Creedon in clear water after Laois revival
Laois 2-11 Armagh 0-16
Laois manager Peter Creedon certainly had cause for quiet satisfaction following the manner in which his side stared adversity in the face at the Athletic Grounds, Armagh yesterday and yet came out smiling in the end.
Trailing by 0-14 to 1-6 as the contest entered the home straight and under pressure after last week's defeat to Louth, Laois salvaged previously latent reserves of character and courage to chalk up a win that had appeared to be beyond their compass.
"We were missing several players but I thought the lads responded superbly to the challenge. We maybe had made it hard for ourselves but we came out on the right side," said Creedon.
A match that offered little in the way of high-octane entertainment exploded as the finishing line loomed with Armagh duo Mark Shields and Aidan Forker and Laois substitute Paul Kingston being shown red cards by referee David Gough.
It was nip and tuck throughout the first-half with the sides deadlocked at half-time (0-7 to 1-4), Niall Donoher's well-taken goal bolstering Laois while Armagh relied on the finishing skills of Stefan Campbell and Oisin O'Neill.
Yet even though Armagh dominated the third quarter by firing over seven unanswered points during a 20-minute period, Laois never lost their appetite.
When Donie Kingston slotted home their second goal from a penalty - he also amassed six points - this proved the catalyst for his team's grandstand finish.
SCORERS- Laois: D Kingston 1-6 (1-4f), N Donoher 1-2, D Strong, D Luttrell and C Murphy 0-1. Armagh: S Campbell 0-5 (3f), S O'Neill, J Clarke 0-3, N Rowland, A Forker, S Sheridan, R Grugan and P Hughes 0-1 each.
ARMAGH - M McNeice 6; M Shields 6, C Vernon 7, P Hughes 6; A Forker 7 N Rowland 7 A McKay 7; S Sheridan 7 S O'Neill 8 ; N Grimley 6, R Grugan, 7, S Campbell 8; A Duffy 6, E Rafferty 5, O MacIomhair 5. Subs: J Clarke 8 for MacIomhair (24), A Findon 5 for Rafferty (h-t), G McParland 5 for Duffy (53), C O'Hanlon 5for Grugan (67).
Laois - G Brody; D Strong, 7 D Booth 7, J Kelly 7; E Buggie 7, K Lillis 7, S Attride 6; S Ramsbottom 6, D Luttrell, 7; C Murphy 7 A Doran 7, N Donoher 8; R O'Connor 7, D Kingston 8, K Meaney 7. Subs: D Conway 6 for O'Connor (15), R Munnelly 6 for Murphy (45), B McMahon 5 for Doran (46), P Kingston 6 for Ramsbottam (54), E Lowry 5 for Donoher (62), D O'Reilly for Lillis (63).
REF - D Gough (Meath).