Laois shock Roscommon as Padraig McMahon departs panel
Experienced defender withdraws from the panel prior to the game
Laois defender Padraig McMahon has left the panel his manager confirmed. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho
Roscommon arrived in O’Moore Park for their first meeting with Laois in twenty two years, they lost that one by two points but on a bright spring afternoon they were warm favourites to reverse that result.
Laois were hoping to pick up their first league victory at any venue since beating Down on the final day of last year’s campaign that preserved their Division Two status.
The home team were dealt a blow when it was learned that long serving defender Padraig McMahon had withdrawn from the panel and would be replaced by Paul Begley. Laois got off to a perfect start with team captain Ross Munnelly opening the scoring from a free and further points were delivered from Conor Boyle, Donal Kingston and Darren Strong.
Roscommon opened their account with a point by Ian Kilbride and the visitors improved as the game progressed adding points through Niall Daly, Enda Smith and Donie Shine with a brace but Laois were the superior team and sent over excellent points by Kingston, Niall Donoher and Ross Munnelly to go to the break leading 0-9 to 0-7.
Roscommon brought on Cathal Shine for Mark Nally for the second half and long serving Billy Sheehan replaced debutant Gareth Dillon for the home team. Points were traded in the opening minutes between Cathal Cregg and Donie Kingston and it was Cregg who was to drag the visitors back level after forty five minutes but Laois hit the front again with a fine point by Evan O’Carroll and when John O’Loughlin burst past two Roscommon defenders he picked out Niall Donoher and he hammered past the visitors keeper and after fifty five minutes Laois led 1-13 to 0-13.
Roscommon introduced Ultan Harney and he kicked a brace of points but Laois kept their noses in front with points by Donie Kingston and the introduction of his younger brother Paul was to have a huge bearing on the outcome. Fifteen minutes remained when he added his second point but then in a great sweeping movement involving Evan O’Carroll he centred for Kingston and the Under 21 player squeezed the ball inside the upright to put Laois five clear after Cathal Cregg had brought his total to five.
In the closing minutes points by the impressive Brendan Quigley and Ross Munnelly gave Laois breathing space and unbeaten Roscommon were a well beaten team ahead of another trip to the midlands on Sunday next taking on Kildare - while Laois head to Navan on Saturday night in buoyant form.
Laois: G Brody; P Begley, M Timmons, G Hanrahan; D Strong (0-1), R Kehoe, C Begley; B Quigley, J O’Loughlin; N Donoher (1-1), C Boyle (0-1), G Dillon; R Munnelly (0-4), D Kingston (0-6), E O’Carroll (0-2); Subs Billy Sheehan for G Dillon 43m, Paul Kingston (1-2) for C Boyle 42m, Stephen Attride for E O’Carroll 68m, D O’Connor for N Donoher 62m
Roscommon: D O’Malley; S McDermott, N Carthy, N Collins; D Keenan, N Daly (0-1), C Cafferkey; I Kilbride, C Cregg (0-5); M Nally, D Shine (0-3), E Smith (0-1); C Murtagh (0-2), S Kilbride, D Murtagh (0-2); C Shine for M Nally h/t, U Harney (0-2) for E Smith 46m, Mark Healy for I Kilbride 46m, D Murray for C Cafferky 53m, B Murtagh for D Keenan 58m, C Compton for C Murtagh 69m
Referee: Jerome Henry (Mayo)