Donie Kingston gets this kick away for Laois against Offaly in Round 3 of the Qualifiers at O'Moore park. Photo: Alf Harvey
The Laois footballers dispatched their midlands neighbours, Offaly, with five points to spare in Round 3 of the Qualifiers at O'Moore park this evening.
Laois 0 - 20
Offaly 0 - 15
All-Ireland SFC Round 3 Qualifer
Laois went in level at ten points apiece at the break, but a stellar second-half performance saw Sugrue's men through to Monday morning's draw.
Laois opened with the first score of the game after just fifteen seconds, John O'Loughlin claiming the throw-in before laying the ball off to Trevor Collins who found Paul Kingston to dissect the posts. Offaly had a goal chance directly after when the two McNamee's combined, but Ruairi's shot was straight at Brody in the Laois goals.
Offaly levelled through a Niall McNamee free, and then took the lead through Ruairi McNamee with five minutes elapsed. Laois hit-back with four on the hop, Donie Kingston (2) Ross Munnelly (free) and Kieran Lillis to push Laois into the lead.
Offaly got back on level terms with three of their own. Goalkeeper Paddy Dunican came up to nail a free, while Ruairi McNamee and Bernard Allen stroked over to leave the score at five points apiece.
Ross Munnelly and Kieran Lillis pointed either side of Ruairi McNamee's third of the half, before Paul Kingston pushed Laois two points ahead. Offaly rallied before the break with Niall and Ruairi McNamee, along with Anton Sullivan pointing to see Offaly pull one point in front.
Donie Kingston (free) and Colm Murphy had Laois back into the lead before the break, but a Niall McNamee point in the second minute of injury-time sent the sides in level at ten points apiece.
Laois restarted the half with Paul and Donie Kingston points to edge them back into the lead. Paddy Dunican came forward to convert another free for John Maughan's side, but Laois rattled off four more through Donie Kingston (2), Colm Murphy and substitute Eoin Lowry pointing seconds after his introduction.
Johnny Moloney and Dunican traded scores with Paul Kingston, Robbie Pigott and Evan O'Carroll after his introduction. Offaly pulled two more back through Allen and Ruairi McNamee, but Laois finished on a high with O'Carroll's second sailing over to seal the Laois win.
*See Tuesday's Leinster Express Sport for full coverage
Scorers: Donie Kingston 0-6 (0-3 frees), Paul Kingston 0-4, Ross Munnelly 0-2 (0-1 free), Evan O'Carroll 0-2, Kieran Lillis 0-2, Colm Murphy 0-2, Eoin Lowry 0-1, Robbie Pigott 0-1
Team: Graham Brody (Portlaoise); Stephen Attride (Killeshin), Denis Booth (The Heath), Gareth Dillon (Portlaoise); Trevor Collins (Graiguecullen), Robert Pigott (Portarlington), Patrick O’Sullivan (Portarlington); John O’Loughlin (St Brigid’s), Kieran Lillis (Portlaoise); Daniel O’Reilly (Griaguecullen), Donie Kingston (Arles-Killeen), Marty Scully (Ballyroan Abbey); Paul Kingston (Arles-Killeen), Colm Murphy (Portarlington), Ross Munnelly (Arles-Kilcruise). Subs: Eoin Lowry (Killeshin) for Munnelly (47 mins), Eoin Buggie for O'Sullivan (51 mins), Evan O'Carroll (Crettyard) for Murphy (54 mins), Damien O'Connor (Timahoe) for O'Reilly (63 mins), Sean Byrne (Portarlington) for Lillis (63 mins), David Seale (Portlaoise) for Attride (67 mins),
Scorers: Niall McNamee 0-3 (0-1 free), Ruairi McNamee 0-3, Bernard Allen 0-2, Paddy Dunican 0-1 free, Anton Sullivan 0-1
Team: Paddy Dunican; Declan Hogan, Eoin Rigney, David Dempsey; Cian Donohoe, Johnny Moloney, Niall Darby; Eoin Carroll, Peter Cunningham; Shane Horan, Anton Sullivan, Cathal Mangan; Bernard Allen, Niall McNamee, Ruairi McNamee. Subs: Mark Abbott for Carroll (48 mins), Paul McConway for Cunningham (54 mins), Cunningham for Sullivan (67 mins),
REFEREE: David Coldrick (Meath)