Updated: 06/03/17 : 05:39:09
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Sligo send them home sweatin, happy anyway

By Eugene McGloin

THE BEAUTY of having two iPads was of watching two live weekend games together.

The privilege came courtesy of Eir broadband, which offers the service free to customers.

So it was one eye on Cavan versus Donegal and a more eagle-eye watching the Dubs humiliate Mayo.

Mayo football has one thing In common with its Taoiseach: There is evidence that both are going nowhere, anytime soon.

But nothing ever beats watching live football 'in the flesh,' so to speak.

So, off to see Sligo take on Laois in Markievicz Park yesterday, Sunday.

Great Value

The athleticism of Ireland's amateur sportsters surpasses a lot of what passes for professional football standard in Ireland.

Sligo gave great value for money in their endeavours yesterday.

Two goals conceded early -- and only a wonder-save stopped a 'sure' third -- they looked in distress many times.

They were lucky to be only be five points adrift of Laois at half time.

Distress maybe, but never in disarray. This is a well organised and well drilled Sligo squad.

Last Six

This century I'd been to the cathedral at Croker to shout 'for' both counties.

The epic exploits of Sligo live longest of all, making the last six in the All-Ireland in 2002.

Mick O'Dwyer, one of the all-time great GAA managers, lead a young Laois side to the last eight around the same time.

Sligo may currently be lacking the class of that class of 2002 but none of its spirit or application has gone away, you know.

Same Tally

We got buckets of it to watch yesterday in an exciting finale as Sligo 'edged it at the elbow on the run-in,' much like an Aintree Grand National.

We got no score for nearly ten of the opening minutes and then we had thirty scores between the two teams in the next hour.

Laois had twelve of those and Sligo eighteen but the margins were closer, thanks to those two earlier goals - 0-18 to 2-10.

That seems to be the favourite Laois score when losers; they had the same tally when beaten by All Ireland champs Dublin last summer.

It's hard -- and unfair -- to single out any one Sligo player but Niall Murphy, again, was the class player on display.

Five effortless points and a golden chance of a goal make Murphy one to watch for this summer.

If the players wore pedometers, the (strong) suspicion has to be that Niall Ewing would, again, have the 'most mileage' yesterday.

Professional soccer in Ireland makes me laugh when I see the concentration and leadership so many GAA players repeatedly bring to their own game.

'Send them home sweating, wanting more,' used to be a motto back in the decades of the dance halls run by the late Taoiseach Albert Reynolds and his family.

Sligo football is always a joy to watch any day it sends you home happy.

SLIGO: Aidan Devaney; Noel Gaughan, Charlie Harrison, Keelin Cawley; Kevin McDonnell, Neil Ewing, Eoin McHugh; Patrick O'Connor, Adrian McIntyre; Criostóir Davey, Niall Murphy, John Kelly; Kyle Cawley, Adrian Marren, Stephen Coen. 

Subs: Stephen Gilmartin for Davey (half time), Brendan Egan for Harrison (54 mins), Cian Breheny for Kyle Cawley (56 mins), Pat Hughes for Coen (57 mins)

Scorers: Niall Murphy 0-5, Stephen Coen 0-4 (0-3 frees), Adrian Marren 0-3 (0-1 free), Cian Breheny, Keelin Cawley, John Kelly, Stephen Gilmartin 0-1 each.

LAOIS: Graham Brody; Alan Farrell, Denis Booth, James Kelly; Darren Strong, Stephen Attride, Colm Begley; John O'Loughlin, Kevin Meaney (red carded 1st half); Danny Luttrell, David Conway, Danny O'Reilly; Niall Donoher, Donie Kingston, Paul Kingston. 

Subs: Padraig McMahon for Begley (13 mins, injured), Brendan Quigley for Luttrell (45 mins), Gareth Dillon for O'Reilly (45 mins), Ross Munnelly for Conway (52 mins)

Scorers: Donie Kingston 1-4 (0-3 frees), Paul Kingston 1-1, David Conway 0-2, Stephen Attride, John O'Loughlin, Padraig McMahon 0-1 each.

Referee: Barry Tiernan (Dublin).