A super performance from Ross King helped Laois to a crucial win over Carlow in MW Hire O'Moore Park last night. The result should ensure Laois's survival in NHL Division 1B for another year, as King's haul of 0-12 helped them to a hard-fought win.
With the pitch in O'Moore Park hosting its fourth game in seven days conditions underfoot were far from ideal, and it took both teams a while to get to grips with it. Laois were coping the better of the two teams, but neither team could manage a score from play in the opening 15 minutes.
In that time, King launched over three frees for Laois with Marty Kavanagh hitting one in response for Carlow. The game's first score from play came in the 21st minute, through King, who was the standout player of the half.
Willie Dunphy added another for Laois moments later, with the hosts trying to make the most of their wind advantage. Carlow were struggling to create chances but Kavanagh's frees were keeping them in the game, and himself and King had a personal duel for most of the half. King had the better of it, hitting 0-8 in the opening period as Laois led 0-10 to 0-5 at the interval.
Carlow came back strongly in the second half as Kavanagh spearheaded their pursuit, hitting five of their seven points as they got to within one with ten minutes to go.
That became a draw game in the 69th minute thanks to a John Nolan point, but Laois quickly regained the lead through a King free. Kavanagh had a late shot at redemption, but his free tailed off to the left and Laois held on.
Scorers - Laois: R King 0-12 (9f), C McEvoy, W Dunphy, A Dunphy 0-1 each. Carlow: M Kavanagh 0-11 (8f), C Nolan 0-2, J Nolan 0-1.
Laois: E Rowland; L Senior, M Whelan, D Hartnett; C McEvoy, P Delaney, J Kelly; J Lennon, FC Fennell; P Purcell, J Ryan, A Dunphy; R King, W Dunphy, E Gaughan. Subs: C Taylor for A Dunphy (57), R Broderick for Kelly (59), C Comerford for Fennell (66).
Carlow: D Jordan; M Doyle, P Doyle, R Smithers; A Corcoran, D English, G Bennett; A Amond, K McDonald; D Byrne, JM Nolan, J Kavanagh; T Joyce, M Kavanagh, P Coady. Subs: C Nolan for Coady (ht), J Nolan for Amond (56), S Whelan for Joyce (57), E Byrne for D Byrne (64), M Malone for JM Nolan (67).
Referee: C McAllister (Cork).
Sunday Indo Sport