC, 66 mins).
REFEREE: Clifford Ward (Portarlington)