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Dublin: 11 °C Wednesday 20 February, 2019
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Goals from Campbell and Rafferty as Armagh blitz Laois

The visitors hit the front early on but The Orchard County answered in force.

The battle for possession in Armagh.
The battle for possession in Armagh.
Image: INPHO/Presseye/Jonathan Porter

Armagh 2-18

Laois 1-12

ARMAGH UPPED THE second-half ante on Laois to record a nine point win at the Athletic Grounds and climb to third in Division 2 of the Allianz football league.

It was the hosts who got off to the better start, Stefan Campbell on hand to score the game’s opening point after James Clarke almost raised the green flag inside four minutes.

Despite playing into a strong wind, Laois took control, scoring four unanswered points through Donie Kingston, John O’Loughlin, Ross Munnelly and James Finn.

The Orchard County fought back though and scored five unanswered points — Campbell with the pick of them — before Kingston’s free steadied the ship for Laois on 23 minutes.

Armagh’s lead was back up to three points on the half hour when corner back Paul Hughes pointed from distance and just when it looked like they were racing away with five points in as many minutes, O’Loughlin scored the games first goal to ensure the hosts only led 0-12 to 1-6 at the break.

Just as they did in the first, Armagh opened the scoring the second period and their advantage was soon back to five through Caolan Rafferty and Kernan’s fifth score of the match.

The key moment came on 51 minutes when the Laois defence opened up and — after Mark Shields’ initial shot was saved — Campbell was on hand to score his side’s first goal and stretch their lead to seven. Ethan Rafferty slammed in a late goal for the home side to send Laois home with a hefty defeat to mull over.

Stephen Campbell with Denis Booth Goalscoring hero Stefan Campbell battles with Denis Booth of Laois. Source: Presseye/Jonathan Porter/INPHO

Scorers for Armagh: Campbell (1-4), Kernan (0-6, 3f), E Rafferty (1-1), Hughes, Mallon, Stoker, C Rafferty, Clarke, Harold and McVerry (all 0-1)

Scorers for Laois: Kingston (0-5, 3f), O’Loughlin (1-1), Munnelly and Walsh (0-2), Finn and Conway (0-1)

ARMAGH: P McEvoy; P Hughes, A Mallon, M Murray; M Shields, E Rafferty (E McVerry ’68), P O’Neill (R Grugan HT); A Findon, S Harold; T Kernan, K Dyas (K O’Rourke ’72), C Rafferty; J Clarke, S Campbell, S Forker (B Mallon HT).

LAOIS: G Brody; D Booth, M Timmons, P O’Leary; D Strong, P Begley, P McMahon; J O’Loughlin, K Meaney; J Finn (G Walsh HT), D Kingston, C Begley; R Munnelly, D Conway (E O’Carroll ’62), B Sheehan (P Kingston ’67).

Referee: Joe McQuillan (Cavan)

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