HL1B: Kingdom shock Laois

February 14, 2016

Kerry's Shane Nolan being interviewed.
©INPHO/Colm O'Neill.

Kerry 1-24

Laois 2-14

Kerry pulled off a famous victory over Laois at O'Moore Park to make a dream start to life in Division 1B.

Ciaran Carey's newly-promoted charges were full value for their seven-point win against a new-look Laois side who finished the game with 14 players after Charlie Dwyer received a straight red in the closing stages.

The Kingdom, who will compete in the round-robin section of this year's Leinster SHC, led by 1-11 to 1-10 at the break thanks to Shane Nolan's '65' at the end of the half. And after grabbing the first three points of the second half, they gradually pulled away with Cahir Healy's late goal for 'Cheddar' Plunkett's men being no more than a consolation score.

The winners signalled their intent with the opening score from Michael O'Leary in the second minute. Laois rallied to lead by 0-4 to 0-3 after 12 minutes, but a Mikey Boyle goal a minute late put Kerry in the driving seat. 

With John Egan, Nolan and Boyle all raising white flags, the visitors had opened up a four-point gap before Laois hit back with three unanswered points and a 32nd minute goal from PJ Scully following a Ciaran Collier delivery to lead 1-10 to 1-9. But back came Kerry with scores from All-Ireland minor football winner Jack Goulding and Nolan to lead at half-time.

Three points in as many minutes on the restart from John Egan, Colm Harty and O'Leary pushed Kerry four clear before Scully got one back for the midlanders. However, Kerry had surged into a 10-point lead, 1-22 to 1-12, by the 60th minute thanks to further scores from Goulding, John Griffin and Egan.

Healy gave the hosts hope with a goal five minutes from the end, but last year's Christy Ring Cup champions remained composed and held on for a comfortable win.

Kerry - M Stockpoole; K Carmody, B Murphy, S Weir; D Collins, D Dineen, T Murnane; P Kelly (0-2), T Casey; C Harty (0-2), M O'Leary (0-2), S Nolan (0-9, 6f, 1'65); J Goulding (0-3), M Boyle (1-1), J Egan (0-3). Subs: J Griffin (0-1) for D Dineen, J Conway (0-1) for J Egan.

Laois - E Rowland; O Carroll, D Maher, C Healy (1-0); L Bergin, N Foyle, R Mullaney; M Whelan (0-1), B Reddin; C Collier (0-2), C Dwyer (0-4), D Palmer; PJ Scully (1-6, 4f, 1'65), P Purcell, S Maher (0-1). Subs: J Phelan for B Reddin, J Lennon for M Whelan, M Kavanagh for D Palmer, T Delaney for D Maher.

Referee - C McAllister.

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