Leinster SFC: Louth romp to 10-point victory

May 26, 2013

Louth's Derek Maguire and Peter O'Leary of Laois race for possession.
©INPHO/Colm O'Neill.
Louth 1-16
Laois 1-6

Aidan O'Rourke put one over his former Armagh team-mate Justin McNulty at Portlaoise today when his Louth side romped to a surprisingly comfortable 10-point victory over Laois in the opening round of the Leinster SFC.

O'Rourke's championship debut along the sidelines for the Wee County couldn't have gone any smoother as his team held the upper hand right from the throw-in and never relinquished their superiority.

Shane Lennon's first half goal boosted wind-assisted Louth into a nine-point lead at the midway point and the second half followed a similar pattern with McNulty's charges unable to wrestle control of proceedings from the Wee County's grip.

The visitors drew first blood with Adrian Reid finding the target and Brian White parachuted them into a 0-3 to 0-0 early advantage when sending over a free and a 45.

Back by a strong wind advantage, it was all one-way traffic in the early stages and the Wee County's centre-forward White added a point from play to leave the home side trailing by four points.

Right half-back Darren Strong got the O'Moore County off the mark but debutant John Bingham and Shane Lennon replied for the team in red and white who led by 0-6 to 0-2 at the end of the opening 15 minutes.

Gary Walsh pointed a free for Laois three minutes later after Colm Kelly was fouled but Lennon cancelled that effort out at the other end of the field.

Shortly after, number 14 Lennon got on the end of Derek Maguire run to fist the ball to the Laois net from close range and Louth were eight points up, 1-7 to 0-2.

Walsh registered Laois' third point via a placed ball but Lennon brought his personal tally to 1-3 with a free in the 26th minute and midfielder Brian Donnelly followed that up with a point from distance to send Louth in at half-time with a commanding 1-9 to 0-3 lead.

Play was halted at the start of the second half following an injury to Laois' Conor Rafferty before Ross Munnelly set up Donie Kingston for the second half's first score.

Kingston returned the favor shortly after but Munnelly was fouled for a free which Walsh converted to leave his side trailing by seven points.

Normal service was soon restored, however, when the outstanding White sent over two 45s in quick succession.

Laois heads dropped and a Paddy Keenan score left 10 points between the teams with 13 minutes left on the clock.

Wing-back Padraig McMahon netted a consolation goal for the home side but they now go into the hat for the first round of the qualifiers.

Louth, meanwhile, turn their attention to a quarter-final meeting with Wexford on Sunday, June 9.

Louth - N Gallagher; P Rath, J Bingham (0-1), A Reid (0-1); D Crilly, D Finnegan, J O'Brien; P Keenan (0-1), B Donnelly (0-1); A McDonnell, B White (0-7, 3'45's, 2f), C Rafferty; C Byrne, S Lennon (1-4, 1f), D Maguire. Subs: P Smith for Rafferty, K Rogers (0-1) for Byrne, C Judge for Maguire, R Carroll for McDonnell, C McGuinness for Finnegan.

Laois - E Culliton; M Timmons, D Booth, P O'Leary; D Strong (0-1), J O'Loughlin, P McMahon (1-0); C Boyle, B Quigley; R Munnelly, D Kingston (0-3, 1f), C Begley; D O'Connor, G Walsh (0-2f), C Kelly. Subs: C Meredith for O'Connor, K Meaney for Quigley, P Clancy for Kelly, K Lillis for Strong, P Begley for Timmons.

Referee - C Reilly.

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