By Damian Dolan
London manager Ciaran Deely has likened Exiles forward Killian Butler to Wexford great Matty Forde.
Deely, who lined out alongside Forde for the Model County, was full of praise for Butler after he came off the bench to find the net against Laois with his first touch.
Laois went on to win the game 0-17 to 2-9 at McGovern Park to maintain their 100 percent record.
It was the Tir Chonaill Gaels’ man’s first appearance since shining against Carlow in the opening round. A hamstring injury subsequently picked up away from London training ruled Butler out for six weeks, with Deely calling it a ‘harsh lesson’.
“I felt Killian was ready to shoot the lights out in this league after the Carlow game,” said Deely. “In training he reminded me of Matty Forde, his movement and his ball striking ability.
“We sat down with him and had a chat about the injury and how he just needs to be mature. In fairness he’s responded magnificently.
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“Things didn’t go perfectly for him today, but a lot of things went well and to get 25 minutes after his injury was commendable for him. He needed that.
“It was great that he got game time and he’ll be ready for Waterford and Leitrim.”
Deely was also full of praise for London captain Liam Gavaghan, whose stunning goal saw the Exiles take an unlikely half-time lead, after the visitors had dominated the first half but amassed 11 wides.
“I said to Liam Gavaghan that’s the best goal I’ve ever seen at Ruislip. To score that [goal] against a team like Laois just goes to show the quality,” added Deely.
“Very proud of the lads…..we can’t fault them for their effort. We showed a lot of quality at times. Happy with the performance – disappointed with the defeat.
“In the first half we got turned over eight times in our defensive third. You can’t afford to do that against a side like Laois.”