Louth destory Laois in 12 rocky first half minutes, Carlow nearly do it in Westmeath
Laois did not look at home in Croke Park.
After holding their hand up for breaching the GAA's training ban last April by having a camp in the build-up to their championship clash with Wexford, Laois were punished by having a home game taken away from them in this year's League.
That turned out to be this Sunday's game against Louth and rather than having it played in O'Moore Park, of all pitches, Croker was chosen as the replacement pitch.
Some punishment for Laois. Being forced to play on the best surface in the country.
They weren't smiling after their Croker foray, however, with Louth going to town on them in 12 first half minutes.
Laois 1-9 Louth 3-8
It only took 12 first half minutes for everything to go to pot for the Laois footballers. John Sugrue's men started okay in GAA HQ, with Ross Munnelly nailing a few early frees to settle them into it.
But then it all turned upside down just like that.
Louth came roaring at the same time as Laois fell asleep and this game was as good as a foregone conclusion by the time that clock struck 20.
The Wee County's powerful and rangy midfielder Conor Early got on the end of a fine team move to score a goal and to get Louth back into it after eight minutes of play.
They were only starting off.
Straight from the kickout, Wayne Kierans' men came back for more and their star forward Ryan Burns got in to fist in a second. 2-1 to 0-2 the score now, Louth cruising.
And it was only beginning for Laois. They gave away a penalty in the 14th minute for a foot-block, that man Burns slotting it cooly to put his side seven up.
— Louth GAA (@louthgaa) February 2, 2019
Surely it couldn't get any worse?
Then, just five minutes later, Kieran Lillis got sent off for Laois to bring to a close 12 minutes of misery. So down a man and seven points after 20 minutes, Laois were always up against it and though they rallied hard, they could never get close enough to Louth.
The dynamic duo of Donie Kingston and Evan O'Carroll came on at half-time, a signal of Laois' intentions but not even those lads could bring them back into it.
Ryan Burns kept on finishing and Louth held on to win by five.
Carlow 2-7 Westmeath 1-10
Westmeath's man of the moment Ger Egan kicked the last two points of the game to claw Carlow back to them and to seal a home point for Jack Cooney's men.
Carlow had started the brighter in TEG Cusack Park and when Brendan Murphy scored a 58th minute goal to put them four up, they looked for all the world winners.
But they wouldn't score again in the game and with the mercurial Ronan O'Toole beginning the Westmeath fightback, that man Egan finished it off.