Laois 1-14 Kildare 2-10
Electric Ireland Minor Hurling Championship Tier 2 Round 2
Mountrath’s Adam Kirwan was Laois’ hero as Laois came from behind to defeat Kildare in Newbridge this afternoon.
The sharpshooter fired 1-5 and scored a brilliant second half goal as Laois came from five points down to win for the second time in seven days.
This was a good Kildare side who brought plenty of physicality to the game and they led 2-9 to 0-10 with 20 minutes to play.
But Laois came back to win and if they defeat Antrim next weekend they will top the group.
While Kirwan takes the plaudits for his scoring exploits, this was a game where Laois were tested physically and the defence had to stand up to that.
Cian Conroy and Ian Shanahan excelled while Brian Bredin, making his first start of the campaign, really caught the eye and it was he who won the free which ultimately won the game.
The bench was also needed too with Eoin Naughten, Kevin Mulhall and Lawson Obular also making big impacts. The latter in particular really shored up the full back line on his introduction.
The first 20 minutes of the encounter was nip and tuck with both sides largely cancelling each other out.
Laois relied on Adam Kirwan, DJ Callaghan and Tomas Keyes for scores while Kildare’s Cathal McCabe was on fire.
The game’s opening goal arrived on 21 minutes when the Kildare full forward line of Darragh Melville, Rossa Stapleton and David Qualter combined for the latter to rattle the net from close range.
Laois were shuck by this set back and Kildare added further points through McCabe and Darragh Melville.
But Laois finished the half well as Dan a Delaney, Cathal O’Shaughnessy and Cian Conroy all raised white flags to narrow the deficit to the minimum – Kildare leading 1-7 to 0-9 at the break.
The sides traded points on the resumption of play but Laois were rattled when David Qualter struck for his second goal.
But importantly Laois struck back with a brilliant goal when sub Eoin Naughten laid off the ball to Kirwan who ran along the endline before unleashing a rasper from a seemingly impossible angle which landed in the net.
Kirwan and Tomas Keyes levelled the game but Qualter’s 55th minute free regained the lead for Kildare again.
But Kirwan kept his nerve to land two late frees and Laois withstood five minutes of injury time to win.
SCORERS – LAOIS: Adam Kirwan 1-5, Dan Delaney 0-3, DJ Callaghan 0-2, Cathal O’Shaughnessy 0-1, Thomas Keyes 0-2, Cian Conroy 0-1 KILDARE: Cathal McCabe 0-3, David Qualtar 2-3, Darragh Melville 0-1, Alo Hackett 0-1, Jack Higgins 0-2
LAOIS: Finnan Cuddy (Trumera); Ned Fitzpatrick (St Lazerian’s Abbeyleix), Danny Brennan (Park-Ratheniska-Timahoe), Ian Shanahan (Ballinakill); Cian Conroy (Clonaslee St Manman’s), Fionan Mahony (St Lazerian’s Abbeyleix), Brian Bredin (Mountrath); Tomas Keyes (Camross), Tadhg Cuddy (Castletown); James Duggan (The Harps), David Dooley (Rosenallis), Dan Delaney (Camross); Cathal O’Shaughnessy (Ballinakill), DJ Callaghan (Clonaslee), Adam Kirwan (Mountrath). Subs: Eoin Naughten (Portlaoise) for Callaghan (35), Lawson Obular (Abbeyleix) for Fitzpatrick and Cian O’Shaughnessy (Ballinakill) for Cathal O’Shaughnessy (both 42), Kevin Mulhall (Clough-Ballacolla) for Delaney (43)
KILDARE: Alo Hackett; Peter O’Donoghue, Sean Conway, Matthew Eustace; Colman O’Donovan, Cian Shanahan, Paul Dolan; Eoin Kelliher, Conan Boran; Ferran O’Sullivan, Jack Higgins, Cathal McCabe; Darragh Melville, Rossa Stapleton, David Qualter
Referee: Joe Deehan (Offaly)