Leinster Senior Football Championship
At Netwatch Cullen Park
By John Whelan
Carlow have suffered a disappointing loss to Laois in the Leinster Senior Football Championship. Laois utilised a strong first half wind to take a ten point lead into the dressing room at halftime.
Laois were up and running early on and Darren Strong, Colm Begley and Donal Kingston had Laois four points after just seven minutes. Barry John Molloy put in a block to deny Ross Munnelly from scoring and Daniel St. Ledger rose to catch a ball on his own forty five to prevent the ball going to a Laois man in a dangerous place but Carlow were seriously up against it. Laois resumed the scoring with Conor Boyle and Darren Strong getting scores to push Laois six points clear.
Daniel St. Ledger got Carlow’s first score on sixteen minutes when a free from forty metres sailed between the posts. John O’ Loughlin responded with a point straight away. Kieran Nolan got Carlow’s second score after Sean Gannon and Eoghan Ruth passed well to keep possession; after a slow laborious build up the ball was dispatched to Nolan who slotted it over. Carlow were having to work hard to maintain possession.
Sean Gannon combined with Darragh Foley from midfield, worked the ball forward and was fouled. Foley converted the free to bring Carlow back within four. Conor Boyle then blasted the ball to the back of the net to extinguish any sort of Carlow momentum. An Evan Carroll “45”, a Donal Kingston free and another John O’ Loughlin point saw Laois close out the half with a ten point lead.
Sean Gannon was redeployed to the full forward line and Gannon won the first ball that came in to him, was then fouled and Foley converted the free. Donal Kingston replied with a free of his own, Munnelly got his first score of the day and Paul Kingston got a point to put Laois twelve clear.
Half time substitute Derek Hayden got a fine score after Gannon did well to win another ball, Daniel St Ledger converted a “45” and Darragh Foley stripped a ball from an attacking Laois man but they just couldn’t stop Laois from scoring. John O’ Loughlin got a point to put Laois eleven ahead. Laois seemed to kick into a higher gear and it took a great effort from Shane Redmond to prevent Donal Kingston from getting a shot away at goal. On fifty minutes Laois found themselves in on goal once again but a save from Robbie Molloy denied them. Donal Kingston eventually got his goal to extend the Laois lead to fourteen. He found himself in on goal again but Shane Redmond was on the goal line to deny Kingston once more, the ball was cleared out but Kingston responded with putting the clearance over the bar. A Ross Munnelly point and a Tom Shiel goal were the last scores for Laois, Alan Kelly added two good points for Carlow. Carlow lost out on a scoreline of 3-16 to 0-8.
Next up for Carlow is an All Ireland Qualifier on the weekend of June 20th. They will face one of Offaly, Louth, Dublin/Longford, Kildare/Laois, Clare/Limerick, Cavan/Monaghan, Fearmanagh/Antrim or London/Roscommon.
Robbie Molloy, Barry John Molloy, Shane Redmond, Kieran Nolan (0-1), Mark Fitzgerald, Daniel St. Ledger (0-2, 1 “45”, 1f), Benny Kavanagh, Sean Gannon, Darragh Foley ( 0-2, 2f), Ciaran Moran, Eoghan Ruth, David Bambrick, Alan Kelly (0-2), Ed Finnegan, Darragh O’Brien Subs: James Clarke, Danny Moran ( on for Nolan 68), Daryl Roberts ( on for Bambrick 47), David Kinsella, Declan Kelly ( on for Molloy 55), Derek Hayden ( on for Fitzgerald 35), Eric McCormack ( on for O’Brien 55), Graham Power, Jack Kennedy ( on for Moran 55), John Murphy, Michael Meaney