Laois remain in the hunt for promotion from Division 3 thanks to a hard-fought win over neighbours Offaly in Tullamore this afternoon. 

The visitors trailed at half-time but second-half goals from Evan O'Carroll and Paul Cahillane were crucial in recording a vital win. 

Laois played against the wind in the opening half but led 0-04 to 0-01 early on thanks to points from Kieran Lillis, Ross Munnelly, Eoin Lowry and Evan O'Carroll.

But Offaly took over in the second quarter and with Bernard Allen to the fore and Paddy Dunican (free) and Niall Darby also on the mark, Offaly led 0-8 to 0-5 at the interval. 

Munnelly and O'Carroll got early second-half points for Laois but Offaly stayed ahead through scores from Ruairi McNamee and the increasingly influential Allen. 

O'Carroll and Lillis points brought the deficit back to one before O'Carroll won a high ball from Donie Kingston before firing past Dunican for the game's first goal.

It gave Laois a lead they would hold to the final whistle, though they were made to work right to the final whistle for it. 

Sub Paul Cahillane then pounced for Laois's second goal and when Colm Begley pointed it put Laois six clear. 

Offaly battled on, however, and hit three in a row to keep the game alive. 

But Laois held their nerve for a vital win. 

They now play Carlow next week in the final round, where a win will give them a chance of a final place and promotion to Division 2 for 2020. 

Laois: Graham Brody; Stephen Attride, Mark Timmons, Gareth Dillon; Trevor Collins, Colm Begley (0-01), Marty Scully; John O’Loughlin, Kieran Lillis (0-02); Eoin Lowry (0-01), Donie Kingston (0-01), Benny Carroll (0-01); Ross Munnelly (0-02), Evan O’Carroll (1-03, 0-01 free, 0-1 mark), Colm Murphy.

Subs: Conor Boyle for Murphy (43), Paul Cahillane (1-01) for Munnelly and Robbie Pigott for Scully (both 55), Kevin Meaney for O’Loughlin (injured – 64), Paul Kingston for Lowry (66)

Offaly:  Paddy Dunican (0-01f); Declan Hogan, Eoin Rigney, David Dempsey; Cian Donoghue, Johnny Moloney, Paul McConway; Eoin Carroll, Cathal Mangan (0-01); Shane Horan, Peter Cunningham (0-01), Niall Darby (0-01); Bernard Allen (0-07. 0-01f, 0-01 mark), Anton Sullivan (0-01), Ruairi McNamee (0-02).

Subs: Niall McNamee (0-01) for Carroll (56)

Referee: Paul Faloon (Down)