Laois 1-16 Wexford 4-17
Leinster Minor Hurling Championship Quarter Final
Wexford’s ability to score goals proved the big difference as they dumped the Laois minor hurlers out of the Leinster championship in O’Moore Park this afternoon.
Enda Lyons’ men were very competitive in the opening 25 minutes of the game but a failure to score the goal chances they created in the first half along with a poor end it cost them dearly.
Laois started the first half well with a free from Adam Kirwan but Wexford’s eye for goal was clear from the start and after two minutes they had their first.
Midfielder Jack Kirwan went on a run which saw him glide through the Laois defence, keeper Darragh Lyons came off his line and Kirwan flicked the ball around him where David Cantwell poked it home.
In fairness to Laois, they recovered well after that with a free from Adam Kirwan and a great score from in front of the stand by the extremely skillful Tomas Keyes to level things up after seven minutes.
And from there until the 25th minute of the half, it was tit for tat with both sides trading scores.
Laois were left rueing three goal chances that they missed in that time though. The first should have come to Keyes but David Dooley’s pass was slightly behind him and by the time he got his shot away, the angle was gone and the ball went wide.
The second came to full forward James Duggan when a ball broke his direction and he pulled on it only for Wexford keeper Cian Byrne to get out sharply and block him.
And then the third was the clearest of them all when once again Dooley was involved as he set up Adam Kirwan just inside the 14 metre line but once again Byrne thwarted him.
Kirwan, Keyes and James Duggan all raised white flags as Wexford points from AJ Redmond, John Sheil, Dylan O’Neill and Liam Kavanagh had the sides level at 1-5 to 0-8 with five minutes of the first half to play.
Wexford got the next three points with a brace from AJ Redmond and another from David Cantwell before the real sucker punch came as we entered first half injury time.
A Laois puck-out went wrong and landed to Richie Lawlor in the middle of the field who, like Kirwan in the first half, carved the Laois defence open with a run down the middle expect this time he shot himself and found the net to make it 2-8 to 0-8 at half time.
Adam Kirwan reduced the arrears to five with a free on the resumption of play but Wexford were ten clear after 40 minutes thanks to points from Paddy Whitty and Cian Molloy along with another goal for David Cantwell after a Laois puck-out went wrong and Paddy Whitty pounced to set him up.
Cian Molloy added another free and the game was over as we entered the final quarter. Justin Moran landed two from distance and when David Cantwell was fouled in the area, sub Cian Byrne converted the penalty to make it 4-14 to 0-10.
In fairness to Laois though, they kept going right to the end and outscored Wexford by 1-6 to no score in the final seven minutes.
Sub Dan Delaney scored five points while Tadhg Cuddy got another before they goal they craved throughout arrived in injury time via Cathal O’Shaughnessy but ten points separated the teams at full time.
SCORERS: Laois: Adam Kirwan 0-7 (all frees), Tomas Keyes 0-2, James Duggan 0-1, Dan Delaney 0-5 (four frees), Tadhg Cuddy 0-1, Cathal O’Shaughnessy 1-0 WEXFORD: AJ Redmond 0-4 (three frees), David Cantwell 2-1, John Sheil 0-2, Dylan O’Neill 0-1, Luke Kavanagh 0-2, Richie Lawlor 1-0, Paddy Whitty 0-1, Cian Molloy 0-2, Cian Byrne 1-0, Justin Moran 0-2, Conor Foley 0-2
LAOIS: Darragh Lyons (Ballyfin); Lawson Obular (St Lazerian’s Abbeyleix), Danny Brennan (Park-Ratheniska-Timahoe), Ian Shanahan (Ballinakill); Cian Conroy (Clonaslee St Manman’s), Fionan Mahony (St Lazerian’s Abbeyleix), Noah Quinlan (Borris-Kilcotton); Tomas Keyes (Camross), Kevin Mulhall (Clough-Ballacolla); Cathal O’Shaughnessy (Ballinakill), David Dooley (Rosenallis), Tadhg Cuddy (Castletown); Cian O’Shaughnessy (Ballinakill), James Duggan (The Harps), Adam Kirwan (Mountrath). Subs: Dan Delaney (Camross) for Mulhall (40), DJ Callaghan (Clonaslee) for Keyes (52), Eoin Naughten (Portlaoise) for Kirwan (52), Brian Bredin (Mountrath) for Conroy (55)
WEXFORD: Cian Byrne; Dylan Whelan, Kyle Scallan, Joe Conroy; Justin Moran, Cian Molloy, Emmet Cullen; Jack Kirwan, Luke Kavanagh; John Sheil, Dylan O’Neill, Richie Lawlor; AJ Redmond, Paddy, Whitty, David Cantwell. Subs: Conor Foley for Whitty and Cian Byrne for Redmond (both 43), David Codd for Moran and Cian Browne for Cullen (both 47)
Referee: James McGrath (Westmeath)