Evan O'Carroll's goal made life much easier for Laois against Wexford this afternoon.
Evan O'Carroll's goal made life much easier for Laois against Wexford this afternoon.

Allianz FL D4: Freescoring Leitrim top the table



Laois 1-18 Wexford 1-13

Sligo 0-18 Wicklow 0-12

Leitrim 3-12 London 1-15

Carlow 1-11 Waterford 0-10

Laois and Leitrim are the front runners in Division Four of the Allianz League as the only sides with two wins from two games, though Carlow and Sligo also did their cause no harm with good away wins this weekend.

Carlow were first into action on Saturday afternoon when they travelled to Carriganore, with Niall Hickey’s goal after 43 minutes the crucial score in this otherwise tight battle.

A nip and tuck first half saw Waterford’s Brian Lynch and Carlow captain Darragh Foley score three frees each, with Carlow edging the game at the break, 0-6 to 0-5. However Foley gave his side breathing room when he chipped over two more points and then set up Hickey for a wonderful low finish. Waterford rallied somewhat, but they needed Dylan Guiry’s goal chance to hit the net, but instead Ciarán Cunningham came up trumps for Carlow with a wonderful close-range save.

Laois started brightly in Portlaoise against Wexford, with Evan O’Carroll scoring 1-1 in the early exchanges as they pushed seven points clear by the end of the first quarter.

With the wind at their backs, Wexford need to mount a comeback and they did so up to half-time, kicking off with a point from Kevin O'Grady. Mark Rossiter added a couple of frees, and with 26 minutes, they got the breakthrough they craved when Niall Malone floated a ball into the edge of the square, where Conor Kinsella gathered and shot past Scott Osborne.

Kieran Lillis steadied the home side but two more Rossiter dead balls left the teams deadlocked at 1-7 apiece at half-time.

Laois were lethargic for long stretches of the second half and Wexford trailed by just a single point after Rossiter scored two frees in quick succession around the hour mark, but the Model County’s dependence on their dead ball expert (who scored 0-10, eight frees and two 45s) left them short of firepower relative to Laois, for whom Mark Barry, Paul Kingston and O’Carroll were constant threats.

The Crossmaglen duo of Tony McEntee and Oisín McConville were in opposite dugouts at Aughrim today, and McConville would have been slightly the happier side at half-time, after Mark Kenny, Kevin Quinn and Andy Maher scored wonderful points from play to edge them a point ahead at the break, 0-7 to 0-6.

Sligo were transformed after the change of ends however, with Seán Carrabine, Niall Murphy, Pat Spillane and Patrick O’Connor their main attacking threats in a six-point win.

After scoring 1-10 last week, Leitrim full-forward Keith Beirne didn’t let travel sickness impede him in the slightest this afternoon at McGovern Park in Ruislip, where he bagged another 1-7 in his side’s three-point victory over a very competitive London side.

Despite the final score, the first half was pedestrian fare, but goes from Beirne and Donal Wrynn goal ignited the contest, as London rallied in response to pick off five points in a row through Liam Gavaghan, Kevin McCarthy and Chris Farley.

A red card for Henry Walsh made life tougher for Michael Maher’s home side, but when Daniel Clarke toe-poked a goal to tie the game up with five minutes remaining, it looked like the Exiles might be about to pull off a second great escape in as many weeks.

Instead, Tom Prior pounced on defensive confusion to strike Leitrim’s third goal, with Beirne adding two further points to complete the scoring.