Laois 1-14 Dublin 1-16
Leinster U-17 Football Championship Semi-Final
Laois’s brave second half comeback just fell short as they bowed out of the U-17 championship against Dublin in O’Moore Park tonight.
Trailing by seven points at one stage, Laois brought the deficit back to the minimum on three occasions but just couldn’t find that extra score to level it.
Dublin’s main player was Ciarán Archer and he scored 1-10 in the game – a truly remarkable display.
Laois hit the front after 90 seconds. Ronan Coffey played a lovely diagonal to ball Niall Dunne who cut inside and scored.
Dublin responded through Ciarán Archer but Laois were carrying the ball into the stiff breeze – and it paid dividends after five minutes when Ronan Coffey won a free which Mark Barry converted.
Dublin equalised from an Archer free and the same player then landed one from play from an acute angle to give them a 0-3 to 0-2 lead after nine minutes.
Laois then had a glorious goal chance. Jack Owens shrugged off two Dublin defenders pinged the ball to Niall Dunne who’s thunderbolt just went over the bar.
Dublin regained the lead through Jordan Leonard and Ciarán Archer extended the lead to two points with a free from midfield.
And Dublin almost had a goal at the midpoint of the half. Darragh Warnock raced clear on goal but his shot was excellently saved by Niall Gorman.
But that seemed to spur the visitors on. John Foley, Adam Byrne, Fionan O’Sullivan and Ciarán Archer all pointed to move Dublin ahead by six.
Laois responded with points from Ronan Coffey and Damien McCaul to stem the flow and they were then presented with golden opportunity when Jack Owens was tripped in the box.
Niall Dunne stepped up and sent Liam Woodcock the wrong way to make it 1-5 to 0-9 after 23 minutes.
Dublin replied with a Darragh Warnock free and they then had their first goal. Dublin’s main attacking threat Ciarán Archer unleashed a thunderbolt which left keeper Niall Gorman stranded.
He then kicked a free which put six between the teams and that is how it remained at half time – Dublin leading by 1-11 to 1-5.
And Archer picked up from where he left off with a free inside the opening minute of the second half.
Laois then nearly had their second goal when Ronan Coffey surged forward and found McCaul but his effort was blocked out for a 45 which Niall Dunne kicked wide.
Laois kicked a number poor wides after that before Damien McCaul and Mark Barry kicked one each to leave five between them with 20 minutes to play.
Dublin then missed a chance to kill the game when Ciarán Archer blazed wide from inside the square before Niall Dunne left four between them with a quarter on the game to play.
Ronan Coffey and Archer traded points before Damien McCaul landed a screamer to leave three in it with eight minutes to go.
Laois kept the pressure on as Mark Barry and Dean Brophy pointed to make it a one point game with five minutes to play.
But Dublin finally lifted the Laois siege with an Adam Byrne point however, Barry left one between them again from a free.
Laois needed the next score but instead it was Dublin who got it as John Foley took his tally to 1-9.
Mark Barry cut the deficit to the minimum in the first minute of added time but Laois didn’t score again and Archer made it safe for Dublin with a free with the last kick.
SCORERS – LAOIS: Niall Dunne 1-3 (1-0 pen, 0-1 free), Mark Barry 0-5 (0-3 frees), Ronan Coffey 0-2, Damien McCaul 0-3, Dean Brophy 0-1 DUBLIN: Ciarán Archer 1-10 (0-4 frees), Darragh Warnock 0-1 (0-1 free), Jordan Leonard 0-1, Adam Byrne 0-2, John Foley 0-2, Fionnan O’Sullivan 0-1
LAOIS: Niall Gorman; Michael Dowling, Seán O’Flynn, Alex Mohan; Killian Horgan, Gary Saunders, Colin Slevin; John Rogers, Andrew Swayne; Dean Brophy, Ronan Coffey, Damien McCaul; Mark Barry, Niall Dunne, Jack Owens. Subs: PJ Daly for Swayne (20mins), Bernard Wheatley for Rogers (42mins)
DUBLIN: Liam Woodcock; Eoghan Lyons, Sam Jones, Dylan O’Connell; Ciarán Melligan, Conor Kinsella, Anthony Quinn; Niall Comerford, Fionnan O’Sullivan; Darragh Warnock, Jordan Leonard, Andrew McCaul; John Foley, Adam Byrne, Ciarán Archer. Subs: Padraic Purcell for A. McCaul (39mins),
Referee: David Hickey (Carlow)