Evan O’Carroll and old guard turn things around for Laois

Down led by five points early in the second half before visitors mounted comeback

Evan O’Carroll scored eight points to help Laois  beat Down in Newry. Photograph: Bryan Keane/Inpho

Evan O’Carroll scored eight points to help Laois beat Down in Newry. Photograph: Bryan Keane/Inpho

 

Laois 2-15 Down 1-12

A wonderful second-half performance from Laois saw them get the better of Down in a gripping Allianz Football League Division Three contest at Páirc Esler in Newry.

Laois trailed 0-10 to 0-5 early in the second half but they turned things round with Evan O’Carroll inspirational at full forward, and the half-time introduction of veterans Donie Kingston and Colm Begley also instrumental.

O’Carroll finished with eight points after tormenting the Down defence all evening while he also played a key role in Laois’ two goals – Colm Murphy’s 59th-minute strike as well as Paul Cahillane’s insurance score in injury time.

Conor McGrady, Paul Devlin and Pat Havern were all to the fore in the opening half for Down as they built up a 0-9 to 0-5 lead at the break.

But despite McGrady putting them five clear early in the second half, Laois soon took over. They hit seven points on the trot to go 0-12 to 0-10 up and Murphy’s goal had them in a strong position entering the final 10 minutes.

Sub Donal O’Hare palmed to the net to help reduce the deficit to one but Laois had enough in the tank and Cahillane made sure of the win late on.

LAOIS: G Brody; D Seale, S Nerney, A Campion; S Attride, R Pigott, G Dillon; J O’Loughlin, K Lillis; D O’Connor, C Boyle (0-3), S Byrne; C Murphy (1-1, one free), E O’Carroll (0-8, six frees), P Kingston.

Subs: C Begley for Campion, D Kingston (0-3, two frees) for O’Connor (both h/t), P Cahillane (1-0) for P Kingston (59), D O’Reilly for Byrne, R Tyrell for Lillis (both 63)

DOWN: R Burns; R McAleenan, N Donnelly, S Murnin; S Fagan, C Flanagan, J Flynn; C Francis (0-1), L Devlin; C McGrady (0-2, one free), C Poland, S McConville; P Devlin (0-4, four frees), P Havern (0-3, two frees), J Johnston (0-1).

Subs: C Mooney for Donnelly (45 mins), D O’Hare (1-1) for Devlin, C Quinn for Havern (both 49), D Guinness for McGrady (51), C Doherty for Poland (59).

Referee: M McNally (Monaghan).

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