Full-time: Laois 1-13 Leitrim 1-11
LAOIS ARE THROUGH to the next round of the qualifiers but they were made to fight all the way for the win in Carrick-on-Shannon.
Leitrim led by three points at half-time but a spirited fightback from the visitors in the second period broke the hearts of the crowd at Páirc Sean.
Gary Walsh opened the scoring for Laois within the first minute or so but then the home side took the initiative; Emlyn Mulligan levelled it up with a free before Ray Cox put them ahead.
Points from Ross Munnelly and Walsh again saw the game tied at 0-3 midway through the half. After the counties again exchanged points, referee Rory Hickey had to trot off injured, to be replaced by Martin Higgins from Fermanagh. Moments later Emlyn Mulligan tacked on another free and then Kevin Conlon struck a goal to put Leitrim up — 1-4 to 0-4.
With the score then at 1-7 0-5, Laois hit what proved a crucial goal through substitute Michael John Tierney after a defensive error. Cox later struck a good point on the stroke of half-time to send Leitrim in three ponts ahead.
Then the mini comeback arrived. Brendan Quigley struck the first score of the second half for Laois before his team-mate Billy Sheehan made it a one-point game. Kevin Conlon and Ross Miunnelly exchanged points to leave it 1-9 to 1-8 before Munnelly again and then Tiernay edged Laois ahead. From there Leitrim were kept at arm’s length and their summer is over. Laois live to fight another day,
Leitrim: C McCrann; D Beck, F McMorrow, P Maguire (captain); C Clarke, E Williams, D Beck; D Sweeney, S Moran; P Brennan (C Ryan), E Mulligan, G Hickey; R Cox, J Glancy, K Conlon (B McDonald).
Laois: E Culliton; C Healy, K Meaney, J Kavanagh; P McMahon (D Strong), J O’Loughlin, C Boyle; B Quigley, C Begley; R Munnelly, B Sheehan (D O’Connor), G Walsh; D O’Connor (MJ Tierney), P Clancy, C Kelly ( D Conway).