Latest Laois Sport: Relegation stalks O’ Moore men as Laois humbled by Kildare
Allianz Football League Division 2 South
Laois 1-08 Kildare 2-18
A wasteful Laois were made to pay for their tally of misses by a much more clinical Kildare side at a sun-drenched O’ Moore Park this afternoon. Ironically the hosts began well and an early sweet point from Evan O’ Carroll underlined that good start. Soon however wide after wide was to suck the momentum out of the Laois play. In contrast the visitors took their chances. A converted free brought the Lillywhites level then a glorious Jimmy Hyland point off his left put the visiting side ahead for the first time.
While Laois were too lateral and played too much from sideline to sideline Kildare were way more direct. That direct play saw Kildare rewarded with a smart Feely point. Paul Kingston fired wide in response before a Kildare player struck a lovely point of his left to put Kildare into a three-point lead. Evan O’ Carroll reduced the deficit with a well-struck point before his Laois teammates resumed firing wide after wide.
That two-point lead for Kildare at the water break was soon doubled after a purple spell from the visitors. in response Gary Walsh took the fight to Kildare and it was his long-range point that cut the deficit. Laois had a solid case for a penalty soon after but got the free instead. Walsh fired over the resulting placed ball to underline his fine display and reduce the Kildare lead to a brace. Any hope of Laois getting even closer on the scoreboard was blown away by a quickfire Flynn ‘one two’ however. First Kevin Flynn pointed before his namesake Luke goaled in a devastating couple of minutes for the hosts. Flynn’s goal was set up by a powerful Kirwan drive through the heart of the home cover before a clever lofted handpass from Feely set up Flynn for his goal. Laois, in contrast, were wasteful up front and took too many passes to get the ball forward. The half ended with the bizarre sight of Laois keeper Corbett being dispossessed on the Kildare ’45’. That opening thirty five minutes had seen Laois score a paltry four points while racking up seven wides.
Kildare continued where they had left off on the resumption of play. First Niall Flynn fired over a wind-assisted free to leave his side in a 1-08 to 0-04 lead. Again it was Walsh who proved the fulcrum of the Laois resistance. He pointed from play then the Ballylinan clubman converted a free to cut the deficit even further. In response Kildare notched another point courtesy of Neil Flynn to keep Laois at bay.
Calamity was to strike for the hosts soon after however. Kevin Flynn got on the end of a Kildare breakaway attack where he and Kirwan had combined slickly before sliding his shot low into the corner for Kildare’s second and decisive goal of the encounter. Eoin Lowry angled over a sweet point from play for the home side but it proved inconsequential as Kildare tacked on a brace of points to leave them in a 2-11 to 1-07 lead at the water break.
Kildare steamed home with a pair of Jimmy Hyland points. Sub Shane O’Sullivan tacked on three clinical points late on when introduced. That put the icing on the cake for a very happy visiting side who are now in a promotion playoff. In contrast the Laois men have an unwanted relegation dogfight on their hands. For Laois Gary Walsh was the one positive throughout with good cameos also from Evan O’ Carroll and Eoin Lowry at times. For the victors the three Flynns, Kevin Feely, Jimmy Hyland and Shane O’Sullivan late on all shone.
Laois: Niall Corbett; Gareth Dillon, Mark Timmons, Robert Pigott; Seamus Lacey, Patrick O’Sullivan, Alan Farrell; Kieran Lillis, John O’Loughlin; Brian Byrne, Paul Kingston, Eoin Lowry (0-01); Daniel O’Reilly, Evan O’Carroll (0-02), Gary Walsh (1-05, 0-03f).
Subs: Brendan Carroll for O’Reilly (h/t); Mark Barry for Kingston (50); Eoin Buggie for O’Sullivan (54); Brian Daly for Byrne and Trevor Collins for Timmons (58); Sean Byrne for O’Loughlin and Ross Munnelly for Walsh (64).
Kildare: Mark Donnellan; Mark Dempsey, Mick O’Grady, David Hyland; Kevin Flynn (1-01), Eoin Doyle, Ryan Houlihan; Luke Flynn (1-00), Kevin Feely (0-01); Neil Flynn (0-04, 0-03f), Fergal Conway (0-01), Paul Cribbin; Brian McLoughlin (0-01), Darragh Kirwan, Jimmy Hyland (0-04, 1m, 1f).
Subs: Aaron Masterson (0-02) for Feely (h/t); Shane O’Sullivan (0-03, 0-01f) for McLoughlin (49); Alex Beirne for Kirwan (52); Paddy Brophy for Neil Flynn (58); Shea Ryan for Houlihan and Conor Hartley (0-01) for Cribbin (67).
Referee: Paul Faloon (Down).