Laois 1-6 Kildare 0-12
Electric Ireland Leinster Minor Football Championship Semi Final
For the second year in a row, Laois have bowed out of the Leinster minor football championship.
Donncha Phelan’s men went down to Kildare by four points in O’Moore Park this evening on a night when Louth referee David Fedigan drew the ire of the Laois fans on more than one occasion with a number of marginal decisions which went Kildare’s way.
But the reality was that if Kildare had their shooting boots on, the margin of victory could have been far wider as they shot 16 wides to Laois’s five – errant shooting which kept the O’Moore men in the game.
Laois really struggled in the first quarter and failed to score – managing just two shots which both went wide.
Kildare were well on top in that period with corner forward Eoin Bagnall landing three frees while centre forward Aaron Browne kicked another to move them 0-4 to no score ahead.
But the Lillywhites were very wasteful too as they kicked ten wides in the first half which helped, not only keep Laois in the game, but saw them take a lead into the break.
In the 18th minute, Laois finally penetrated the Kildare rearguard. Nathan Little executed a brilliant turnover in defence and set midfielder Conor Goode away. He picked out Eddie Critchley who in turn found Oisin Hooney and he beat a couple of defenders before blasting the ball to the net.
Kildare hit back instantly through Bagnall but that would be their final score of the half as Laois took over.
They drew three frees out around the 45 which Brian Whelan kicked short each time and they resulted in points – two for Goode and another for Colin Dunne to give them a 1-3 to 0-5 advantage at half time.
Kildare started the second half like the first as Eoin Bagnall nailed a free to level the game. Brian Whelan replied for Laois but Oisin Milmoe and another Bagnall free put Kildare one ahead after 38 minutes.
Ciaran Burke came on one minute into the second half but his evening was cut short after 43 minutes when he was shown a black card as Bagnall added two more frees to put Kildare three ahead.
Brian Whelan cut the deficit to two as we entered the final quarter and neither team would score again for the next ten minutes before Aaron Browne put Kildare three ahead.
Shane Flynn pushed Kildare four ahead and four minutes of injury time were played but the best Laois could muster in that time was a Sean Greene fisted point as Kildare advance to the final against either Dublin or Westmeath.
SCORERS – LAOIS: Oisin Hooney 1-0, Brian Whelan 0-w (two frees), Conor Goode 0-2, Colin Dunne 0-1, Sean Greene 0-1 KILDARE: Eoin Bagnall 0-8 (seven frees), Aaron Browne 0-2, Oisin Milmoe 0-1, Shane Flynn 0-1
LAOIS: Michael O’Connell (Portlaoise); Nathan Little (Courtwood), Sean Greene (Emo), Eamonn Delaney (Stradbally); Simon Fingleton (Park-Ratheniska), Eddie Critchley (Portlaoise), Mark Kehoe (Spink); Conor Goode (Stradbally), Ben Brennan (Portlaoise); Kevin Swayne (Portlaoise), Brian Whelan (Ballyroan-Abbey), Oisin Hooney (St Joseph’s); Colin Dunne (Arles-Killeen), Rioghan Murphy (Portarlington), Shaun Fitzpatrick (Ballyroan-Abbey) Sub: Ciaran Burke (Crettyard) for Kehoe (33), PJ Ward (Portarlington) for Burke (43, black card), Oisin Byrne (Arles-Killeen) for Dunne (45), Paul O’Flynn (Courtwood) for Hooney (51), Darragh Carolan (Stradbally) for Ward (56, inj), Paddy Hosey (Emo) for Swayne (62)
KILDARE: Cian Burke; Conan Boran, Jack Quinn, Tommy Gill; Oisin O’Rourke, Ryan Comeau, Mark Maguire; Kevin Eustace, Shane Flynn; Ciaran O’Brien, Aaron Browne, Aedan Boyle; Oisin Milmoe, Adam Coneely, Eoin Bagnall. Subs: PJ Cullen for Comeau (20), Mikey Delahunty for O’Brien (50, black card), Matthew Whelan for Boyle (57)
Referee: David Fedigan (Louth)