Foyle strikes at the death to seal dramatic triumph for O'Moore men
Laois 2-14 Carlow 1-16 SHC Qualifers Preliminary Round
A point in the 73rd minute from Laois full-forward Neil Foyle secured a dramatic win over Carlow in O'Moore Park yesterday.
Laois had trailed by the same margin just 90 seconds earlier, but a free from goalkeeper Enda Rowland drew the sides level, before Foyle held his nerve to stroke over the winner in a breathless finish to the game.
The final 20 minutes or so of play here was real championship fare, with both teams slugging it out and the crowd in full voice. In truth, it was a stark contrast to much of what had gone before, with the excitement masking what was a disappointing game.
That's not to say it wasn't packed with incident, though, as Laois lost their top-scorer and captain Ross King to a straight red card after just 12 minutes. A Marty Kavanagh goal moments later helped Carlow into a 1-3 to 0-1 lead and Laois looked a beaten team even at that stage.
They hauled themselves back into contention with a run of four points in a row, and from then on there was rarely more than a score between the teams.
Carlow lead 1-8 to 0-9 at half-time and hit the opening two points of the second-half. Laois were lacking any form of urgency, but finally sprung to life in the 47th minute.
A storming run forward from teenage wing-forward Sean Downey ended with him cracking a shot to the net and Laois suddenly found their confidence.
That lit the touchpaper to a frantic ending, as Laois took the lead with a goal from Foyle and then lost Picky Maher to injury.
Carlow captain Marty Kavanagh was sent off on a second yellow for the Barrowsiders, as they trailed 2-12 to 1-12. Remarkably, they would go on a run of four points without reply, three of them from sub Chris Nolan, to lead by a single point at the start of added time.
Laois needed to respond, and they duly did, as first Rowland and then Foyle sealed the victory.
Scorers - Laois: N Foyle, S Downey 1-1 each, S Maher 0-3 (2f), E Rowland (f), P Purcell, C Healy 0-2 each, R King (free), M Kavanagh 0-1 each. Carlow: M Kavanagh 1-2, C Nolan 0-4 (2f), P Coady 0-3 (1f), D Murphy (f), D Byrne 0-2 each, J Doyle, E Byrne, JM Nolan 0-1 each.
Laois - E Rowland 7; D Palmer 6, L Bergin 7, L Cleere 8; E Killeen 7, M Whelan 7, C Collier 6; J Kelly 6, P Purcell 6; S Maher 6, C Healy 8, S Downey 8; M Kavanagh 6, N Foyle 8, R King 5. Reps: D Hartnett 6 for Palmer (ht), A Dunhpy 6 for Kavanagh (42), C Taylor 6 for Maher (52, inj), A Corby 6 for Collier (60), S Bergin for Downey (68).
Carlow - B Tracey 7; A Corcoran 6, P Doyle 6, G Bennett 7; R Coady 6, D English 7, R Kelly 6; J Murphy 6, D Byrne 7; JM Nolan 7, P Coady 7, E Byrne 7; D Murphy 6, J Doyle 6, M Kavanagh 8. Reps: D Wall 6 for P Doyle (27, inj), C Nolan 8 for D Murphy (43), J Kavanagh 6 for J Murphy (57), K McDonald for P Coady (64).
Ref - D Kirwan (Cork)