Home Sport GAA Murphy and Whelan fire Laois to Leinster minor semi final

Murphy and Whelan fire Laois to Leinster minor semi final

Laois minor footballers - Paul Dargan

Laois 2-14 Longford 2-12
Electric Ireland Leinster Minor Football Championship Round 3

Laois are through to the Leinster minor semi finals for the second successive year following a hard fought two point win over Longford in Pearse Park tonight.

Rioghan Murphy and Brian Whelan were the stars of the show as they kicked 2-8 in between them in a very entertaining affair.

Laois now progress straight to the semi final stage and they will have to wait to see who comes through the quarter finals to find out who they will face next.

Laois played against the breeze in the first half and went in leading by seven points at half time – although they led by 12 after 27 minutes.

Laois had the ball in the net for the first time virtually straight from the throw in.

Conor Goode combined with Paddy Hosey who went around the keeper but his shot was blocked on the line. The ball bobbled around and eventually came out to Rioghan Murphy who placed the ball into the net.

Aaron Farrell replied for Longford but Laois points from Colin Dunne and Brian Whelan moved them four ahead after ten minutes.

Jack Duggan steadied Longford but Laois then took over and scored 1-5 without reply.

Brian Whelan scored three in a row before a strong run from Shaun Fitzpatrick set up Rioghan Murphy who slipped the ball to the net for Laois’s second goal.

Rioghan Murphy added another point but Laois would only score two more in the remainder of the half as Longford finished strongly.

The warning signs were there when Conor Leonard split the Laois defence open and Keelin McGann drew a brilliant save from Laois keeper Michael O’Connell.

But he was powerless to prevent full forward Jack Duggan from finding the net a few moments later.

McGann added one more point but Laois went in ahead by 2-9 to 1-5 at half time.

Ronan Sheahan and Jack Duggan cut the gap further on the resumption of play before a Tiernan Hussey goal had two between them after 36 minutes.

Laois needed to settle and a point from Colin Dunne plus a Brian Whelan free helped them to do that as we entered the final quarter of the game.

Aaron Farrell reduced the gap but a Whelan free kept the gap at five with ten minutes to play.

Whelan and Jack Duggan exchanged points and another Duggan free left four in it as we entered injury time.

Laois had to play that period with 14 men after Colin Dunne was sent off for a second yellow card offence.

Longford threw everything at Laois as points from Duggan and Tiernan Hussey left two in it.

But Laois held on and are now into a Leinster semi final.

SCORERS – LAOIS: Colin Dunne 0-4, Rioghan Murphy 2-1, Brian Whelan 0-7 (four frees), Oisin Hooney 0-1, Conor Goode 0-1 LONGFORD: Jack Duggan 1-5 (fiver frees), Aaron Farrell 0-2, Keelin McGann 0-2, Ronan Sheehan 0-1, Tiernan Hussey 1-2

LAOIS: Michael O’Connell (Portlaoise); Nathan Little (Courtwood), Sean Greene (Emo), Shaun Fitzpatrick (Ballyroan-Abbey); Simon Fingleton (Park-Ratheniska), Eddie Critchley (Portlaoise), Mark Kehoe (Spink); Conor Goode (Stradbally), Ben Brennan (Portlaoise); PJ Ward (Portarlington), Brian Whelan (Ballyroan-Abbey), Oisin Hooney (St Joseph’s); Colin Dunne (Arles-Killeen), Rioghan Murphy (Portarlington), Paddy Hosey (Emo). Subs: Darragh Carolan (Stradbally) for Hosey (35), Paul O’Flynn (Courtwood) for Ward (46), Ciaran Burke (Crettyard) for Kehoe (53), Jamie Kelly for Hooney (55), Daire Scully for Burke (63, inj)

LONGFORD: Conor Skelly; Seán McCormack, Sean O’Sullivan, Cathal Gillian; Daniel Kurkin, Conor Leonard, Diarmuid Kelly; Ciaran Scanlon, Richard Prior; Aaron Farrell, Keelin McCann, Kevin Tansey; Ronan Sheehan, Jack Duggan, Seadhna Ryan

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Stradbally native Alan Hartnett is a graduate of Knockbeg College who has worked in the local and national media since 2008. Alan has a BA in Economics, Politics and Law and an MA in Journalism from DCU. His happiest moment was when Jody Dillon scored THAT goal in the Laois senior football final in 2016.