Laois nail six goals past London but fail to secure promotion

NFL Div 4: Laois 6-6 London 2-8

Laois manager Billy Sheehan. Photo: Sportsfile

Laois racked up six goals on their visit to McGovern Park but it wasn’t enough to secure an immediate return to Division 3 next year, as Billy Sheehan’s side missed out on promotion to Sligo and Wicklow.

Needing to win and hope results elsewhere went their way, Laois were second best at the start and indebted to an excellent save by Scott Osborne to deny London’s James Gallagher a first minute goal.

Despite having nothing to play for, it was Michael Maher’s Exiles who looked like the side vying for promotion, and they opened up a thoroughly deserved 0-3 to no score lead.

James Gallagher, especially, was proving a handful while Josh Obahor was showing well.

But Laois had found their feet by the time Brian Byrne goaled in the 19th minute, in a game played in very wet and testing conditions.

They then forged ahead with two goals in the space of two minutes from the excellent Evan O’Carroll and Eoin Lowry.

Both goals, though, saw London contribute hugely to their own downfall by coughing up possession in dangerous areas, and Laois took full advantage.

The visitors led 3-2 to 0-6 at the break and with the Exiles forced to chase the game, Laois showed their ability to hit on the counter with devastating effect.

Padraig Kirwan finished off one such swift counter-attack for goal number four, and that effectively ended matters.

But London refused to lie down and Liam Gallagher pulled one back, only for Mark Barry and Brian Daly to raise further green flags at the other end. Daniel Clarke rounded things off for the Exiles.

It was then an anxious wait for Laois on the McGovern Park pitch for the news from elsewhere to filter through.

Scorers – Laois: E O’Carroll 1-3, M Barry 1-2, P Kirwan 1-1, B Daly, E Lowry, Brian Byrne 1-0 each. London: L Gallagher, D Clarke 1-0 each, J Gallagher 0-4 (1f), C Duggan, R McCarthy, C Farley (1f), R Tohill 0-1 each.

Laois: S Osborne 7; S Greene 6, T Collins 6, R Pigott 6; S O’Flynn 6, M Timmons 6, B Byrne 6; K Lillis 7, D Larkin 6; K Swayne 6, P Kingston 7, P O Sullivan 6; E Lowry 7, E O’Carroll 8, M Barry 7. Subs: P Kirwan 6 for O’Flynn (h-t), D Kavanagh 5 for Swayne (51), N Corbett 5 for Lowry (55), C Burke 5 for Larkin (57), B Daly 5 for O’Carroll (63).

London: N Maher 5; C O’Neill 6, M Clarke 7, N McElwaine 7; L Gallagher 6, Conal Gallagher 6, E Flanagan 5; D Clarke 7, J Obahor 7; R McCarthy 6, D Rooney 6, C Duggan 6; C Farley 6, J Gallagher 7, E Walsh 7. Subs: N O’Leary 5 for C Gallagher (h-t), O Kerr 5 for Flanagan (h-t), F Gallagher 5 for McCarthy (43), R Tohill 5 0-1 for Rooney (56), H Walsh 5 for McElwaine (59).

Referee: K Eannetta (Tyrone).