NFL Division Four: Laois maintain perfect start as Carlow edge out Leitrim

Fermanagh's James McMahon and Laois'  Evan O'Carroll in action during the GAA Allianz Football League Division Three Round Three between Fermanagh and Laois on 03-05-2022 at Brewster Park. Pic Philip Walsh
Evan O'Carroll (left) was among the scores as Laois defeat Tipperary to make it four wins out of four in Division Four of the Allianz Football League

Laois and Carlow gave their promotion hopes a huge shot in the arm with late comeback wins Division Four of the Allianz League yesterday, while Wexford and Longford aren’t out of the hunt with four points each, though they’ll need to win out and get favours from elsewhere if they’re to force their way into the mix for a place in the third tier in 2025.

Seán O’Connor got Tipperary out to a flying start with an early goal against Laois at Semple Stadium on Sunday, but after Laois got back into the game, the same player missed a glorious chance to drive home his team’s advantage when his penalty was saved by Killian Roche after 46 minutes.

Missed chances haunted Tipperary throughout this game, with Peter McGarry crashing a goalbound effort off the post in the first half too, but despite this, the home side still led by 1-7 to 0-8 going into the final quarter after they picked off three points in a row when Evan O’Carroll was in the sin bin for Laois.

Once the Crettyard man returned, Tipperary failed to add to their tally while points from Kieran Lillis, O’Carroll and Paul Kingston gave Laois their fourth win in succession.

After a dull first half, Carlow versus Leitrim sprang into life in a rollercoaster game at Netwatch Cullen Park.

One week previously, Leitrim broke Wexford’s hearts with a controversial injury time goal to beat Wexford by a point, and this time they were on the other end of the same stick – albeit there was no controversy about the game’s memorable winning score.

Jamie Clarke’s goal had put Carlow in control before Ryan O’Rourke put it back in the melting point, then Jack Gilheaney looked to have clinched it for Leitrim when he struck to put them two up going into the last minute of added time.

That was until Colm Hulton struck a wonder goal to make it 2-14 to 1-16, and once Carlow turned over Leitrim’s last possession, the final whistle sounded to confirm their third win of the year.

In the other game played yesterday Dessie Reynolds, Keelin McGann and Daniel Mimnagh found the net for Longford in their 3-12 to 1-10 home win over London.

On Saturday, Waterford made the short trip to Wexford Park and were right in the game at half-time, just 0-6 to 0-5 behind.

It was a completely different story after the break when Wexford kicked seven points in a row during the third quarter to effectively end Waterford’s hopes.

Ben Brosnan and Glenn Malone combined for nine points on a day when 10 players found the target for the side that prevailed by 0-21 to 1-7.