/ GAA

Louth 0-11 Laois 2-08

Updated: Sunday, 09 Feb 2014 19:00 | Comments

Ross Munnelly bagged 1-02 for Laois
Ross Munnelly bagged 1-02 for Laois

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Fourteen man Laois held out for their first win of the season in the Allianz League Division Two after overcoming Louth by 2-08 to 0-11 at the Gaelic Grounds in Drogheda.

Tomas Ó Flaharta's side were in the driving seat from an early stage with goals from Ross Munnelly and Conor Meredith midway through the first half giving them a seven point lead.

However, the dismissal of Meredith two minutes before half-time gave Louth a way back into the game and they had the gap back to a single point late on before a flurry of late scores – including two from substitute Gary Walsh – ensured the two points were going back to O'Moore Park.

Fourteen man Laois held out for their first win of the season in the Allianz League Division Two after overcoming Louth by 2-08 to 0-11 at the Gaelic Grounds in Drogheda.

Tomas Ó Flaharta's side were in the driving seat from an early stage with goals from Ross Munnelly and Conor Meredith midway through the first half giving them a seven point lead.

However, the dismissal of Meredith two minutes before half-time gave Louth a way back into the game and they had the gap back to a single point late on before a flurry of late scores – including two from substitute Gary Walsh – ensured the two points were going back to O'Moore Park.

Laois started on the front foot with early frees from Donal Kingston and Munnelly.

Declan Byrne did manage a reply for the home side but that was quickly cut out by a James Finn point and another Munnelly free that gave the O'Moore men a 0-04 to 0-01 lead after 12 minutes.

Louth did manage to briefly reduce the deficit back to the minimum courtesy of two points from wide on the right from byrne and Andy McDonnell.

However, Laois then raced clear of their opponents with two goals in the space of six minutes. The first arrived in the 16th minute when Munnelly finished low under the outrushing McCoy after breaking through on goal following a neat exchange with Kingston.

Munnelly then turned provider for the second after releasing David Conway, whose ball to the back post was brilliantly met by Conor Meredith who fisted the ball past a helpless McCoy to leve it 2-04 to 0-03.

Louth did manage to reply with further points from Byrne and McDonnell to leave it 2-4 to 0-5 at the break but the closing period of the half was mired in controversy with Laois being reduced to 14 men and the visitors could count themselves lucky not to have been down to 13.

Firstly, Meredith was given his marching orders in the 33rd minute after striking Derek Crilly off the ball in an incident that was seen the linesman.

Then in stoppage time, Kevin Meaney was lucky not to be shown red as well after striking Derek Maguire to the ground before choking him. Despite this being a more serious incident than the Meredith dismissal, referee Cormac Reilly let him off with just a yellow card – much to the frustration of Wee County boss Aidan O'Rourke who remonstrated angrily with Reilly as he made his way off the field at the break.

That said, Louth made full use of their numerical advantage with three points in as many minutes shortly after the restart from Colm Judge, Eoin O'Connor and Maguire to cut the deficit back to two.

Kingston did manage to reply with a free for Laois but this was cancelled out by two points from Judge that had the deficit back to one at 2-05 to 0-10 just after the hour mark.

Laois were defending stoutly and had a chance to put the game beyond Louth when they broke clear moments later but Gary Walsh's shot was brilliantly turned behind by Padraig Rath, although Walsh did convert the resulting 45 and a free either side of a point from Kingston to open up a four point lead with two minutes remaining.

O'Connor did manage to fist over for the home side in stoppage time but by that stage it was a case of too little, too late.

Louth: S McCoy; K McLoughlin, P Rath, G O'Hare; P Reilly, D Finnegan, L Shevlin; P Keenan, B Donnelly; A Reid, D Crilly, D Byrne (0-03, 2f); A McDonnell (0-02), D Maguire (0-01), C Judge (0-03, 2f).

Subs: E O'Connor (0-02) for B Donnelly (25); S Campbell for A Reid (25); G Hoey for D Crilly (37); C Rafferty for D Byrne (54); A Reid for L Shevlin (64).

Laois: G Brody; R Kehoe, M Timmons, P O'Leary; D Strong, P Begley, P McMahon; K Meaney, J O'Loughlin; J Finn (0-01), D Kingston (0-03, 2f), B Sheehan; R Munnelly (1-02, 2f), C Meredith (1-00), D Conway.

Subs: G Walsh (0-01, 45) for D Conway (35); C Begley for J Finn (52); E Lowry for B Sheehan (63)

Referee: Cormac Reilly (Meath).

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