Sunday 24 September 2017

More games the better for happy Laois boss mcNulty

Laois 2-16 Tipperary 0-11
ALL-IRELAND SFC QUALIFIER

Laois manager Justin McNulty reckons his side can benefit from a run through the qualifiers and they might even be better off than teams that go through the front door.

After his team made light work of Tipperary at Portlaoise, McNulty said: "It's a totally different kettle of fish, but in a way it's better. These guys are footballers. That's what they're here to do -- they want to be playing more often than the current system allows.

"Two, three games a year is not worth all that training. If you get a game a week ... Premiership soccer teams play once or twice a week. Why can't GAA teams play at that level as well? Once every week or two weeks -- that's certainly not overloading in my mind."

Laois had three points on the board inside five minutes here, with MJ Tierney getting matters under way after just 30 seconds.

Barry Grogan got the visitors off the mark from a free two minutes later, but Laois were clearly fired up and, with Padraig Clancy, Brendan Quigley and John O'Loughlin all asserting their power in the middle third, they continued to dominate.

Tierney showed his class in the 33rd minute when finding Clancy with a 35-metre pass. Clancy found Darren Strong who slammed to the net.

Laois kicked four of the next five points, before captain Colm Begley rammed home his side's second goal in the 53rd minute. Gary Kavanagh sent Ross Munnelly down the right and he drew the cover before giving Begley all the time in the world to put the game to bed.

Scorers -- Laois: MJ Tierney 0-5 (3 '45s'), D Strong 1-2, C Begley 1-1, R Munnelly, D Kingston(2fs) 0-3 each, J O'Loughlin 0-2. Tipperary: B Grogan 0-4f, B Mulvihill 0-2, G Hannigan, S Grogan, H Coghlan, J Cagney; P Austin 0-1 each.

Laois -- E Culliton 7; C Healy 9, K Meaney 8, P O'Leary 6; D Strong 8, S Julian 7, P McMahon 7; P Clancy 7, B Quigley 8; C Begley 7, J O'Loughlin 8, N Donoher 6; R Munnelly 9, D Kingston 8, MJ Tierney 8. Subs: D Booth 7 for O'Leary (h-t), K Lillis 6 for Clancy (45), G Kavanagh 6 for Donoher (47), B Brennan 6 for Munnelly (60), D Carroll 6 for Kingston (63).

Tipperary -- P Fitzgerald 9; C McGrath 6, C McDonald 7, A Morrissey 6; C Aylward 6, L Egan 7, C Dillon 7; G Hannigan 8, S Grogan 7; H Coghlan 6, B Fox 6, J Cagney 6; B Mulvihill 7, P Austin 6, B Grogan 6. Subs: B Coen 6 for Cagney (h-t), S Carey 6 for McGrath (h-t), N Curran 6 for Mulvihill (55), R Kiely 6 for Aylward (66), S Hahessy 6 for Coghlan (68).

Ref -- M Condon (Waterford).

Irish Independent

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