One-two combo from Laois floors Louth

Two goals in five first-half minutes from Munnelly and Meredith tip tie

LAOIS 2-8 LOUTH 0-11

Two goals in five first-half minutes gave 14-man Laois the cushion they needed to repel a gutsy second-half fightback by Louth in Drogheda.

Ross Munnelly and Conor Meredith netted back-to-back goals to open a 2-4 to 0-3 lead on 22 minutes, but the latter was sent off on a straight red card 11 minutes later.

Louth had cut the gap to five points at that stage and trailed by 2-4 to 0-5 at the break, but Aidan O’Rourke felt Laois should have been reduced to 13-men when Kevin Meaney picked up a yellow card for a challenge on Derek Maguire just before the half-time whistle sounded.

The Louth boss wasn’t impressed with the decision, but stressed that it didn’t cost his team the game.


‘The officials are there to enforce the rules and the linesman saw the strike the same way I saw it and I’m sure everybody else in the stand saw it too,’ he said.

After throwing away a nine-point lead in the final 10 minutes against his native Armagh the previous week, O’Rourke was more concerned about his team’s poor start this time around.

“We lost it in the first 25 minutes,’ he continued.

“With the breeze at our backs we just didn’t show up and conceding the two goals, we just left ourselves with too much to do.”

The Armagh man did give his troops credit for a second-half rally that saw them close the deficit to a single point with 10 minutes of normal time remaining.

But they passed up some glorious opportunities to level it up, and Laois took full advantage with a brace from substitute Gary Walsh and a well-worked Donie Kingston point.

LAOIS: G Brody; R Kehoe, M Timmons, P O'Leary; D Strong, P Begley, P McMahon; K Meaney, J O'Loughlin; J Finn (0-1), D Kingston (0-3, two frees), B Sheehan; R Munnelly (1-2, two frees), C Meredith (1-0), D Conway. Subs: G Walsh (0-2, 0-1 free, 0-1 45) for Conway (35 mins), M Scully for Finn (52 mins), E Conroy for Sheehan (63 mins), E O'Carroll for M Timmons (70 mins).
LOUTH: S McCoy; P Rath, D Finnegan, G O'Hare; K McLaughlin, Patrick Reilly (0-1), L Shevlin; P Keenan, B Donnelly; A Reid, D Crilly, D Byrne (0-3, 0-2 frees); A McDonnell (0-2), C Judge (0-3, two frees), D Maguire (0-1). Subs: E O'Connor (0-1) for Donnelly (24 mins), S Campbell for Reid (24 mins), G Hoey for Crilly (36 mins), C Rafferty for Byrne (53 mins), A Reid for L Shevlin (63 mins).
Referee: C Reilly (Meath).