Walsh earns gritty Laois a share of the spoils
Laois 1-17 Louth 2-14:They will meet later in the year in the Leinster championship but neither were holding back when they clashed at O’Moore Park on Saturday evening.Laois were dealt a blow when Pádraig Clancy cried off before the game and was replaced by Michael John Tierney. Louth looked very sharp and Shane Lennon kicked an early point but Billy Sheehan equalised three minutes later.
Ross Munnelly gave Laois the lead but Louth took control, shooting the next five points.
Laois looked in serious trouble but then a great move saw Colm Coss set up John O’Loughlin for a goal.
Points by Munnelly and Colm Begley saw the lead change hands and Louth finished well as Brian White kicked the equaliser on the stroke of half-time to make it 1-6 to 0-9.
The second half produced breathtaking football played at championship pace. Laois opened with points by Gary Walsh and Ross Munnelly but Louth stunned them with a superb goal from Andy McDonnell after 40 minutes.
Louth took control but points by Tierney and Munnelly narrowed the gap. Louth responded again with scores from Kevin Rogers and then in the 52nd minute a defensive lapse saw Rogers add a goal to leave five points between the teams.
Louth lost the excellent Shane Lennon and Laois hit five points without reply to draw level with 10 minutes to play. Brian White regained the lead with four minutes left but Gary Walsh had the last word with Laois’ equaliser.
LAOIS:E Culliton; D Booth, M Timmons, P O’Leary; D Strong, J O’Loughlin (1-2), C Boyle; B Quigley, K Meaney; R Munnelly (0-5) C Coss, C Begley (0-2); B Sheehan (0-1), MJ Tierney (0-2), G Walsh (0-5). Subs: C Healy for D Strong (44 mins), C Kelly for C Coss (55 mins), P McMahon for K Meaney (56 mins). LOUTH:N Gallagher; R O’Carroll (0-1), D Finnegan, G Hoey; J O’Brien, D Crilly (0-1), A Reid (0-1); P Keenan, M Fanning; A McDonnell (1-1), B Donnelly, B White (0-4); P Smith, S Lennon (0-3), K Rogers (1-3). Subs: D Maguire for P Smith (32 mins), C McGuinness for M Fanning (half-time) D Clarke for R Carroll (55 mins), C Rafferty for S Lennon (inj, 56 mins), D Reid for K Rogers (60 mins). Referee: P O’Sullivan (Kerry).