Sheehan adds shine as red-hot Laois show no mercy
Laois 0-20 Armagh 1-10
LAOIS opened their campaign with a comprehensive win over Armagh at O'Moore Park.
Justin McNulty's charges did most of their good work in the first half as they led by nine points at the break .
Armagh made a spirited comeback after the restart, with Brian Mallon's goal giving them hope, but they just ran out of steam.
The Ulstermen had the best of the opening quarter but once Laois settled, they blew Armagh away.
The pick of nine unanswered scores was a point from way out on the right wing by Darren Strong, and the Emo man drew special mention from McNulty after the game as he lined out despite the death of his grandmother, who was buried on the morning of the game.
The home side went to the dressing-room 0-13 to 0-4 up.
Armagh had their most productive spell of the game early in the second half and cut the Laois lead to six, before Mallon lashed his shot past Eoin Culliton in the Laois goal.
With the game now back in the balance, Laois took control again with Billy Sheehan rattling off three points, as they ran out deserving winners.
Man of the Match: B Quigley (Laois)
SCORERS – Laois: R Munnelly 0-7 (4f), B Sheehan 0-4, D Kingston 0-3 (1f), D Strong, P Clancy 0-2 each, C Boyle, B Quigley 0-1 each; Armagh: B Mallon 1-1, E Rafferty, S Forker (2f) 0-3 each, M Shields, G McPartland, S Harold 0-1 each.
LAOIS – E Culliton 6; C Healy 6, K Meaney 7, P O'Leary 6; D Strong 7, J O'Loughlin 5, C Boyle 6; B Quigley 8, C Begley 6; R Munnelly 7, D Kingston 7, B Sheehan 7; G Walsh 5, P Clancy 8, C Kelly 6. Subs: D O'Connor 6 for Kelly (47), A Doran 6 for Walsh (58).
ARMAGH – P McEvoy 7; M Shields 7, J Donnelly 5, G McCooey 6; K Dyas 6, C McKeever 6, F Moriarty 7; J Lavery 5, K Toner 7; C Rafferty 6, A Forker 7, E Rafferty 7; G McPartland 6, S Forker 6, B Mallon 6. Subs: S Harold 7 for Lavery (28), A Duffy 6 for A Forker (51), E McVerry 6 for Mallon (59), J Kingham 5 for McPartland (59) S Campbell for S Forker (70).
REF – R Hickey (Clare).