McGourty strike seals the points for Saffrons in basement battle
Antrim 1-10 Laois 0-11
Antrim got the better of 14-man Laois in this relegation clash at Corrigan Park yesterday, with a CJ McGourty goal proving the decisive score over a keenly-contested 70 minutes.
Antrim's Paddy McBride opened the scoring after three minutes with Ross Munnelly, making his first start of the year, levelling for the visitors.
The home side led by 0-4 to 0-1 after 16 minutes, with Conor Murray's second point the pick of the scores.
Laois found their range with Munnelly and David Conway closing the gap. The game's only goal arrived after Damien O'Connor's sending off on 36 minutes.
Having hit the bar, Antrim got a second bite of the cherry when Matthew Fitzpatrick broke the ball for McGourty to fire home.
Evan O'Carroll pointed late in injury-time to leave Laois trailing by two at the break, 1-5 to 0-6, and the same player cut the gap to the minimum just after the restart.
With the game in the melting pot, it was Antrim who tagged on the crucial scores.
A McGourty free was followed by the point of the game from Conor Hamill. Padraig McMahon cut the gap, but a late McGourty free sealed the points for the home side.
SCORERS - Antrim: CJ McGourty 1-4 (3f), C Murray, P McBride 0-2 each, C Hamill & J Dowling 0-1 each.
Laois: E O'Carroll 0-3, D Conway & R Munnelly (2f) 0-2 each, A Farrell, P McMahon, J Finn and S Moore (f) 0-1 each.
Antrim: C Kerr 6; C Hamill 7, P Gallagher 7, P Healy 7; P McBride 8, D Lynch 7, P McAleer 6; J Dowling 7, S Beatty 7; K Niblock 7, R McCann 7, M Fitzpatrick 6; CJ McGourty 8, C Murray 8, S McGarry 6. Subs: S Donnelly 6 for K Niblock (bc) (39), B Bradley 6 for S McGarry (47), S McVeigh 7 for S Donnelly (57), D Nugent for J Dowling (64), N Delargy for D Lynch (66)
Laois: G Brady 7; D Strong 7, D Booth 7, A Farrell 7; S Attride 7, J Kelly 6, P McMahon 8; J Finn 7, J O'Loughlin 8; N Donoher 7, D Conway 8, D O'Connor 6; R Munnelly 6, D Kingston 7, P Kingston 6
Subs: E Buggy 7 for S Attride (19), K O'Carroll 8 for D Kingston (25), S Moore 7 for D Conway (bc) (39), C Murphy 7 for R Munnelly (49), D O'Reilly for J Finn (63)
ReF: E O'Grady (Leitrim)