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LIVE BLOG: Follow all the action as Laois face Meath for a place in the Leinster U-20 football final

The big day has arrived for these young men.

We’re back in O’Moore Park tonight as the Laois U-20 footballers take on Meath in the semi final of the Leinster championship.

To get here, Laois had to take part in a preliminary round where they face All-Ireland and Leinster champions Kildare in Newbridge two weeks ago.

Billy O’Loughlin’s charges trailed by a point at half time but led by captain Diarmuid Whelan they turned it around to win by three in the end.

He kicked ten points of Laois’s total with only a last minute Kildare penalty making it look a little closer than it was – 0-17 to 1-11.

Up next for Laois was Westmeath last week where they received an almighty shock and needed a late Alan Kinsella free to force extra time where they triumphed. 

They had to play both of those games without senior players Sean O’Flynn and Mark Barry but after Laois’s defeat to Cork on Saturday, the pair are both now available.

Meath received a bye to the quarter final where they took on a fancied Offaly side and won 1-12 to 0-12.

Players on this Meath team are very familiar to Laois as we have encountered them in 2017 and 2018 at minor level.

Meath’s team tonight features five players from their Leinster minor winning team from last year – Cathal Hickey, Conor Farrelly, Cian McBride, Matthew Costello and Luke Mitchell – who hammered Laois in the semi final. 

While it features eight players who represented the county at minor level in 2017 – Andrew Beakey, Sean Ryan, Robbie Clarke, John Keane, Cian Swaine, Liam Byrne, Conall Aherne and Jordan Morris – who lost to Laois by a point. 

The form book would suggest this will be close and the winner will face Dublin or Wexford in the final on July 19.

Follow every kick below:

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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.