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More bad news for McGeeney as Laois beat Armagh

Conor Meredith’s goal was the difference between the sides.

Kieran McGeeney watched his side lose again.
Kieran McGeeney watched his side lose again.
Image: Tom Beary/INPHO

Laois 1-10
Armagh 0-10

Paul Keane reports from O’Moore Park, Portlaoise

CONOR MEREDITH’S WONDER goal in Portlaoise separated the sides as Laois overcame Armagh’s stubborn resistance to secure their place in Round 2A of the All-Ireland football qualifiers.

It was far from a classic contest but that won’t bother Mick Lillis whose Laois side bounced back with victory following their Leinster championship loss to Dublin.

Meredith’s 16th minute goal was a blinder as he outpaced Armagh defender Ciaran McKeever in a 20 yard sprint down the left before burying the ball beyond the ‘keeper.

Donie Kingston kicked four points too though wasn’t as influential as in previous games as defences dominated.

Armagh battled hard and reduced their arrears to just a single point with 62 minutes on the clock but couldn’t level it up for the fifth time in the game.

Instead, Laois held their nerve and injury-time scores from substitutes Jamie Farrell and Ross Munnelly proved the insurance scores.

They’ll take their place in Monday morning’s Round 2A draw but Armagh have a tricky few months of soul searching after a disappointing season that also yielded relegation to Division 3 of the Allianz league.

The sides were level four times in the first-half with Michael McKenna’s Armagh point sending the sides into the interval deadlocked on 0-7 to 1-4.

Laois bossed the second-half and three points in a row in the third quarter from Kingston and David Conway put them three up.

But Kieran McGeeney’s Armagh fought hard in the final quarter and twice reduced the deficit to one before Joe Feeney’s score that put just one between them.

But that was as good as it got for the Orchard who couldn’t get any closer in a tense run in.

Scorers for Laois: Donie Kingston 0-4 (0-3f), Conor Meredith 1-0, Paul Cahillane 0-1 (0-1f), Darren Strong 0-1, David Conway 0-1, Gary Walsh 0-1 (0-1f), Jamie Farrell 0-1, R Munnelly 0-1.
Scorers for Armagh: Stefan Campbell 0-3 (0-3f), Rory Grugan 0-2 (0-1f), Michael McKenna 0-2, Mark Shields 0-1, Aidan Forker 0-1, Joe Feeney 0-1.

LAOIS XV

1. Graham Brody (Portlaoise)

2. Stephen Attride (Killeshin)
3. Mark Timmons (Graiguecullen)
17. Gearoid Hanrahan (Mountmellick)

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5. Darren Strong (Emo)
6. Kieran Lillis (Portlaoise)
4. Damien O’Connor (Timahoe)

8. Brendan Quigley (Timahoe)
9. Kevin Meaney (Arles-Kilcruise)

10. Colm Begley (Stradbally)
11. Paul Cahillane (Portlaoise)
12. Niall Donoher (Courtwood)

13. Conor Meredith (O’Dempsey’s)
14. Donie Kingston (Arles-Killeen)
15. David Conway (Arles-Kilcruise)

Subs:
19. Alan Farrell (Ballylinan) for Strong (44)
21. Jamie Farrell (Ballylinan) for Meaney (50)
22. Matthew Campion (St Joseph’s) for Donoher (52)
25. Ross Munnelly (Arles-Kilcruise) for Conway (54)
24. Gary Walsh (Ballylinan) for Cahillane (58)
7. Gareth Dillon (Portlaoise) for Meredith (70)

ARMAGH XV

1. Patrick Morrison (Armagh Harps)

2. Shea Heffron (Clann Eireann)
3. Brendan Donaghy (Clonmore)
5. Joe McElroy (Armagh Harps)

7. Andy Mallon (Parnells, Dublin)
4. Mark Shields (An Chrois Bhan)
6. Ciaran McKeever (St Oliver Plunkett’s Eoghan Ruadh, Dublin)

8. Charlie Vernon (Armagh Harps)
9. Aaron Findon (St Peter’s)

10. Tony Kernan (Crossmaglen Rangers)
11. Rory Grugan (Ballymacnab)
12. Aidan Forker (Maghery)

13. Michael McKenna (Grange)
14. Stefan Campbell (Clann na nGael)
15. Niall Grimley (Madden)

Subs:
19. James Morgan (Crossmaglen Rangers) for Shields (17)
20. Joe Feeney (St Vincent’s) for Forker (45)
21. Gavin McParland (Ballymacnab) for Grimley (45)
23. Jemar Hall (Forkhill) for Kernan (44)
Kernan for McKenna (58)

Referee: Anthony Nolan (Wicklow).

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About the author:

Paul Keane

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