Saturday 21 April 2018

Tierney rescues Laois as Dempsey bows out

Laois 1-10 Carlow 0-9
All-Ireland SFC Qualifier

Daragh Conchir

Luke Dempsey brought down the curtain on his four years as Carlow manager after watching his team put in another gallant championship performance before fading late on as substitute Michael John Tierney rescued a lethargic Laois in Portlaoise on Saturday.

Dempsey cited the strain of travelling from Mullingar as the reason for his decision but feels that he has left Carlow in a position where they will soon be able to translate performances into victories.

"The journey was very onerous at times. So I've decided to call a halt to my four years; four really enjoyable years working with great people like Sean Kavanagh, Adrian Corcoran -- excellent selectors -- Wayne Middleton, the trainer, and Anthony Rainbow, who I introduced this year.

"In those lads, if they agree to stay on, I think there's great structures in place for next year."

Carlow only managed one point from play in the first half, while only registering two points in total in the latter period. Dempsey attributed that to what he considered Laois' negative tactics that he felt were not punished sufficiently by referee Syl Doyle.

"I can't understand how they didn't get men sent off for the constant fouling, pulling, dragging (and) hits that were unfair. It was constant."

He did pay tribute to Michael John Tierney's match-winning performance, however, and the Parnells clubman certainly made a significant impact when coming off the bench in the 50th minute.

He landed a free not long after his introduction, while his splendid conversion of a 40m effort from out on the right wing just over six minutes from time put two points between the sides for the first time in the second half. He then followed up by drilling over very well from play with the outside of his left boot.

With John O'Loughlin and David Conway (free) pointing at either end of Tierney's flurry, Laois managed to turn a single-point deficit into a workman-like victory.

O'Loughlin goaled for the home side in the 13th minute and despite going a point down in the 45th minute, Laois scrambled their way into the second round.

"We won ugly" admitted Laois boss Justin McNulty. "Not happy at all with the performance. But to win under those circumstances in a derby game, you'd have to take it."

Scorers -- Laois: J O'Loughlin 1-1; MJ Tierney 0-3 (3f); C Kelly 0-2 (1f); R Munnelly (1f), B Quigley, D Conway(1f), D O'Connor 0-1 each. Carlow: Brian Murphy 0-5 (3f); JJ Smith (1f), D St Ledger (1f) 0-2 each.

Laois -- E Culliton 7; C Healy 7, K Lillis 6, J Kavanagh 7; D Strong 6, C Begley 7, C Boyle 6; K Meaney 6, B Quigley 7; D O'Connor 7, J O'Loughlin 8, G Walsh 5; R Munnelly 6, P Clancy 6, C Kelly 6. Subs: D Conway 6 for Walsh (29); P Cahillane 7 for Strong (43); MJ Tierney 8 for Kelly (50).

Carlow -- T O'Reilly 7; P Murphy 7, C Lawlor 8, B Kavanagh 7; K Nolan 7, B Lambe 6, T Bolger 6; Brendan Murphy 7, D Foley 7; Brian Murphy 8, P Reid 6, E Ruth 6; JJ Smith 6, S Gannon 7, D St Ledger 6. Subs: D Hayden 6 for Reid (57); K Jackson 6 for Brian Murphy (62); McElligott for Bolger (70+2).

Ref -- S Doyle (Wexford).

Irish Independent

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