Laois 1-13 Tipperary 1-1109 Feb 2010
A late brace of points earned Laois victory against a determined Tipperary in this NFL Division 2 encounter at O’Moore Park.
In foggy conditions, MJ Tierney’s 27th-minute goal pushed Laois into a deserved 1-09 to 0-02 interval lead.
However, Laois were on the backfoot on the restart, with a 57th minute goal from Philip Austin pushing Tipperary back into contention. Two Conor Sweeney points levelled the tie with nine minutes left, but scores from Brendan Quigley and Donal Miller gave the verdict to Laois.
Laois manager Sean Dempsey praised his side afterwards for the way they finished the game and staved off Tipp’s comeback.
Owning the ball for much of the opening period, the O’Moore men burst out of the blocks and led by two points to no score after ten minutes, with MJ Tierney and Donie Kingston taking early scores. Tipperary were not given a sniff of possession as Laois continued to dominate in attack. Paul Lawlor pointed and a further score from Kingston saw the hosts push four points clear by the 18th minute. Niall Donoher added a well-taken point before the only goal of the opening half arrived nine minutes before half-time.
Ballyroan ace Tierney planted a rocket of a shot to the right corner, past Tipperary goalkeeper Paul Fitzgerald, after he had gathered a loose ball and set off on a darting run. Tipperary, though, were rewarded for their clinical use of limited ball, with much-needed points from Barry Grogan and Austin before the break. Laois managed to cancel out these efforts as points from Cathal Og Greene and Tierney gave the midlanders a comfortable 10-point interval advantage.
The phrase ‘a game of two halves’ was certainly apt, nonetheless, as Tipperary turned the tables in the second half and pushed Laois to the wire. Half-time substitute Conor Sweeney had a major say in affairs with three vital points for the visitors, while Grogan continued with his usual high level of accuracy from frees. John Evans’ charges looked a much more composed side on the restart, and their hunger and determination got them right back into contention. Four points from the boot of Grogan, coupled with points from George Hannigan and Sweeney, cut the deficit to five points as the game entered the final quarter. The Premier County kept up their momentum and a sneaky goal from Austin with 13 minutes remaining, after Conor Gorman failed to safely clear from the Laois goalmouth, ensured a titanic finish.
Austin’s goal cut the gap to two points, and then Sweeney got his side back on terms.
Scores were at a premium in the closing stages, but Laois produced the goods. A Quigley score allied to a point from the newly-introduced Donal Miller gave the midlanders the spoils.