Tailteann Cup wrap: Laois silence doubters to see off 14-man Fermanagh

Mark Rossiter propels Wexford to deserved victory over Offaly

Tailteann Cup preliminary quarter-final: Fermanagh 1-9 Laois 1-11

Laois silenced the doubters with a deserved victory over a poor 14-man Fermanagh side in Brewster Park.

Two late points from corner forward Mark Barry sealed the deal for Laois in a thrilling finish.

But delighted Laois boss Billy Sheehan hit out at the doubters in his own county after the county threw a big lead to draw with lowly London.

“It’s a big boost for Laois and for the players who have been taking abuse from clubs, social media and from everyone and all that matters is that we won.


“We have a small travelling support, and they are brilliant.

“They go to all the games, and we are thrilled with them and we know the rest are just abusing us so it is good to give a reply to that as well.

“In the London game we were ahead by seven points and we were ahead by six points against Offaly so we always knew that this performance was in the lads.”

Fermanagh got off to thundering start when full back Che Cullen went on a scintillating 70-metre solo run before landing a superb left-footed point for the home side after two minutes.

But they failed to build on this good start as Laois settled quickly and levelled from a Mark Barry free.

Laois looked like a side determine to banish the London blues where they were held to a draw, went in front through Paul Kingston in the 8th minute.

Shane McGullion had a chance of a goal for Fermanagh but blazed over the bar in the 10th minute.

But that was to be their last score for 15 minuets as a much hungrier Laois carved holes in the lacklustre Fermanagh defence.

Laois full-forward Evan O Carroll regained the lead for the O’Moore county from a mark.

The almost had a goal in the 16h minute when it took a brilliant block from Ryan Lyons stopped a certain goal from a Damon Larkin rasper.

The ball broke to centre back Mark Timmons and he first-timed the ball over the bar.

Dominant Laois could have had another goal two minutes later but Colm Murphy slammed the ball over the bar when a goal looked on as they led by 0-5 to 0-2.

Fermanagh almost netted three minutes later when Johnny Cassidy sent Shane McGullion but his bulleted effort cannoned off the crossbar to safety.

Ryan Lyons did manage a point when he too might have had a goal as the ball flew over the Laois bar.

But it was Laois who were making all the plays and Evan O’Carroll swung over a great left-footed point.

Disaster struck for the home side when midfielder Ryan Jones was red-carded following an incident with Laois midfielder Damon Larkin. McGullion did manage to narrow the gap in the run up to the break when he pointed from an acute angle to leave the towering Leinster men leading by 0-6 to 0-4 at half-time.

Fermanagh upped their game in the third quarter and hit four points on the bounce from Luke Flanagan, Conor McGee, Ryan Lyons and Brandon Horan in the third quarter to lead by 0-8 to 0-6.

But they were rocked by a great solo goal from veteran Laois centre back Mark Timmons who made it 1-6 to 0-8.

Evan O’Carroll increased the lead for Laois before a great Ultan Kelm run and shot broke to Sean Quigley who netted making this score his 502nd point for his county.

Bizarrely Quigley was then taken off as both sides slugged it out to the finish.

Fermanagh were leading by 1-8 to 1-7 but Paul Kingston levelled from a soft free. Fermanagh missed two easy chances from Kelm and Conor McShea. Kingston converted another soft free before Lyons levelled matters three minutes from time.

But Laois made the extra man count, and emerged as deserved winners as the fans roundly booed Sligo referee Barry Judge as he was escorted from the pitch.

Fermanagh: Sean McNally; Luke Flanagan (0-1) Che Cullen (0-1), Lee Cullen; Shane McGullion (0-2) Johnny Cassidy, Declan McCusker; Ryan Jones, Brandon Horan (0-1); Aidan Breen, Ryan Lyons (0-3), Ronan McCaffrey; Ultan Kelm, Tommy McCaffrey, Sean Quigley (1-0). Subs; Garvan Jones for Tommy McCaffey (25), Conor McGee (0-1), for Aidan Breen (28), Conor McShea for Sean Quigley (56) Josh Largo Ellis for Declan McCusker (61) Ciaran Corrigan for Shane McGullion (70)

Laois: Killian Roche; Sean Greene, Trevor Collins, Robert Piggott; Padraig Kirwan, Mark Timmons (1-2) Patrick O’Sullivan; Kieran Lillis, Damon Larkin; Colm Murphy (0-1) Paul Kingston (0-3f), James Finn; Mark Barry (0-2f) Evan O’Carroll (0-3) Eoin Lowry. Subs; Kevin Swayne for Colm Murphy (54) Sean O’Flynn for Padraig Kirwan (56), Dylan Kavanagh for Mark Timmons (58), Nial Corbett for James Finn (72).

Referee: Barry Judge (Sligo)

Tailteann Cup preliminary quarter-final: Down 1-20 Longford 1-12

Down showed a willingness to learn in their defeat of Longford to advance to the quarter-final stages of the Tailteann Cup. Having been wayward the week previous, their scoring efficiency improved as the game went on in their eight point win in Páirc Esler.

In the Meath loss, Conor Laverty’s side clocked 17 wides and compared to four on the night in Newry, that part was obvious but a change in their second half accuracy showed even greater maturity.

Down handpassed illegally over Paddy Collum’s head twice but the hosts left a number of other goal chances behind them and wasted a ton of possession in umpteen attacks before that. That looked to be their undoing until Danny Magill found the net in the 45th minute from the bench. Once the green flag was raised the hosts could relax in the shot selection a lot more and take care of a sapped Longford outfit in the second period.

Down assistant manager Mickey Donnelly was greatly pleased with that aspect of his side’s performance.

“You’re trying to work the ball into the scoring zone, you’re taking that extra care and how that manifests itself, we went hunting goals that weren’t really there, when it would have been good enough to box the ball over the bar a couple of times or dink it over from the edge of the D.”

“We certainly did that in the second half and that was very pleasing.”

In the opening half, Longford wing forward Joe Hagan looked to be the difference on the night.The Dromard man had 1-3 in the first half but his goal chance after his major could have pushed the game that bit too far for the hosts.

Down net minder Niall Kane somewhat redeemed himself in the process with a one on one stoppage after Hagan fortuitously found the net in the first instance. Patrick Fox was also guilty of a clearcut goal chance. Pat Havern kept Down in touch along with the returning Andrew Gilmore to see Down trail 1-8 to 0-8 at half-time.

Laverty brought in goalscorer Magill at that juncture and it paid off handsomely 10 minutes later. The breakthrough broke Longford’s concentration as they looked to exit championship stage left.

With full back Andrew Farrell heading to the square, four second-half points was all they could muster. Darren Gallagher hit a boomer from a sideline but counted for little as they lost Aaron Farrell and Daire O’Brien to indisciplined black cards. With further fresh legs of Ross Carr and Rory Mason, Down scored the last six points of the game the sons of famous Down players Brendan and namesake Ross combined for five between them.

“That was huge to get that kind of return,” Donnelly finished. ”Every one of them gave us that bit of impact in different ways. Ross was really combative in the middle of the field, Danny was elusive and able to break lines, and Rory Mason brought that wee bit of class. Rory’s a really good kicker.”

DOWN: N Kane; A Doherty, P Laverty, P McCarthy (0-1); P Collins, R Magill, D Guinness; S Annett, O Murdock; C Doherty (0-1), D McAleenan (0-1), L Kerr (0-1); A Gilmore (0-3), P Havern (0-6), E Branagan (0-2). SUBS: R Carr (0-2) (1m) for G Collins (33), D Magill (1-0) for Annett (ht), R Mason (0-3) (2f ) for McAleenan (47), Eamon Brown for Gilmore (55), P Branagan for R Magill blood (68).

LONGFORD: P Collum; P Fox 0-1, Andrew Farrell, B Masterson; I O’Sullivan, M Quinn, P Lynn; R Moffett, D Gallagher (0-1); J Hagan (1-3), D Reynolds (0-1), Aaron Farrell; K McGann (0-2), D Farrell (0-2), D Doherty (0-2) (1m). SUBS: B O’Farrell for Lynn blood (21-24), O’Farrell for D Farrell (58), M Duffy for Doherty (67), D O’Brien for Reynolds (71), R Harkin for Lynn (71)

Referee: A Nolan (Wicklow)

Tailteann Cup preliminary quarter-final: Wexford 1-22 Offaly 2-14

Wexford kept their season alive with a comfortable – and deserved – win over Offaly in Tullamore on Saturday evening. All of Wexford’s 1-22 came from play and they were clearly the better side on the day.

Playing against a strong wind in the first half, Wexford played most of the football as Offaly struggled to get any momentum going. The home side looked tired and were fortunate to be only three points down at half time, 1-10 to 1-7.

Wexford missed three good goal chances in the first half, with Ian Duffy saving brilliantly from Padraic Hughes and Glen Malone in the first minute and 34th minute respectively. Mark Rossiter also hit the crossbar with a 12th minute punch, but he finally breached the Offaly covering when racing through for a quality 38th minute goal.

That goal was no more than Wexford deserved as they had played most of the football in the first half. Offaly did lead for most of the way, with a seventh minute Anton Sullivan penalty goal, awarded for a foot block on Ruari McNamee. It gave them a 1-1 to 0-1 lead early on.

Wexford got on level terms, 0-6 to 1-3 after 19 minutes, before points from Cian Farrell and Nigel Dunne put Offaly two in front. Wexford got three points in a row with, Mark Rossiter putting them in front in the 33rd minute. Ruari McNamee levelled but that Rossiter goal gave Wexford a very deserved half time lead.

After the sides exchanged early second half points, Offaly’s fate was sealed when Joe Maher was sent off for a second yellow card in the 41st minute – Anton Sullivan joined him deep in injury time, picking up a black and a red.

With the wind on their back and benefiting from the numerical advantage, Wexford pushed for home. They got three in a row with man of the match Rossiter’s outstanding kick putting them 1-14 to 1-8 clear.

The result had an air of inevitability from here to the final whistle. Offaly could get little going and never threatened to rescue the game. The winners were seven up, 1-18 to 1-11 as it went into the last ten minutes and points from Robbie Brooks and impressive sub, Ben Brosnan got them over the 20 point mark.

They were 1-22 to 1-14 ahead when Aaron Leavy punched home an Offaly goal in the 76th minute but at that stage, it didn’t matter.

WEXFORD: D Brooks; B Cushe, D Furlong, M Furlong; E Porter, G Malone (0-2), P Hughes (0-1); L Coleman, N Hughes (0-1); A Tobin, E Nolan (0-4), K O’Grady (0-2); R Brooks (0-2), M Rossiter (1-4), Brian Molloy (0-3). Subs – B Brosnan (0-2) for O’Grady (49 mins), C Kinsella for Nolan (60 mins), D Lyons for Tobin (62 mins), J Turbitt (0-1) for Brooks (65 mins), L O’Connor for Furlong (66 mins),

OFFALY: I Duffy; L Pearson, D Hogan, D Dempsey; C Donohue, C McNamee, C Donnelly (0-1); P Cunningham (0-1), A Leavy (1-0); Jordan Hayes, R McNamee (0-3, 2f), A Sullivan (1-1, goal from a penalty); C Farrell (0-2, 1m), J Maher, N Dunne (0-3, 1f). Subs – N Bracken for Donohue (45 mins), B Allen (0-3, 1f) for Dunne (45 mins), J Evans for Farrell (47 mins), M Tynan for C McNamee (54 mins), A Brazil for Donnelly (60 mins).

Referee: David Murnane (Cork).

Tailteann Cup preliminary quarter-final: Carlow 0-15 New York 0-10

Carlow advanced to the Tailteann Cup quarter-final proper when they produced an excellent second half preliminary quarter-final performance to edge out New York at Netwatch Cullen Park on Saturday.

The Exiles played the better football in the opening half and looked to have the stronger legs. Shane Carthy scored three points, two from frees, while Gavin O’Brien raised two white flags. Three more of their starting forwards scored from play as the home side played catch-up.

Darragh Foley, who became Carlow highest ever intercounty senior football scorer last week against Longford, kept his side in touch with three frees and a point from play.

At the break, the visitors led 0-8 to 0-6 and were good value for their advantage.

The home side were a changed team after the interval. The shed any inhibitions which they had and took the game to their rivals.

Conor Doyle and Jordan Morrissey each pointed from distance which drew huge roars from the packed stand. Colm Hulton also settled for a point when a goal was gaping.

At the other end, Carlow keeper, Johnny Furey, saved point-blank from Luke Kelly when a goal would have had the potential to turn the game on its head.

As Carlow pressed the energy visibly drained itself from the New York effort. A simple pass went astray as two players got their wires crossed and the ball went harmlessly over the sideline for a Carlow possession.

The home side held what they had in the closing minutes but at times they looked far from assured as New York turned them over on two occasions. Right at the end, Furey had to make another save at his near post.

It wouldn’t have mattered at that stage with the full-time whistle coming on the clearance. A relieved home side were happy to get over the line and will be looking to build now for stiffer tests ahead.

Carlow: J Furey, S Buggy, M Bambrick (0-1), M Furey, N Hickey, S Clarke, C Moran (0-1), C Doyle (0-2), J Morrissey (0-1), C Crowley (0-1), J Moore, R Dunphy, C Hulton (0-2), D Foley (0-7), J Clarke. Subs: S Bambrick for S Clarke (12), J Dunne for Molloy (44), A Amond for Dunphy (58), F Kavanagh for Doyle (69), E Molloy for Moore (69).

New York: B Cole; J Boyle, A Campbell, S Bolger; R Wharton, P Fox, B Maher; J Glynn, L Kearney; D O’Sullivan (0-1), S Brosnan (0-1), S Carthy (0-4); J Reilly (0-1), G O’Brien (0-2), AL Stones. Subs: M Ellis for Stones (h/t), C Ahearne for Reilly (42), L Kelly for O’Sullivan (56), T Mathers for Brosnan (56), K Butler (0-1) for Carthy (65),

Referee: S Lonergan (Tipperary).