Evan O'Carroll in full flight for Laois against Longford. Pic: Alf Harvey
Laois ground out a defensive Longford to claim their third win of the campaign in this encounter at O'Moore Park on Saturday evening.
Trailing a point at half time, a superior second half showing put Laois ahead and denied Longford an opportunity to cause an upset in Portlaoise.
James McGivney opened the scoring for the visitors. Evan O’Carroll replied with a free, and Ross Munnelly had Laois in front soon after.
Darren Gallagher levelled with a long-range effort, but John O’Loughlin had Laois back in front after Evan O’Carroll showed some patient play.
Liam Connerton was allowed to weave his way through too may Laois challenges, and pointed with ease. Conor Boyle again restored Laois’s lead after a nice ball in from Kingston.
Connerton’s pace was providing a problem, and he levelled proceedings for a fourth time. O’Carroll burst his way through for Laois’s fifth, and the lead restored.
A long ball in from Ross Munnelly into Kingston allowed him to catch well and point the free. Connerton brought the gap back to one for Longford, and substitute Mark Hughes deadlocked the sides.
Longford finally went in front after another excellent point from midfielder Darren Gallagher. Gallagher then had them two up after a straightforward free.
Ross Munnelly, who was making his 100th appearance, kicked a fantastic score, and that would be the last score of the half as Laois trailed by one.
Munnelly levelled upon the restart, but Darren Hughes placed over a free to put Longford back in front. Connorton then slipped in Mark Hughes, and he took his point when the goal was on.
Captain Stephen Attride replied for Laois, before Kingston made apace for himself and pointed nicely. Michael Quinn landed a long-range effort to nput Longford back in front. After a catalogue of missed chances, Evan O’Carroll levelled with a free.
O’Carroll, who’d missed several 45’s in the second half, finally put Laois back on top. Darragh Doherty grasped an equaliser, afte he fisted over a free that dropped short.
Laois kicked on from there though, with Evan O’Carroll and substitute Eoin Lowry points giving them the two points in Division 3.
Scorers: Evan O’Carroll 0-5 (0-2 free, 0-1 45’), Ross Munnelly 0-3, Donie Kingston 0-2 (0-1 free), Eoin Lowry, Conor Boyle (free), Stephen Attride and John O’Loughlin 0-1 each
Team: Graham Brody; Stephen Attride, Mark Timmons, Gareth Dillon; Martin Scully, Robert Pigott, Colm Begley; John O’Loughlin, Kieran Lillis; Sean Byrne, Benny Carroll, Conor Boyle; Ross Munnelly, Evan O’Carroll, Donie Kingston. Subs: Trevor Collins for Byrne (half-time), Sean O’Flynn for Pigott (47 mins), Colm Murphy for Kingston (55 mins), Eoin Lowry for Boyle (61 mins), Paul Cahillane for Scully (65 mins)
Scorers: Darren Hughes 0-4 (0-2 frees), Liam Connerton 0-3, Mark Hughes 0-2, Darragh Doherty, Michael Quinn and James McGivney 0-1 each
Team: Paddy Collum; Patrick Fox, Andrew Farrell, Barry O’Farrell; Colm P Smyth, Donal McElligott, Darren Quinn; Darren Gallagher, Michael Quinn; Ronan McEntire, James McGivney, Daniel Mimnagh; Darren Doherty, Connor Berry, Liam Connerton. Subs: Mark Hughes for Berry (17 mins, inj), John Keegan for McEntire (half-time),
Referee: Conor Lane (Cork)