Leaving Pearse Park on Sunday afternoon, the questions whirled around the warm May air like midges, refusing to go away. How did Laois lose this game? How did they not score from play in the second half? How could a team change so much from one half to the next? Where do Laois go from here?
Leinster Senior Football Championship
The most pressing of those questions was how did Laois lose this game? Six points up at half time, Longford were causing them few problems, and the promise of a quarter-final date against Wexford was within touching distance. And then it was whipped away.
It shouldn’t have been, but it was. Laois went from a side which attacked with purpose in the first half, creating nearly 20 scoring chances, to a team which couldn’t muster one score from play in the second half. They only managed three points in the second half, all of which came from placed balls, a worrying statistic.
The manner of the defeat was upsetting too, as Laois showed little composure when Longford started to come back at them in the second half. The home side were also allowed to scores seven unanswered points before the Laois management opted to make a change, at which point, they withdrew both corner-forwards. That didn’t really get to the heart of Laois’ problems out the field, where Longford were creating and taking scores more clinically than Justin McNulty’s side could manage.
See this week’s Leinster Express for full report and reaction