Laois 1-17 Wicklow 5-8
Fr Manning Cup Round 1
Laois lost out to a five-goal Wicklow side in Round 1 of the Fr Manning Cup in the LOETB Centre of Excellence this evening.
Donncha Phelan’s side, who were without their Portarlington and Ballyroan-Abbey contingent as they are preparing for the MFC final replay on Sunday, trailed for almost all of the game but produced a dramatic late comeback which just fell short.
They scored six points in the final five minutes of the game to claw a nine point deficit back to three but the goal they needed wouldn’t come – despite a late scramble for it.
Wicklow started on the front foot in the first round of this All-Ireland U-16 competition and went 1-2 to no score up after four minutes.
Laois responded well with a point from Ciaran Burke and top scorer Ciaran O’Neill either side of a Darragh McDonald goal which came as the result of some great work by the captain on the night – Sean Greene.
But Wicklow went straight up the other end and got their second goal before two points moved them further clear.
Once again though Laois came back and scored five points in a row via O’Neill, Jamie Kelly, Kevin Swayne and a brace from Adam Connolly to draw level as we entered first half injury time.
But once again they conceded a soft goal which left Wicklow ahead by 3-4 to 1-7 at half time.
Laois only managed four points in the first 20 minutes of the second half while Wicklow added 2-4 to their tally to move 5-8 to 1-11 in front with five minutes to play.
But credit to the Laois lads who didn’t give up and came storming back. Substitutes Oisin Byrne and Conor Goode kicked points while O’Neill converted three frees to leave three points between them.
They then went in search of the goal which would gain them a draw but a late goalmouth scramble came to nothing and Wicklow held on for the win.
Laois have two more games in the group stage of the competition to come.
They face Roscommon away this Saturday in Round 2 and are on the road again the follow Saturday – away to Louth.
SCORERS – LAOIS: Ciaran O’Neill 0-7 (six frees), David McDonald 1-0, Conor Goode 0-2, Oisin Byrne 0-2, Adam Connolly 0-2, Sean Greene 0-1, Kevin Swayne 0-1, Ciaran Burke 0-1, Jamie Kelly 0-1
LAOIS: Sean Dollard (Killeshin); James Knowles (St Joseph’s), Josh Mulhall (Park-Ratheniska), Jake Ratcliffe (The Heath); Mark Kehoe (Spink), Sean Greene (Emo), Jamie Kelly (St Joseph’s); Kevin Swayne (Portlaoise), Ciaran Burke (Crettyard); DJ O’Callaghan (Clonaslee-St Manman’s), Adam Connolly (Ballyfin), Ben Brennan (Portlaoise); Darragh Carolan (Stradbally), David McDonald (Killeshin), Ciaran O’Neill (Stradbally). Subs: Derek Dunne (O’Dempsey’s), Orrie Doran (Killeshin), Darragh Murphy (Arles-Kilcruise), Conor Goode (Stradbally), Oisin Byrne (Arles-Killeen), Matthew Bennett (Rosenallis), Ruairi Nevin (Spink), James Hennessy (Spink)