The nature of the winning score, as the sun set on O’Connor Park last Saturday evening, may give the appearance of an act of grand larceny on the part of Laois. The truth is that this was no robbery.
A three-point Laois win hardly does justice to the superiority of the visitors. Laois were physically stronger and used that advantage well to gain possession in the vital sectors of both midfield, where Colm Stapleton and Aidan Corby impressed, and half-back line, where Aaron McGowan, Ciarán McEvoy and Gavin Dunne all did well.
Offaly’s woes are well debated at this stage, their struggle to gain possession being high up that list. That was never more epitomised as it was at that last, fateful puckout, when Aaron McGowan got up well to meet Conor Clancy’s puckout and drive it 30 metres downfield.
With Laois now on the front foot Ben Conroy reacted first to the breaking ball and sent a perfectly flighted delivery goalwards. Aaron Moore read that flight brilliantly and timed his run to perfection, batting the dropping ball beyond Conor Clancy. There was hardly time for the puckout, and Moore ensured his place in Laois folklore with what was, for them, a famous goal.
See this week’s Offaly Express for full report and reaction. Now on sale on Tuesday’s across Offaly.