Limerick 1-8 Laois 0-6
LAOIS’ interest in the Peter McNulty Cup came to an end last night as they went down by five points to Limerick in the Gaelic Grounds.
The O’Moore County reached the final of this under 21 competition last year where they were beaten by Kildare after extra time in Annanough.
However, they have bowed out at the final four stage this time with the absence of Seán Moore through injury undoubtedly having a major influence on the outcome.
The Ballyfin forward has been in free scoring form for both the under 21 and senior Laois football teams this January, racking up a tally of 0-27 in four games with 23 of those points coming for Gary Kavanagh’s outfit.
The home side struck the front early on but Cathail Dunne drew Laois level after seven minutes. However, Limerick dominated the next twenty minutes and scored 1-4 without reply to open up a seven point lead.
Laois ended the half strongly with a brace from Dylan Doyle and a 45 from Danny Luttrell to narrow the gap to 1-5 to 0-4 at the break and give themselves a fighting chance of mounting a second half comeback.
But Laois only managed two points in the entirety of the second half with Doyle and Luttrell again on the scoresheet but this tally was never going to be enough.
Limerick, who knocked out reigning champions Kildare in the group stages, kicked just three points in the second half but that proved to be more than enough as they sailed through to the final where they will take on Clare in Stradbally this weekend.
Kavanagh’s attention now turns to the quarter final of the Leinster championship on March 1 where his Laois side will take on the winners of the first round tie between Wicklow and Louth.
LAOIS: Aaron Cooney (St. Joseph’s); Aaron Carroll (Ballyroan/Abbey), Shane Nurney (O’Dempsey’s), Shane Bolger (Killeshin); Dylan Doyle (0-3) (St Joseph’s), Eoin Buggie (Stradbally), Cillian Callally (Rosenallis); Cathail Dunne (0-1f) (Ballylinan), David Connolly (Ballyfin); James Baldwin (Barrowhouse), Danny Luttrell (0-2, 1f, 1 45) (Courtwood), Conor Whelehan (Timahoe); Adam Deering (Killeshin), Danny O’Reilly (Graiguecullen), Brian Byrne (Graiguecullen). Subs: Trevor Collins (Graiguecullen) for Connolly (35m), Jake Foster (Portarlington) for Baldwin (42m)