Laois got top with win over Armagh
Mike Quirke’s side run out six point winners at O’Moore Park
Laois manager Mike Quirke. Photo: Inpho
Laois 0-16 Armagh 0-10
A superb 70-minute performance saw Mike Quirke’s men record a six-point win with Mark Barry top scoring with seven points and Evan O’Carroll hitting five.
Having rescued a draw against Roscommon last Sunday, there was a pep in their step from the start.
Armagh, on the back of a big win over Cavan in their opening game were 2/5 favourites. But the first half was more or less all Laois and they went in 0-8 to 0-2 ahead at the break.
Armagh flooded back 14 men when Laois had possession but the home side got most joy from pressurising Armagh’s kickout.
O’Carroll (free) and Rian O’Neill (45) exchanged early points but in a low-scoring opening quarter Laois got the next two - a sweet effort from Michael Keogh and a free from Barry.
Midfielder Niall Grimley responded for Armagh in the 20th minute but Laois then got five in a row. O’Carroll got the first with his left, then he pointed a free after being fouled himself.
Debutant Brian Byrne showed great pace to point from play, Lillis got an almost customary outside of the left boot effort and then Mark Timmons came up from full-back to leave Laois six up at the break.
After a turgid showing in the opening 35 minutes, Armagh upped the tempo considerably on the restart. Barry had stretched Laois’s lead with a free but Armagh hit the next four - three O’Neill frees and one from Conor Turbitt and they had the gap back to three by the 41st minute.
But Laois steadied and a couple of Barry frees and two from O’Carroll had them 0-13 to 0-8 up entering the last 15 minutes.
The returning Jamie Clarked then pointed twice for Armagh but Barry was on form and hit the last couple of scores to see Laois home.
Laois: N Corbet; B Byrne (0-1), M Timmons (0-1), G Hanrahan; S O’Flynn, R Pigott, P O’Sullivan; K Lillis (0-1), J O’Loughlin; S Byrne, M Barry (0-7, 0-6f), E Lowry; M Keogh (0-1), C Murphy, E O’Carroll (0-5, 0-3f). Subs: T Collins for Keogh (45 mins), D O’Connor for Byrne (60), R Munnelly for Murphy (65), C Healy for Byrne (69), D Connolly for O’Carroll (70).
Armagh: B Hughes; P Burns, A McKay, B Donaghy; G McCabe, C O’Neill, S Sheridan; N Grimley (0-1), O O’Neill; M Shields, C Cumiskey, S Campbell; R O’Neill (0-5, 0-3f, 0-1’45), C Turbitt (0-1), J Duffy. Subs: A Nugent for Shields (28), J Óg Burns (0-1) for Duffy (ht), J McElroy for McCabe (46), J Hall for Cumiskey (56), J Clarke (0-2, 0-2f) for O O’Neill (60).
Referee: J Henry (Mayo)