NFL 2: Laois hang on
February 07, 2010
Laois withstood a tremendous second half Tipperary fightback to claim a two-point win in last night's thrilling NFL Division 2 opener at O'Moore Park.
Sean Dempsey's understrength side looked to be coasting to victory when they led by 1-9 to 0-2 at the break, but newly-promoted Tipp came storming back after the restart and levelled late on before Laois regained their composure and cemented victory with points from Cathal Og Greene and Donal Miller.
Played in foggy conditions, the game opened with points from MJ Tierney and Donie Kingston for the home side. Further scores from Paul Lawlor, Kingston and Niall Donoher extended the O'Moore County's lead before Padraig McMahon set up Tierney for the opening goal in the 27th minute.
A rout looked to be on the cards at this stage, but Tipp finally opened up their account in the 30th minute through Barry Grogan and Philip Austin quickly added a second point. However, four more points from Tierney, Kingston and Cathal Og Greene gave Laois a 10-point lead at the break.
But whatever John Evans said to his Tipp troops at half-time had the desired effect as they kicked seven of the next eight points to cut the deficit to five. Grogan provided four of those (three from frees), while George Hannigan, sub Conor Sweeney and Peter Acheson also found the target.
The pressure increased on Laois when Sweeney bundled the ball over the line for a goal in the 58th minute, and two more points from the impressive substitute had the sides level on 1-11 apiece with eight minutes remaining.
Laois regained the lead with late points from Greene and Miller, but were almost caught at the end when Seamus Grogan missed a glorious goal-scoring opportunity which would have won it for the visitors.
Scorers - Laois: MJ Tierney 1-3 (0-1f); D Kingston 0-3 (0-1f); P Lawlor, C Og Greene 0-2 each; N Donoher, D Miller, B Quigley 0-1 each. Tipperary: B Grogan 0-5 (0-4f); P Austin 1-1; C Sweeney 0-3; G Hannigan, P Acheson 0-1 each.
Laois: C Gorman; J Scully, C Ryan, P McMahon; D Strong, J O'Loughlin, C Begley; B Quigley, C Og Greene; C Coss, A Doran, N Donoher; MJ Tierney, D Kingston, P Lawlor. Subs: M Timmons for Scully (45); R Munnelly for Doran (47); D Miller for Coss (62).
Tipperary: P Fitzgerald; C Morrissey, C McDonald, N Curran; C Aylward, R Costigan, C McGrath; G Hannigan, A Rockett; S Carey, P Austin, B Coen; S Hahessy, S Grogan, B Grogan. Subs: P Acheson for McDonald (26); H Coghlan for McGrath (35); C Sweeney for Coen (ht); J Cagney for Austin (59); C Dillon for Rockett (65).
Referee: Pat Fox (Westmeath).
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