NFL: Derry 1-7 Laois 1-21
It was, as Derry manager John Brennan admitted after this totally one-sided game, a “reality check” for a previously unbeaten side as Laois crushed the home team ruthlessly by 14 points.
Brennan felt the younger players allowed themselves to be caught up in the occasion.
“They were not able to carry the favourites tag, no way,” he admitted. “I do not know how you could legislate for that.
“That was not the team that has been playing for Derry since the beginning of the year. Realistically I cannot put my finger on it. I will have to sit down and study the recording.
“There wasn’t one person on that pitch who did justice to the talent they have.”
Laois posted two points in the first minute. Daithi Carroll pointed after 13 seconds, Billy Sheahan adding a second on the restart. Conleith Gilligan did convert a free, James Kielt grabbing Derry’s second point after Carroll had made the score 0-03 to 0-01. Laois then took control. Russ Munnelly and Paddy Bradley exchanged points, as did Munnelly and Gilligan. Padraig Cahalane finished with aplomb.
Tierney from two frees and from play piled on the pressure, Shane Julian grabbed a ninth point as Laois lead 1-09 to 0-04 at the break.
Two minutes into the second half Caolan O’Boyle was pulled down by Denis Booth and the referee awarded Derry a penalty but Bradley clipped the bar.
Carroll pointed a free, Shane Julian having previously strode forward to grab the first score of the half. Indeed then Laois half-back line contributed 0-05 between them, with Darren Strong scoring three points.
However, Laois’ forward trio of Munnelly, Sheehan and Tierney scored freely.
Six minutes into the second period Declan Mullan was dismissed after a second yellow card.
Five minutes from time substitute Eoin Bradley was fouled and Paddy Bradley goaled from the second spot kick but it was too little, too late.
Derry: Conlon, McCallion, McCloy, McBride, Kielt, McGoldrick, O’Kane, McCloskey, Holly, J Kielt, S McGoldrick, Mullan, C McGoldrick, Bradley, Gilligan. Subs: Mullan for McGoldrick (blood substitution), McGoldrick for Ciaran Mullan (blood substitution), Conway for Holly, O’Boyle for J Kielt, McGuckin for McGoldrick, Bradley for S McGoldrick, Donaghy for Gilligan
Laois: Nolan, Kehoe, Meaney, Booth, Strossg, Julian, Boyle, Timmons, O’Loughlin, Begley, Carroll, Danoher, Munnelly, Sheahan, Tierney. Subs: Brennan for Munnelly, Finlay for Sheahan, Coss for Clancy, Kavanagh for Callinane
Referee: Martin Higgins (Fermanagh)