Action from the Allianz National football League Division 2 clash between Laois and Armagh at MW Hire O'Moore Park. Photo: Denis Byrne
The Laois footballers continued their good start to Division 2 with an impressive six-point victory over Armagh at MW Hire O'Moore Park on Saturday evening.
Laois 0 - 16
Armagh 0 - 10
Allianz National Football League Division 2
Laois held Kieran McGeeney's men to just two first-half points as they went in six points to the good at the change of halves, and produced more of the same in the closing half against an improved Armagh display to notch their first victory of the campaign.
Laois tempted first when Colm Murphy fisted across the goalmouth four minutes in, only for the ball to bounce just wide of the left-hand post. A minute later, Laois were up and running thanks to a close-range Evan O'Carroll free.
Armagh hit the next score through a Rian O'Neill '45, but Laois were on top in the early stages and the next two scores went their way with Michael Keogh dissecting the uprights and Mark Barry followed with a free soon after as the home side went three in front.
Armagh quipped back with what would be their final point of the half, and their only score from play when midfielder Niall Grimley fisted over the Laois crossbar with 20 minutes on the clock.
Laois closed out the final 15 minutes of the half with a further five points arriving before the half-time whistle sounded. Evan O'Carroll hit two in a row, his first a well-worked score from Eoin Lowry's crossfield pass, and more followed. Corner-back Brian Byrne and captain Kieran Lillis raised white flags before full-back Mark Timmons sent over the final point of the half with a classy effort from the outside of his right boot.
Laois went for the dressing rooms leading by six points on a scoreline of 0-8 to 0-2.
Laois were quickest off the mark when Mark Barry tapped over a short free to increase the Laois lead, but Armagh went on to surpass their first half tally within four minutes of the restart through Conor Turbitt and a brace of frees from full-forward Rian O'Neill.
O'Neill nailed a 45m free from the outside of his right and while Evan O'Carroll replied with a super solo score, O'Neill would trade another with O'Carroll not long after.
O'Carroll scored his fifth of the night with just over 20 minutes left to play, but the Laois lead was back to four points seconds later when substitute Jarlath Og Burns added his name to the scoresheet.
Laois lost Eoin Lowry to a black card 51 minutes into the game, and had Mark Timmons to thank just after when he cleared the Laois line after a long ball in caused uncertainty.
Mark Barry came to the fore in the final quarter with four points, three frees, as Armagh managed just two more Jamie Clarke frees to see Laois record a six-point win at MW Hire O'Moore Park.
*See Tuesday's Leinster Express for full coverage
Scorers: Mark Barry 0-7 (0-6 frees), Evan O'Carroll 0-5 (0-3 frees), Michael Keogh 0-1, Brian Byrne 0-1, Kieran Lillis 0-1, Mark Timmons 0-1.
Team: Niall Corbet (Clonaslee); Brian Byrne (Graiguecullen), Mark Timmons (Graiguecullen), Gearoid Hanrahan (Mountmellick); Sean O’Flynn (Courtwood), Robbie Pigott (Portarlington), Paddy O’Sullivan (Portarlington); John O’Loughlin (Rosenallis), Kieran Lillis (Portlaoise); Sean Byrne (Portarlington), Mark Barry (O'Dempsey's), Eoin Lowry (Killeshin); Michael Keogh (St Joseph’s), Evan O’Carroll (Crettyard), Colm Murphy (Portarlington). Subs: Trevor Collins (Graiguecullen) for Keogh (46 mins), Damien O'Connor (Timahoe) for S Byrne (60 mins), Ross Munnelly (Arles-Kilcruise) for Murphy (66 mins), Cahir Healy (Portlaoise) for B Byrne (69 mins), Darragh Connolly (Ballyfin) for O'Carroll (70 mins).
Scorers: Rian O’Neill 0-5 (0-3 frees, one ’45), Jamie Clarke 0-2 (frees), Niall Grimley, Conor Turbitt and Jarlath Og Burns 0-1 each.
Team: Blaine Hughes; Aaron McKay, Brendan Donaghy, Paddy Burns; Greg McCabe, Conor O'Neill, Stephen Sheridan; Oisin O'Neill, Niall Grimley; Conor Turbitt, Mark Shields, Callum Cumiskey; Stefan Campbell, Rian O'Neill, Jason Duffy. Subs: Paul Hughes for Shields (28 mins), Jarlath Og Burns for Duffy (HT), Joe McElroy for G McCabe (46 mins), Jemar Hall for Cumiskey (56 mins), Jamie Clarke for O O’Neill (60 mins).
REFEREE: Jerome Henry (Mayo)