Football League Division Three: Laois fight back to beat Mournemen in opener

Donie Kingston helped Laois fight back from five points down after half-time to win the opener in Newry
Donie Kingston's second-half introduction turned the game in Laois' favour

Laois came from five down after half-time to beat Down 2-15 to 1-12 in the Football League Division Three opener.

Down led 0-9 to 0-5 at half-time and increased that margin after the break.

But Donie Kingston's arrival helped the visitors hit seven straight points before Colm Murphy netted for Laois when a foul seemed to have been missed.

A goal from Down sub Donal O'Hare cut the margin to two but Paul Cahillane's late three-pointer sealed Laois' win as Evan O'Carroll finished with 0-8.

Paddy Tally was taking charge of the Mournemen for the first time in a Football League game and their third-quarter collapse is a further indication of the big job facing the Tyrone native.

Down lose way after impressive first half

In front of a big attendance at Newry, Down produced a promising first half as Pat Havern, one of several league debutants, and free-taker Paul Devlin both hit three points.

Conor Poland and Havern were both impressive in open play as Jerome Johnston's direct running in attack caused problems for the Laois defence.

Havern's first point put Down 0-2 to 0-0 ahead after his superb fetch in midfield and while three O'Carroll frees put Laois ahead, the Mournemen bossed the remainder of the opening period to lead by four at the interval.

A Down win seemed on the cards when Conor McGrady added to their lead after the restart but the game then completely turned as the arrival of Colm Begley and particularly Donie Kingston saw Laois fire over five points in four minutes to level the contest.

One of Kingston's two points during this period came after Down's Johnston had incorrectly called a mark after he had received a ball directly from a free.

By the time, Kingston lofted over his third point on 50 minutes Laois were two clear.

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Tally blames inexperience for Down defeat

First Laois goal after 'clear foul' - Tally

After O'Hare finally got Down scoring again, then came arguably the game's biggest talking point as Murphy lashed in Laois' first goal after a turnover following a seemingly clear tug on Conor Francis' jersey.

While refusing to go overboard in any criticism of referee Martin McNally, Down boss Tally said after the game that it had been a "clear foul".

Laois immediately should have tagged on a second goal with Cahillane somehow blasting against the crossbar from only two metres out.

While Conor Boyle did add a further Laois point a minute later, Cahillane's miss did look like it might prove the turning point when O'Hare netted following a high ball from second-half substitute Caolan Mooney, with Francis' further point leaving the minimum between the sides.

But Laois held their nerve and after O'Carroll's eighth point, he produced a superb pass to set Cahillane for the decisive goal, with Murphy adding a further score before the final whistle.


Division One
Division Three
Division Four

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