Joe McDonagh Cup: Laois come out on top in Tullamore thriller

May 11, 2019

Patrick Purcell celebrates a goal for Laois against Meath in the Leinster SHC at Pairc Tailteann.

Laois secured the local bragging rights against Offaly in a high scoring Joe McDonagh Cup first round fixture at Tullamore this evening.

Eddie Brennan’s men got their campaign off to a very promising start with a hard-earned 4-22 to 3-21 victory over the Faithful County.

Four second-half goals from Paddy Purcell, Cha Dwyer, Eanna Lyons and Stephen Bergin edged the O’Moore County over the line with their nose in front.

Entering the final 10 minutes, the eventual winners trailed by a point (3-18 to 3-19) but substitute Bergin’s intervention two minutes from the end of normal time proved to be the game’s decisive moment.

An entertaining first-half finished with the teams level – Laois 0-13, Offaly 1-10.

Oisin Kelly’s 7th minute goal had given the Kevin Martin managed Offaly a foothold in the contest and the same player added a second goal to his name after the resumption.

It was end-to-end stuff throughout the second-half and Conor Mahon also found the back of the Laois net but their efforts proved to be in vain.

Mark Kavanagh and Joe Bergin shared the scoring honours with 0-11 apiece but it’s Kavanagh and Laois who have two points on the board tonight.

Laois - E Rowland; D Hartnett, J Phelan, M Whelan; P Delaney, R Mullaney, L Cleere; J Lennon, J Kelly; C Dwyer (1-3), W Dunphy (0-1), P Purcell (1-1); M Kavanagh (0-11, 8f, 1sl), E Lyons (1-1), R King (0-4). Subs: C Phelan (0-1) for J Lennon, N Foyle for E Lyons, A Dunphy for J Kelly, S Bergin (1-0) for W Dunphy, E Killeen for J Phelan.

Offaly - E Cahill; P Rigney, B Conneely, T Spain; C Gath (0-1), P Camon, N Houlihan (0-1); D O’Toole Greene (0-1), K Dunne (0-1); C Kiely, S Dooley, C Egan (0-1); C Mahon (1-1), J Bergin (0-11, 7f), O Kelly (2-3). Subs: C Langton (0-1) for C Kiely, J Gorman for S Dooley, D Shortt for D O’Toole Greene.

Referee - C Cunning.

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