An excellent second half display saw Laois earn a well-deserved six point win over Longford at a windswept O’Moore Park on Wednesday night.
Leinster MFC Round 1
With a gale force wind blowing down towards the town end of O’Moore Park, Laois had the elements in their favour in the first half. They made good use of them in the early stages, opening their account after three minutes with a pointed free from Evin Keane.
Eoin Lowry and Tom Shiel (45) tacked on a couple more points as Laois moved three ahead after six minutes, but the scores dried up after that. Such was the ferocity of the wind, it was a hindrance as much as help, but Laois’ reluctance to play the ball long wasn’t helping.
Longford pointed twice in quick succession, through Martin Cassidy and Matty Gorman to get within one, with Evin Keane’s response for Laois, in the 16th minute, the last score of the half.
Incredibly, it was playing into the wind that Laois really found form, and they rattled the back of the net after just 22 seconds, with Dean Cullen the goalscorer. Tom Shiel added a free moment later to put Laois six clear and leave Longford with a mountain to climb.
As they quickly found out, the strength of the wind was no big advantage, they struggled for scores. They did get within three at one stage, but two points from Evin Keane and great team effort finished off by Nigel Murphy saw Laois safely home by six points.
SCORERS – Laois: Evin Keane 0-4 (1f), Dean Cullen 1-0, T Shiel 0-3 (3f), Eoin Lowry, Nigel Murphy 0-1 each
Longford: Martin Cassidy 0-3 (3f), Matty Gorman, Patrick Kiernan, David McGivney 0-1 each
LAOIS: P O’Sullivan; A Campion, D McDermott, L Knowles; N Murphy, C Hogan, D McAuley; R Dowling, C McEvoy; D Cullen, T Shiel, D O’Reilly; E Keane, E Lowry, E O’Carroll. Subs: A Forbes for Dowling (30, inj), A Brennan for Cullen (54), M Keogh for Shiel (56), J Davis for Knowles (57), A McGrath for McEvoy (60)
LONGFORD: S Fitzpatrick; A Duffy, J Earley, D Reynolds; C Hughes, A McElliott, R Sweeney; P Farrell, S Kenny; M Cassidy, D McGivney, L Sullivan; L Moran, A Farrell, P Kiernan. Subs: R Brady for Gorman (24), F Sheridan for Farrell (57)
Ref: G Whelan (Wicklow)