Bergin completes Laois comeback
Laois 2-16 Offaly 1-16
Eddie Brennan's tenure in charge of Laois kicked off in winning fashion yesterday as they rallied late to get the better of Offaly in Birr.
Offaly had arguably been the better team for large parts of the contest, but Laois were ahead at the end, with an Aaron Bergin goal 12 minutes from time propelling them into the driving seat to close out the game.
"When you put it into context, it's December and fitness levels aren't where they need to be, but for me, the only thing I'm going to look for off the players is honesty of effort," said Brennan.
"That was a great battle, it was what both teams would want on a day like today.
"From experience I know that you learn a little bit from your team when you go on the road and we learned a little bit today.
"At the end of the day it's a Walsh Cup match and there's bigger matches coming, the Joe McDonagh is what we're all focussed on.
"But in the here and now, I'm pleased with how they went there today. That match was there to be won for both teams.
"We really dug in, we went three points down and it looked as if Offaly were going to take over, but the little bit of grit and the little bit of heart in the guys was what got them the result," added Brennan afterwards.
Offaly led 1-8 to 0-8 at half-time with a Sean Dolan goal the stand-out moment.
However, slowly but surely, Laois came back into the game, with goals from Stephen Maher and Dunphy giving them the edge in the second-half before they got their noses in front.
SCORERS - Laois: PJ Scully 0-6 (3f, 0-1 sideline, 1 65), S Maher 1-2 (2f), A Bergin 1-0, E Lyons 0-2, A Dunphy, W Dunphy, C Stapleton, R Mullaney, P Keating, C Comerford 0-1 each Offaly: S Dolan 1-1, A Treacy 0-3 (2f, 1 65), S Kinsella, O Kelly (0-1, sideline), J Gorman, D Nally (0-1, sideline) 0-2 each, C Taylor, M Egan, E Cahill (f) & D Murray (f) 0-1 each
LAOIS - E Rowland; A Mortimer, M Whelan, D Hartnett; L Bergin, Ryan Mullaney, P Delaney; C Stapleton, PJ Scully; A Dunphy, P Keating, C Dwyer; W Dunphy, S Maher, A Bergin Subs: J Kelly for L Bergin 42m, E Lyons for C STapleton ht, E Gaughan for P Keating 67m, C Comerford for C Dwyer ht, S Bergin for A Bergin 61m
OFFALY - E Cahill; D Healy, B Conneely, P Rigney; E Grogan, M Egan, C Taylor; D Nally, S Kinsella; A Treacy, S Dolan, P Guinan; O Kelly, J Gorman, K Dunne. Subs: D Murray for K Dunne 45m, T Spain for P Rigney 60m, C Egan for A Treacy 63, E Callaghan for S Dolan 66m
Ref - B Nea (Westmeath)