Tipperary 1-16 Laois 1-10
Tipperary manager Liam Kearns was the man smiling at the final whistle after both he and Peter Creedon had a reunion with former charges in the Allianz Football League Division 3 clash at at O’Moore Park.
Despite dominating possession, Laois found themselves three points down after 10 minutes, having shot five wides. Donie Kingston opened the scoring for the hosts from a free but Conor Sweeney replied in kind before Jimmy Feehan lofted a score from outside the 45 to give the visitors the lead.
Tipp might have had a lesser share of the ball but they were looking much more threatening with it. Sweeney brought his tally to four and the visitors had at least four half-chances of goals in this period as their support play and strong, direct running left the Laois defence in sixes and sevens.
Colm Begley ended his side’s 16-minute drought with a lovely score off the outside of his left boot to spark a revival. Niall Donoher and Kingston added some excellent scores themselves and having trailed by five, the hosts were back to within one at half time, 0-7 to 0-6.
Tipperary had lost All-Star Michael Quinlivan by this juncture, having received treatment three times in the opening period from the time he received a late shoulder that sent him crashing to the ground seconds into the game.
He went down later on holding his head after taking a free and was finally replaced by Liam McGrath in the 25th minute with what appeared to be concussive symptoms.
On his first appearance of the season, John O’Loughlin levelled within seconds of the resumption but Tipp got their noses in front once more, Austin and McGrath supplementing the successful free-taking of Sweeney.
Evan Comerford made two magnificent saves from Donie and Paul Kingston before the former, who had been Laois’s best player, was incorrectly black-carded by Niall McKenna, who made a number of questionable decisions.
The home support found their voices when David Conway took a brilliant pass from Darren Strong to goal in 60th minute.
That left just one between them but Tipp found the right response once more, with points from Liam Casey, Emmet Moloney and Kevin Fahey giving them breathing space before Kevin O’Halloran’s fortuitous injury-time goal set the seal on a fine performance.
Tipperary: E Comerford, A Campbell, P Codd, W Connors, E Moloney 0-1, R Kiely, J Feehan 0-1, J Kennedy, L Casey 0-1, J Keane 0-1(f), K O’Halloran 1-0(f), B Fox 0-1, C Sweeney 0-7(5fs), M Quinlivan, P Austin 0-2.
Subs: L McGrath 0-1 for Quinlivan inj (25), K Fahey 0-1 for Connors (61), G Hannigan for Casey (66), L Boland for Austin inj (69), A Moloney for Kennedy (70)
Laois: G Brody, D Strong, D Booth, J Kelly, S Attride, C Begley 0-1, E Buggie, J O’Loughlin 0-1, S Ramsbottom, D O’Reilly, D Conway 1-2(0-1f), N Donoher 0-1, D Luttrell, D Kingston 0-5(3fs), P Kingston.
Subs: A Farrell for Ramsbottom (40), E Lowry for O’Reilly (48), R O’Connor for Donoher (55), J Finn for D Kingston (59), R Munnelly for P Kingston (59), G Dillon for Luttrell (66)
Referee: N McKenna (Monaghan)