Dempsey boosted by clinical Tierney
LAOIS selector Dermot Murphy believes his side provided a perfect tonic for manager Sean Dempsey after they gave their hopes of staying up a much-needed boost with a win over local rivals Kildare in Portlaoise.
The Laois boss was struck down with a virus over the past week, and was unable to talk to the waiting media, but his side went someway towards gaining revenge for the 15-point loss they suffered to the Lilywhites in last year's Leinster championship.
"We got the result which our performance deserved," said Murphy. "Our defence stood up to Kildare and the lads are a credit to themselves.
"We knew that kind of performance was going to come sometime and it's great it has come against Kildare, our local rivals.
"If they continue working as hard as they are the rewards will come and tonight is a reward in itself. It's only a small reward, because we have nothing won, but we are just pleased with this now.
"Right now we are in a better place than last year. The training has been going really well and this helps," he concluded.
Kildare did make the brighter start to the local derby with unanswered points from Johnny Doyle and James Kavanagh.
But Laois stayed calm and composed and eventually came into the game with sharpshooter Michael Tierney kicking over three scores in the space of five minutes.
The O'Moore county never looked back and remained in pole position with Tierney, and a superb effort from Darren Strong, pushing them ahead 0-8 to 0-5 at the interval.
The expected backlash from Kieran McGeeney and Kildare never materialised and Laois continued to put their opponents' defence under pressure as they continued to attack.
Some fine scores were traded between Donie Kingston and substitute Daryl Flynn and Laois forward Billy Sheehan saw his goal chance sail to the right of Lilywhite 'keeper Paul Flood.
There was no repeat of the violent scenes which marred the O'Byrne Cup clash in January; Westmeath referee Pat Fox stamped his authority on the game at an early stage.
The clash was less than 40 seconds old when Brendan Quigley was shown a yellow card. Kildare's Emmett Bolton, Dermot Earley and Flynn were also on a thin line for most of the game.
However, the biggest blow for Kildare came with less than 10 minutes remaining when star midfielder Earley was removed from the pitch with a nasty-looking ankle injury which looks set to sideline him for the foreseeable future.
His loss hurt his side as Laois finished out the game and Kevin Meaney and Craig Rogers split the posts to satisfy the majority of the 5,000 strong crowd.
Meanwhile, Kildare manager Kieran McGeeney was none too impressed with his charges after the defeat.
"We made their defence looks spectacular," said the former Armagh player. "Some of our decision-making was poor and we're not happy with our performance at all."
scorers -- Laois: MJ Tierney 0-5 (0-3f), D Kingston (0-1f), C Rogers 0-2 each, P McMahon, C Begley, K Meaney, D Strong 0-1 each each. Kildare: J Doyle 0-5 (0-4), J Kavanagh 0-2, D Earley, D Flynn 0-1 each.
LAOIS -- M Dowling; C Ryan, D Booth, C Healy; P McMahon, M Timmons, C Begley; B Quigley, K Meaney; D Strong, C Rogers, B Sheehan; MJ Tierney, D Kingston, N Donoher. Subs: P O'Leary for Ryan (55), R Munnelly for Donoher (65), D Rooney for Quigley (70).
KILDARE -- P Flood; E Bolton, H McGrillen, G White; M Scanlon, B Flanagan, M O'Flaherty; R Sweeney, D Earley; R Kelly, J Doyle, D Whyte; E Callaghan, K Donnelly, J Kavanagh. Subs: D Flynn for Donnelly (25), P O'Neill for Kelly (44), W Heffernan for Earley (68).
REF -- P Fox (Westmeath).