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SHANE SHOOTS LIGHTS OUT AT O'MOORE PARK.

Byline: COILIN DUFFY

Laois 0-23

Offaly 1-24

NHL Division 1B

OFFALY edged neighbours Laois, in an entertaining local derby under the Portlaoise floodlights on Saturday night.

Shane Dooley (above) bagged 1-14 for the Faithful county, in a game which saw a spirited Laois display, despite the O'Moore's being reduced to 14-men for the closing 20 minutes.

Offaly manager Brian Whelehan whelehan was a relieved man after the game.

His side were a man up for the final 20 minutes, after the dismissal of Laois defender Tom Delaney on a straight red card after a face-guard pull, but Whelehan's charges were really pushed to the collar.

Free-taker Zane Keenan failed to convert two penalties in the closing 10 minutes - his first deflected out for a 65' by Stephen Egan, and the second blocked by Offaly keeper James Dempsey.

Whelehan said, "I'm delighted to come away with a win.

"Everyone was taking about Laois being on the up and they are, but we knew the work that we are after been doing for the last three and a half months. We are after putting in a supreme effort and I'm just so delighted for the lads that it showed out there tonight."

Dooley top-scored with 1-14 in a game which saw Offaly lead by 0-14 to 0-11 at half-time.

Laois boss Seamus 'Cheddar' Plunkett felt his side could have been closer at the break.

"I just felt in the first half, Offaly seemed to be picking up a lot of breaking ball, particularly around the middle third. They were sweeping up a huge amount of breaking ball, and we just weren't quick enough to actually get in and mop that up."

Plunkett was high in his praise of his side, who battled hard despite being down a man.

"When they went an extra-man up it made a huge difference, because the extra man in behind swept up a huge amount of ball, and they were able to use him carrying the ball out of defence as well and it became very difficult at that stage.

"I have to say fair play to the lads, they really fought hard.

"At one stage we were six points down and stayed at it. We had our chances there in the end, but they just didn't come for us - certainly with the penalties.

"Obviously one of them would have made a big, big difference to us. Although we had the momentum at that stage we just didn't push on."

MAN OF THE MATCH

SHANE DOOLEY 9 Experienced Offaly forward showed all his class and skill to shoot lights out with a haul of 1-14

OFFALY: J Dempsey; P Camon, Shortt, S Egan; E Nolan, C Egan, D Mooney; N Wynne, S Ryan (0-2); J Bergin (0-2), S Kinsella (0-3), D Currams; MOTM S Dooley (1-14, 1-5f), P Murphy (0-2), S Quirke. SUBS: C Kiely (0-1) for Mooney (50); S Cleary for Kinsella (64); G Mann for Ryan (67) LAOIS: E Rowland; JA Delaney, Healy, B Stapleton; J Fitzpatrick, M Whelan, T Delaney; J Campion (0-1), P Purcell (0-1); W Hyland (0-3), T Fitzgerald, C Dwyer (0-5); N Foyle (0-2), Z Keenan (0-10, 6f, 3 '65), R King. SUBS: Maher for Foyle (43); PJ Scully for Campion (54); D Palmer Fitzgerald (66); B Conroy for King (64).REF: Alan Kelly (Galway) TEAMS

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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Geographic Code:4EUIR
Date:Feb 16, 2015
Words:555
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