The Allianz Football League continued on Sunday with Carlow hosting Laois in Netwatch Cullen Park for round three of this year’s Division 4 campaign.
While pre-match talk in the stands would have had home supporters longing for a win, it was Niall Carew’s side who started brighter. Granted, it took ten minutes to find the game’s opening score but when it did landed it did so in style with Colm Hulton, a late replacement for Old Leighlin’s Aaron Amond, carved a path into the box to plant the ball in the bottom right corner of the goal at the O’Hanrahan’s end.
A free from Darragh Foley seven minutes later got the captain off to a scoring start with Carlow holding Laois scoreless for the opening 20 minutes.
Arles-Killeen’s Paul Kingston had the first point on the board for Laois on the 21 minute mark, from a free taken on the near side of the main stand. Kildavin-Clonegal’s Niall Hickey responded with Carlow’s first score from play but Kingston wouldn’t be long in getting another crack at the posts as he helped himself to the majority of the first-half scores for Laois – five of his six before the break coming from frees.
With a lower free count we could have seen Carlow go into the break four points to the good but giving away a number of opportunities late in the half, the sides head into the break level at 1-05 to 0-08.
Molloy moment of magic
Carlow started the brighter of the sides again following the restart, Conor Doyle with a 40-yard carry to set up Darragh Foley for a score from play, immediately followed up with another from a free to restore a two-point gap. Eric Molloy hit a second goal from Carlow, a superb finish in the bottom left corner to move the home side five points clear but from there on it was all Laois on the scoring front as wides mounted and scoring opportunities went astray for Carlow.
Just like the first half, Paul Kingston kicked the first Laois score of the second from another easily-won free, with Mark Barry, Brian Byrne and Evan O’Carroll also tacking on points across the remainder of the game. O’Carroll’s score in the 26th minute gave the O’Moore county the lead for the first time and they wouldn’t look back.
Another free from Mark Berry, a well-fought point from play for Brian Byrne and a late breakaway goal from Kingstown put the game beyond any doubt in injury time. Kingston would finish with 1-10 to his name, Laois would finish with 13 men thanks to straight reds for Brian Byrne and Evan O’Caroll while Carlow would finish with 14 with Shane Buggy sent off for his role in an altercation with Byrne.
The final score at Netwatch Cullen Park, Carlow 2-08, Laois 1-17.
Results elsewhere saw Wexford edge Leitrim by four points with Wicklow and Sligo picking up wins over London and Waterford leaving Carlow still in with a shout for the league but knowing that they will have to take maximum points away from their trip to Leitrim in round four next weekend.
Get the inside story on this game as part of Full Time with Martin Quilty on Monday night, just after the 6pm news.