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Longford 0-06 Laois 0-09

Updated: Sunday, 24 Mar 2013 19:23 | Comments

Ross Munnelly and Colm Kelly were both on target for Laois at Pearse Park
Ross Munnelly and Colm Kelly were both on target for Laois at Pearse Park

Longford remain pointless in Allianz Football League Division 2 after Laois overturned a half-time deficit to record a 0-09 to 0-06 victory at Pearse Park.

Longford led by 0-04 to 0-01 at half-time but their dominance wasn’t reflected on the scoreboard.

Laois kicked three successive points to get back level by the 47th minute and although the hosts responded, closing scores from Kevin Meaney and Colm Kelly (0-02) saw the O’Moore men prevail.

For all of their scoring chances, Longford could have, and should have, got something out of the game, but for the fourth time in this year's league campaign they failed to hold on to a lead.

It was an extremely poor game of football, with nothing to warm the loyal supporters who came out on a bitterly cold afternoon.

The first half was played at a tempo more akin to a club challenge match than that of an inter-county game, but the football did improve after the interval.

Summing up Longford's struggles in front of the posts, top scorer Sean McCormack was unlucky to hit the upright three times and the hosts also kicked a number of wides.

It was McCormack who opened the scoring in the ninth minute with a pointed free after he was fouled. Francis McGee followed up with a neat score two minutes later.

Laois' only point of the entire half came in the 13th minute from Gary Walsh after Longford goalkeeper Damien Sheridan just stopped it from going over.

Longford then missed a number of opportunities to add to their lead and had to wait until the 29th minute to get their third point, Donie McElligott's effort hopping over the head of Laois netminder Eoin Culliton. One minute from the break, McCormack extended Longford's lead to three points with another free.

Laois manager Justin McNulty made changes in personnel and they were a different side after the break. Three points in a row from Donie Kingston, MJ Tierney and Meaney levelled the game in the 47th minute. Three minutes later they went ahead for the first time in the game through Ross Munnelly.

Longford responded with points from McCormack and McElligott to edge them back in front by the 54th minute, but they were to be their last scores of the game.

Although they had chances to add to their tally, Glenn Ryan's charges failed to find the target.

Another Munnelly point drew Laois level again in the 59th minute and despite both counties creating regular scoring opportunities, the next score did not arrive until the 69th minute when an accomplished point from Meaney gave Laois the lead.

Two stoppage-time points from Kelly, one of which was a free, gave them a three-point winning margin in the end and condemned Longford to another defeat.

Longford: D Sheridan; D Brady, B Gilleran, D Reilly; CP. Smyth, F Battrim, S Mulligan; J Keegan, M Quinn; B McElvaney, D McElligott (0-02), M Brady; F McGee (0-01), D Barden, S McCormack (0-03, 0-02f).

Subs used: JJ Matthews for McGee, S Doyle for Brady (both 70 mins).

Laois: E Culliton, P O’Leary, D Booth, P Begley; D Strong, J O’Loughlin, P McMahon; B Quigley, C Boyle; R Munnelly (0-02, 0-01f), C Begley, B Sheehan; MJ Tierney, P Clancy, G Walsh (0-02, 0-01f).

Subs used: D Kingston (0-01) for Clancy (23 mins), K Meaney (0-02) for Quigley, K Lillis for McMahon (both half-time), D O’Connor for Walsh (53), C Kelly (0-02, 0-01f) for Tierney (65).

Referee: Michael Collins (Cork)

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