Saturday 17 August 2019

Laois celebrate as late Lowry strike sinks Derry

Laois 1-13 Derry 0-12

Laois' Kieran Lillis. Photo: Sportsfile
Laois' Kieran Lillis. Photo: Sportsfile

Laois defeated Derry by four points in a tightly contested game yesterday.

Eoin Lowry's goal late in the game was the key score as John Sugrue's men progressed to round three of the qualifiers. Donnie Kingston scored four points before a black card brought his participation to an end after 60 minutes.

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Laois' Daniel O'Reilly does his best to evade Derry's Chrissy McKaigue. Photo: Sportsfile
Laois' Daniel O'Reilly does his best to evade Derry's Chrissy McKaigue. Photo: Sportsfile

Derry drew first blood when Ryan Bell dissected the posts after just two minutes of play. A Shane McGuigan free soon after doubled their lead as Damien McErlain's men threw down an early gauntlet. The visitors accepted the challenge and a Colm Murphy point opened the Laois account in the sixth minute, with Evan O'Carroll levelling matters a minute later.

A wonderful Benny Heron point returned Derry's lead as both sides battled for first-quarter supremacy in a nervy opening, with Derry looking the more likely.

Colm Murphy's second of the half pulled Laois level at 0-3 apiece, before he handed Laois the lead for the first time in the game after 22 minutes.

With little to separate the two teams, McGuigan once again brought parity to the scoreboard from a 23rd-minute free. The sides were still level on the half-hour mark at 0-6 each, before an impressive Ciaran McFaul run and point once again edged the Oak Leafers ahead.

Laois' John O'Loughlin celebrates. Photo: Sportsfile
Laois' John O'Loughlin celebrates. Photo: Sportsfile

Benny Heron handed Derry a two-point lead, but the O'Moore County had the last say of the half when Daniel O'Reilly left his side trailing by one at the break, 0-8 to 0-7.

With the breeze now in their favour, Derry opened the second-half scoring through captain Chrissy McKaigue. However, back-to-back Donnie Kingston frees brought Laois level at 0-9 each as both sides refused to blink.

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The full-court press from Sugrue's team was causing serious problems for Derry as Laois grabbed the third-quarter initiative. Kingston's third of the second half cancelled out Ryan Bell's free, before the same player edged his side ahead, 0-11 to 0-10, after 48 minutes.

Laois lost key player Kingston to a 60th-minute black card, as Derry pulled level through Shane McGuigan's left peg. The visitors then lost Robbie Piggott to another black card as Derry stretched ahead when McGuigan converted a free.

However, Lowry's 66th-minute goal would prove to be the game's crucial score and finally brought daylight between the sides.

And when Kieran Lillis pointed in the 70th minute, it confirmed the Laois victory.

Derry's McFaul saw a late red card before a final Lowry point deep into injury-time gave Laois a four-point final cushion. The O'Moore men march on.

Scorers - Laois: D Kingston 0-4 (3f); E Lowry 1-1; C Murphy 0-3; E O'Carroll 0-2; T Collins, D O'Reilly, K Lillis 0-1 each. Derry: S McGuigan 0-4 (3f); R Bell 0-3 (2f); B Heron 0-2; C McKaigue, C McFaul, E Lynn 0-1 each.

Laois: G Brody; S Attride, D Booth, G Dillon; T Collins, R Piggott, P O'Sullivan; J O'Loughlin, K Lillis; D O'Reilly, C Boyle, D Kingston; P Kingston, C Murphy, E O'Carroll. Subs: S Byrne for D Booth (HT), M Scully for P Kingston (49), E Buggie for P O'Sullivan (53), E Lowry for E O'Carroll (63), M Barry for D Kingston (63 BC) S O'Flynn for R Pigott (64 B/C)

Derry: T Mallon, K McKaigue, B Rogers, L McGoldrick, J Rocks, C McKaigue, N Keenan, C McAtamney, C McFaul, J Doherty, B Heron, P Cassidy, S McGuigan, R Bell, E Lynn. Subs: E Concannon for L McGoldrick (HT), P Coney for J Rocks (44), C Doherty for J Doherty (55), C Bradley for R Bell (56), S F Quinn for E Concannon (58)

Referee: J Henry (Mayo)

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