The scoreline of 2-13 to 1-8 looks a comfortable one, but the truth of the matter is that this Laois U-21 team had to work very hard for this win.
They played the game with 14 men for 42 minutes after Ballyfin’s David Connolly was shown a straight red card in O’Moore Park against Louth in the Leinster quarter final last night.
But Laois prevailed and will now face Offaly in Dr Cullen Park next Wednesday night for a place in the final.
Here we pick out some of the talking points after a great win:
Seán ‘Magic’ Moore
Any player who gets 1-8 in any game of football is worthy of having people take note.
However, for a player to do it while being doubled marked for virtually the entire game is even more impressive.
The Ballyfin man has been making waves for the last number of years and senior manager Peter Creedon has earmarked him for a place in his team before the year is out.
Future performances like this will be hard to ignore.
Shane Nerney at full back
One man who was seriously impressive last night was full-back Shane Nerney. He never played with Laois up through the age grades but was centre-back on the O’Dempsey’s team that won the Laois IFC last year and earned a call up to the senior squad.
He made an appearance during the O’Byrne Cup but has since nailed down the U-21 number three jersey for himself.
Shane is the latest in the Nerney gang to pull on a Laois jersey. Son of Frankie, former Annanough and O’Dempsey’s stalwart, his cousins include Laois ladies footballers Mo Nerney and Laura Nerney, Laois camogie player Sarah-Anne Fitzgerald, Stuart Nerney in Portlaoise and James and JP Nerney in The Heath. All good operators
After consulting with his linesman, Offaly referee Fergal Smyth sent off David Connolly after 18 minutes.
Connolly swung out at Louth wing-back Dean McGuire when the play was stopped and while it seemed a thing of nothing with McGuire hopping up straight away, Connolly was given his marching orders.
Referee Smyth has previous with Laois already this season after he awarded Meath a late penalty in the O’Byrne Cup clash back in January which seemed utterly bizarre.
Smyth was 50 yards away when he allegedly spotted Kieran Lillis holding a Meath player in the area before signalling a penalty.
Laois will probably be hoping that they don’t have to see Smyth again this year.
Laois’s incredible defending
The first five minutes aside, Gary Kavanagh’s Laois team defended very well.
Louth’s main attacking threat, Ryan Burns, who raced through to score the game’s opening goal, was virtually nullified by Eoin Buggie after that.
The tackling by all of the players, both attackers and defenders, was aggressive but controlled.
They were certainly tested when they lost a man but this Laois side looked well drilled and it will take a very good attack to cause them serious problems.
Changes for Offaly game?
Laois manager Gary Kavanagh may be forced to shuffle his pack somewhat for the semi-final next week.
Ballyfin’s David Connolly will be suspended following his red card but it is understood that management intend to appeal this ban.
Should that be unsuccessful, Graigueucullen’s Daniel O’Reilly will probably move to midfield with Liam Knowles of Stradbally set to come in at half back.
David Connolly’s brother Darragh was forced off early on in the game with a leg injury and should he not recover in time, St Joseph’s Dylan Doyle could come in to deputise.