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Dublin: 8°C Monday 12 April 2021

Late drama at O'Connor Park as Kildare salvage a draw against Laois

They’ll meet again next weekend.

Ross Munnelly of Laois and Kildare's Ollie Lyons battle for possession.
Ross Munnelly of Laois and Kildare's Ollie Lyons battle for possession.
Image: James Crombie/INPHO

Laois 0-16

Kildare 0-16

TOMMY MOOLICK’S DRAMATIC late point snatched a deserved draw for Kildare in this evening’s Leinster senior football championship quarter-final against Laois in Tullamore.

An exciting second-half culminated with a frantic finish as Jason Ryan’s Kildare rallied from three points down to salvage a replay, fixed for next Saturday evening at 7pm.

Paul Kingston could have won it for Laois in the fourth minute of stoppage time but after sidestepping his marker, the substitute dragged his left-footed effort wide.

Laois had looked winners all over when Kingston’s brother Donie, scorer of 0-8, fired the O’Moore men into a 0-16 to 0-13 lead.

Tomás Ó’Flatharta’s Laois, inspired by midfielder John O’Loughlin, were in sight of a first Leinster championship victory over their neighbours in 10 years but Kildare showed huge character to dig out a result.

Eoghan O’Flaherty kicked a 66th-minute free when referee Cormac Reilly whistled back after allowing an advantage. Kildare skipper Eamonn Callaghan dragged a shot narrowly wide before O’Flaherty popped the ball over from close range.

O’Flaherty then kicked his fifth free to narrow the gap back to just a point but Kildare looked set for heartbreak when Alan Smith rattled the upright in the second minute of additional time.

Paul Cribbin and John O'Loughlin John O'Loughlin of Laois holds off a challenge from Kildare's Paul Cribbin. Source: James Crombie/INPHO

There was still time to engineer one final attacking move and Moolick, scorer of two points after coming on, did the necessary before Paul Kingston fluffed his lines with that last-gasp attempt.

In front of 14,077 spectators at O’Connor Park, Kildare held a one-point half-time lead, 0-9 to 0-8. Alan Smith was the main danger for the Lilywhites in their full-forward line but Padraig Fogarty was also in decent shooting form, kicking two of his three first-half points from placed balls.

Smith had the one real goal chance in the opening half but the Sarsfields hitman clipped the top of the crossbar. Laois were turned over in midfield and a sweeping Kildare move saw Cathal McNally present Smith with a chance that he should have gobbled up.

At the other end, four points from Donie Kingston helped to keep Laois in touch at the break, split evenly between play and frees. But after Laois stormed into an early 0-4 to 0-1 lead by the 17th minute, Kildare levelled within four minutes, as Smith’s narrow miss ensured parity via the woodwork.

The sides were level at 0-6 apiece before Kildare finished the second half slightly the better, twice opening up two-point leads before Darren Strong’s second point from wing-back reduced the margin to the bare minimum.

Darren Strong dejected at the final whistle A disappointed Darren Strong at the full-time whistle. Source: James Crombie/INPHO

Scorers for Kildare: Eoghan O’Flaherty 0-5f, Padraig Fogarty 0-3 (1f, 1 45), Tommy Moolick & Alan Smith 0-2 each, Emmet Bolton, Gary White, Paul Cribbin, Eamonn Callaghan 0-1 each.

Scorers for Laois: Donie Kingston 0-8 (5f), Ross Munnelly 0-3f, Darren Strong & John O’Loughlin 0-2 each, Tom Shiel 0-1f.


1. Mark Donnellan (Maynooth)

2. Ciaran Fitzpatrick (Kilcock)
3. Mick O’Grady (Celbridge)
4. Ollie Lyons (Celbridge)

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5. Kevin Murnaghan (Moorefield)
6. Fergal Conway (Celbridge)
7. Emmet Bolton (Eadestown)

8. Gary White (Sarsfields)
9. Paul Cribbin (Johnstownbridge)

13. Eamonn Callaghan (Captain, Naas)
11. Eoghan O’Flaherty (Carbury)
12. Cathal McNally (Johnstownbridge)

10. Padraig O’Neill (St Laurence’s)
15. Padraig Fogarty (St Laurence’s)
14. Alan Smith (Sarsfields)


22. Tommy Moolick (Leixlip) for McNally (41)
26. Niall Kelly (Athy) for Fogarty (56)
18. Eoin Doyle (Naas) for Murnaghan (59)
25. Fionn Dowling (Suncroft) for O’Neill (67)
20. David Whyte (Moorefield) for White (69)


1. Graham Brody (Portlaoise)

2. Damien O’Connor (Timahoe)
3. Mark Timmons (Graiguecullen)
4. Stephen Attride (Killeshin)

5. Darren Strong (Emo)
7. Colm Begley (Parnells)
6. Robbie Kehoe (O’Dempsey’s)

8. Brendan Quigley (Timahoe)
9. John O’Loughlin (St Brigid’s)

10. Niall Donoher (Courtwood)
11. Conor Boyle (Portlaoise)
12. Evan O’Carroll (Crettyard)

13. Ross Munnelly (Arles-Kilcruise)
14. Donal Kingston (Arles-Killeen)
24. Tom Shiel (Stradbally)


21. Conor Meredith (O’Dempsey’s) for Shiel (51)
22. Billy Sheehan (Emo) for Meredith (inj, 65)
15. Paul Kingston (Arles Killeen) for O’Carroll (67)

Referee: Cormac Reilly (Meath).

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About the author:

Jackie Cahill

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