Laois today secured a place in the Allianz National Football League Division 2 final where they will meet the team they defeated Donegal after they beat them 1-15 to 1-11 in Portlaoise this afternoon.
Both sides came into the match in good form with Jim McGuiness bringing his side to Portlaoise on 10 points in the league and playing some enterprising football. Laois, like Donegal, came into the game playing some attractive football despite two defeats recently.
In what was a game played at a furious pace it was the home team lead by MJ Tierney, who scored 1-10, that led the way from the opening moments. The opening half was a cagy affair with both sides keen not to make too many mistakes.
It was thanks to Tierney that Laois went into the break with a 0-09 to 0-03 points lead. He was involved in everything good that Laois created today and was always giving Donegal something to worry about.
Donegal, who only could have afforded to loose today, played quite well with Michael Murphy and Colm McFadden in particular looking lively for the visitors. Sadly for Donegal supporters the Donegal frontline was met with stiff resistance by the Laois rear guard.
The second half sprung into life when Tierney, who caused Donegal problems all day wiggled free from the Donegal defence and buried the ball past the onrushing Donegal keeper.
Donegal immediate came back at Laois and got themselves a deserved goal when Dermot Molly benefited from some good play by the Donegal midfield rounded the keeper to slot the ball home.
The main turning point came just after the Donegal goal when Michael Hegarty was harshly sent off for pulling back a Laois midfielder. It proved to be the decisive moment of the game as Laois used the extra man to pull Donegal over the park and exploited the space that the extra man gave them.
Try as the might Donegal just could not quite bridge the gap and as the match wore on you always felt that Laois had another gear that they could step up to if they needed to. In the end Laois ran out comfortable winners by four points.
The two teams will now meet in Croke Park in two weeks to see who will be crowned champions of Division two. It promises to be another highly physical and highly entertaining match in two weeks.