Monday 15 October 2018

Kelly rues cheap goals as Laois crush Lakemen

Leinster SFC Quarter Final: Laois 4-13 Westmeath 1-12

Luke Loughlin of Westmeath in action against Paul Kingston of Laois. Photo: Matt Browne/Sportsfile
Luke Loughlin of Westmeath in action against Paul Kingston of Laois. Photo: Matt Browne/Sportsfile

Brian Lowry

While many might have expected hat-tricks in Kiev on Saturday night, Tullamore seemed an unlikely location for such heroics.

Enter Paul Kingston, as he fired home a second-half treble to help Laois book their place in the semi-final.

Having struggled to get into the game in the early stages, John Sugrue's charges trailed 0-5 to 0-2 after 20 minutes despite playing with the wind.

Powered on by Niall Donoher and Kieran Lillis, they then kicked the last six scores of the half to command a 0-10 to 0-6 half-time lead, something Sugrue felt was vital to the final outcome.

"We were a bit fortunate to be four points up at the end of the first-half," he said.

"To be fair to Westmeath they played some great football against the wind and we were quite slow and sluggish to start. We found our feet and got some very important scores before half-time.

Ross Munnelly of Laois in action against Jamie Gonoud of Westmeath. Photo: Matt Browne/Sportsfile
Ross Munnelly of Laois in action against Jamie Gonoud of Westmeath. Photo: Matt Browne/Sportsfile

"In the second-half, when they had to come out and play a little bit, we got some space up in their defence and it worked out nicely in the finish."

Goals were the order of the day in the second-half, with five in all - crucially, four of those went the way of the O'Moore men.

Paul Kingston hit the first of those on 46 minutes and he followed that up with his second effort four minutes later as they led 2-11 to 0-8 with 20 minutes remaining.

Westmeath hit a brief purple patch and were boosted by the introduction of John Heslin, as Mark McCallon made his way up from corner-back to grab their goal on 57 minutes.

Laois manager John Sugrue. Photo by Matt Browne/Sportsfile
Laois manager John Sugrue. Photo by Matt Browne/Sportsfile

It was then back to game on at 2-11 to 1-10.

However, Kingston completed his hat-trick and Evan O'Carroll also found the net in the closing 10 minutes as the Westmeath challenge fell away.

Speaking afterwards, Westmeath boss Colin Kelly lamented the concession of the goals.

"It is very disappointing. You can't concede the goals we conceded and expect to get anything from the game," Kelly said.

"At the end of the day, the lads gave all they had and that is all you can ask for."

Scorers - Laois: P Kingston 3-2, E O'Carroll 1-1, R Munnelly 0-3 (3f), N Donoher 0-2, T Collins, C Begley, D Kingston (f) A Farrell and G Walsh 0-1 each

Westmeath: L Loughlin 0-4 (2f), G Egan 0-3 (1f), M McCallon 1-0, F Coyne 0-2, K Martin, J Connellan (free) and R O'Toole 0-1 each

LAOIS - G Brody 7; S Attride 7, M Timmons 7, G Dillon 8; T Collins 7, C Begley 7, F Crowley 7; J O'Loughlin 7, K Lillis 8; A Farrell 6, P Kingston 9, D O'Connor 6; R Munnelly 7, D Kingston 6, B Carroll 6. Subs: N Donoher 8 for Farrell (22), D Strong 6 for O'Connor (59), E O'Carroll 8 for Carroll (59), D Conway 6 for Munnelly (63), S Nerney 6 for Timmons (Blood 66), G Walsh for D Kingston (67), D Booth for Attride (70).

WESTMEATH - S Gallagher 6; J Gonoud 7, S Duncan 7, M McCallon 7; J Egan 6, A Stone 6, N Mulligan 6; D Corroon 6, D Daly 7; K Martin 6, C McCormack 6, G Egan 7; J Connellan 6, R O'Toole 6, L Loughlin 7. Subs: F Coyne 7 for Connellan (B/C 31), R Wallace 6 for Daly (42), A McGivney 6 for J Egan (44), J Heslin 6 for O'Toole (55), B Sayeh for Mulligan (70), D Whelan for McCallon (70).

Ref - P Hughes (Armagh)

Irish Independent

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