Wednesday 20 November 2019

Kingston leads Laois comeback

Laois 2-10 Galway0-10 (NFL Division 2)

Niall Donoher, Laois, in action against Sean Denvir and Finian Hanley, Galway
Niall Donoher, Laois, in action against Sean Denvir and Finian Hanley, Galway
Donal Kingston, Laois, in action against Gary O'Donnell, Galway
Paul Conroy, Galway, in action against Niall Donoher, Laois

The victorious Corofin players did not play for Galway yesterday and instead were introduced to the crowd at Tuam Stadium at half-time, where they received a rapturous reception following their midweek All-Ireland club final success.

But as the second half progressed and Galway let an interval lead of 0-10 to 1-1 slip from their grasp against the wind, manager Kevin Walsh must have been tempted to summon a few of them and try stop a slide which has been gaining momentum since they let a winning hand slip away to Down.

Galway, who failed to manage a single score against the wind in the second half yesterday, have now lost three on the spin and a campaign which started with opening round wins over Meath and Westmeath is now in danger of culminating in relegation to Division 3.

"The Down performance seemed to definitely start a spiral trend downwards," conceded Walsh. "There is a bit of confidence down at the minute and that is going to take a bit of lifting up but that is what we have to do now."

The last time Galway were relegated, Tomas O Flatharta was in charge of the Tribesmen when they dropped out of the top flight, and yesterday's outcome at Tuam Stadium could also have big ramifications.

O Flatharta's Laois seemed in serious relegation trouble when they lost their opening games to Westmeath and Cavan but they have turned it around and have now picked up five points from their last three matches, and their manager believes there is more in the tank.

"The thing we are looking for all along is progress and I think we made progress again today," he said.

Laois got a huge break after 19 minutes when Donie Kingston robbed goalkeeper Brian O'Donoghue and kicked the ball into an empty net.

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That reduced the margin to a point after Galway had opened up a 0-5 to 0-1 lead by the end of the opening quarter.

O'Donoghue made amends when he produced a superb save to deny Kingston just before the interval and Galway's lead of 0-10 to 1-1 looked like it might be enough to prevent a second successive home loss.

Kingston kept chipping away at the lead and a point from Ross Munnelly got the margin down to a point 11 minutes from the end before Galway's Damien Comer picked up a second yellow card.

Munnelly equalised three minutes from time, and Galway's sloppy defending was again punished when sub Tom Shiel lobbed home a goal.

Kingston wrapped up the win with a couple of more frees and sub Stephen Attride also pointed to crown a good day for Laois.

Galway will welcome the return of their Corofin players next week against Roscommon in Hyde Park.

Man of the match: D Kingston (Laois)

scorers - Laois: D Kingston 1-5 (5fs), T Shiel 1-0, R Munnelly 0-3 (2fs);, D Strong, S Attride 0-1 each. Galway: P Ó Gríofa 0-4 (3fs), S Walsh 0-3 (1f), P Conroy (f), G O'Donnell, A Varley 0-1 each.

laois - G Brody 7; C Begley 7, M Timmons 6, D O'Connor 5; D Strong 7, P Begley 6, R Kehoe 6; B Quigley 7, J O'Loughlin 7; N Donoher 7, D Kingston 9, E O'Carroll 5; R Munnelly 8, C Boyle 7, P Kingston 5. Subs: B Sheehan 6 for O'Carroll (50), S Attride 7 for Boyle (55, BC), T Shiel 7 for P Kingston (57), J Finn 5 for Munnelly (70).

galway - B O'Donoghue 5; J Duane 6, F Hanley 6, C Sweeney 6; P Varley 5, G Bradshaw 7, G O'Donnell 6; F O Curraoin 5, P Conroy 7; P O Griofa 7, D Comer 6, S Denvir 5; A Varley 6, P Sweeney 6, S Walsh 7. Subs: T Fahy 6 for P Varley (51), J Heaney 6 for A Varley (57), E Hoare 5 for P Sweeney (67).

ref - Marty Duffy (Sligo).

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