Dempsey's wake-up call for slumbering Laois as Miller foils Tipp rally
LAOIS boss Seán Dempsey had strong words for his slumbering side after they were nearly undone by a stubborn Tipperary challenge on Saturday evening.
The Premier County were 10 points down at the interval at Portlaoise but score-by-score they clawed themselves back into contention and levelled with a goal from substitute Conor Sweeney.
Laois, though, finally roused themselves, and points from Donal Miller and Brendan Quigley settled the tie in injury-time.
"After two or three unanswered points by Tipperary, we should have woken up a bit sooner," said Dempsey.
"I thought they were going to come at us earlier. There had to be a kick in them.
"They are after winning a lot of matches over the last number of years.
"I know it's Division 4 and Division 3, but it's still winning. Lads don't like losing and they showed it tonight; they didn't want to lose that match."
The hosts were in cruise control for the first 40 minutes as an early goal from Michael John Tierney, followed by points from Donie Kingston and Paul Lawlor, seemed to have the tie well wrapped up against an out-of-sorts Tipp outfit.
However, the tide turned dramatically in the second half as the Premier County hit six unanswered scores through Barry Grogan and Philip Austin.
The Munster men drew level and silenced the Laois crowd when Sweeney punched the ball into the net.
But Laois rallied in injury-time to seal the points, aware that defeat would have been a major blow to their promotion hopes.
Scorers -- Laois: MJ Tierney 1-3 (1f); D Kingston 0-3 (1f); P Lawlor, C Óg Greene 0-2 each; N Donoher , B Quigley, D Miller 0-1 each. Tipperary: C Sweeney 1-3; B Grogan 0-5 (3f); P Austin, G Hannigan, P Acheson 0-1 each.
LAOIS -- C Gorman; J Scully, C Ryan, P McMahon; D Strong, J O'Loughlin, C Begley; B Quigley, C Óg Greene; C Coss, A Doran, N Donoher; MJ Tierney, D Kingston, P Lawlor. Subs: M Timmons for Scully (45 mins), R Munnelly for Doran (55), D Miller for Coss (64).
TIPPERARY -- P Fitzgerald; C Morrissey, C McDonald, N Curran; C Aylward, R Costigan, C McGrath; G Hannigan, A Rockett; S Carey, P Austin, B Coen; S Hahessy, S Grogan, B Grogan. Subs: P Acheson for Hahessy (28), H Coghlan for McGrath (34), C Sweeney for Coen (h/t), J Cagney for Austin (55), C Dillon for Rockett (60).
REF -- P Fox (Westmeath)