Allianz FL D3: Longford, Louth, and Laois earn victories
Allianz Football League Division Three
LONGFORD 1-11 CARLOW 0-9
LOUTH 2-10 OFFALY 2-8
LAOIS 2-18 SLIGO 2-10
Longford are top of Division Three of the Allianz Football League heading into the break after they secured victory away to Carlow while hosts Laois defeated Sligo and Louth won on the road against Offaly.
Down’s win at home to Westmeath on Saturday put them top of the standings, but Longford’s second success of the campaign means they are one point clear.
Substitute Conor Berry’s goal was a massive turning point at Netwatch Cullen Park as Longford held on for a comfortable 1-11 to 0-9 win in the end.
Longford came into the game on the back of 1-6 to 0-9 draw with Offaly in Round 2 and the sides were level 0-5 to 0-5 at half-time here.
Berry scored a point after his introduction as Longford took a 0-9 to 0-6 lead. Turlough O’Brien’s side reduced the arrears to the minimum before Berry scored the crucial goal with ten minutes remaining.
Daniel Mimnagh’s late point sealed the win and Longford’s place as league leaders after the opening three rounds. Carlow are now fifth.
Laois are second in Division 3 following a big 2-18 to 2-10 win against Sligo in Portlaoise, but Sligo are bottom and they remain pointless.
Laois held a slender 0-9 to 0-6 lead at half-time before the scores really began to flow in the second half.
Stephen Attride’s goal arrived four minutes after the resumption before Donie Kingston gave Laois an unassailable 2-13 to 0-7 lead in the 45th minute.
Sligo did rally late on with 2-1 coming from Barry Gorman, but they couldn’t get within touching distance.
Louth are third in the standings as they inflicted a second defeat in-a-row on Offaly, in a 2-10 to 2-8 thriller at O’Connor Park in Tullamore.
Louth secured a brilliant win against Laois in Croke Park last time out and they used that momentum to propel them further towards safety.
They had trailed by 2-5 to 1-3 at half-time but this was another gritty performance, even though it did require a last-minute Declan Hogan own goal to save the day.
Anton Sullivan and Shane Horan scored the first half goals for the home team. Ciaran Downey hit back for Louth and they were five points in arrears at the break.
But Louth stuck in the game in the second half despite a straight red card for Conor Early along with blacks for Declan Byrne and James Craven.
Then in added-time Hogan kicked the ball into his own net when he attempted to clear his lines as Louth made it back-to-back wins.