Laois grab their goal chances to see off Longford
Kingston brothers Donie and Paul are on fire in full-forward line for Laois
Laois’s Niall Donoher is tackled by James McGivney of Longford at O’Moore Park, Portlaoise. Photograph: INPHO/Tommy Grealy
Laois 4-15 Longford 0-16
Laois’s ability to take goal chances made all the difference in O’Moore Park as they saw off Longford to set up to a quarter-final clash with Kildare.
Laois came into the game on the back of relegation to Division 4 of the National Football League for the first time in 50 years, but they played with the wind in the opening half and took full advantage.
With the Kingston brothers – Donie and Paul – on fire in the full-forward line, Laois hit the ground running. They hit four points in the opening four minutes – with Niall Donoher, Evan O’Carroll and the two Kingstons on target – and by the 16th minute they were 0-9 to 0-3 ahead, with debutant Eoin Buggie, Brendan Quigley, Padraig McMahon and Donie Kingston (free) all on adding points.
The outstanding Robbie Smyth kept the scoreboard ticking over for Longford and the visitors hit a purple patch to bring the difference back to two – Smyth with three more and Michael Quinn with the other.
A John O’Loughlin point settled Laois again, and then came the game’s big turning point just before half-time. Within a minute Laois had two goals. Paul Kingston got the first when he blasted home after a great pass from Padraig McMahon, and from the resulting kickout Laois went on the attack again. Donie Kingston and O’Carroll combined, with Kingston brilliantly rolling his shot past Longford keeper Paddy Collum.
And the game was ended as a contest within five minutes of the restart. First Alan Farrell got in for a goal after a pass from Darren Strong, and moments later Paul Kingston was set up for his second by big brother Donie.
From there on the game slowed. Smyth finished with 11 points to his name but it’s Laois that have a big day out against their neighbours to look forward to in two weeks’ time.
LAOIS: G Brody; D O’Connor, D Booth, D Strong (0-1); P McMahon (0-1), S Attride, E Buggie (0-1); C Begley (0-1), B Quigley (0-1); A Farrell (1-0), J O’Loughlin (0-3), N Donoher (0-1); E O’Carroll (0-1), D Kingston (1-4, 0-3 f), P Kingston (2-1). Subs: J Kelly for O’Connor (30), G Dillon for Attride (inj - 59), J Finn for D Kingston (66), R Munnelly for O’Carroll, K Meaney for Donoher (72 mins), S Moore for O’Loughlin (72 mins)
LONGFORD: P Collum; D Brady, B Gilleran, A Farrell; D McElligott, J McGivney, D Reynolds; M Quinn (0-1), J Keegan; R McEntire (0-1), S McCormack (0-1), D Masterson; R Smyth (0-11, 7f), L Connerton, B McKeon. Subs: D Gallagher (0-1) for Masterson (26), B O’Farrell for Farrell (HT), C Berry (0-1) for B O’Farrell (54), D Mimnagh for Reynolds (70), D McGivney for McEntire (70)
Referee: A Nolan (Wicklow)