Laois 1-14 Limerick 1-10
U-16 Fr Manning Cup Semi-final
Laois’s U-16 Footballers booked their place in the Final of the Fr Manning Cup after a four point win over Limerick on a cold afternoon at the LOETB Centre of Excellence.
Noel Coss, Shane Conlon and Mossy O’Connor’s side won for the fourth weekend in a row to reach the final of the prestigious competition.
Wicklow, Wexford and Westmeath proved no match for them in the group stage and although they were pushed harder by Limerick today – they still found a way to win.
Laois started well with a point from Simon Fingleton after two minutes, Limerick got off the mark with a free from David O’Shaughnessy approaching the ten minute mark.
Corner-back Ben Dempsey made a long run up the field before firing over Laois’ second point, PJ Ward grabbed their third, and a spectacular pass from Oisin Hooney into Colin Dunne led to the home side’s fourth point after fifteen minutes.
O’Shaughnessy got his and Limerick’s second point from another free, and their third from another free after Laois corner-back Dan Daly was shown yellow in the twenty-first minute.
Ross Meredith got Laois’ fifth point, but the Treatymen struck back, when O’Shaughnessy dodged inside the Laois defence before firing past Sam Krebbs to put Limerick ahead by one.
Laois full-forward Colin Dunne picked up Laois’ second yellow card after twenty-five minutes, and Limerick extended their lead to two courtesy of Paddy Kennedy.
Meredith was on target again on the stroke of half-time, before PJ Ward was shown Laois’ third yellow card of the half. Laois were trailing by one at half-time, 0-6 to 1-4.
The Shannonsiders got off the mark quicker in the second-half, with a point from substitute Kenny Lynch and another free from O’Shaughnessy put them ahead by three.
Laois got back up and running again with a point from Ward, and two more quick points from Conor Kelly and Dunne drew Laois back level, before another point from Kelly and a free from Dunne put Laois ahead by two.
Limerick substitute Diarmuid Dennehy brought it back to a one point game entering the final quarter.
Dunne converted a free for his fourth point of the day, before a long run up the field from Simon Fingleton ended with the Park-Ratheniska man fisting over his second point to put Laois ahead by three.
Points from Limerick’s Eoin McGrath and Gary Sheehan reduced the deficit to one, Meredith grabbed his third point to put Laois ahead by two again.
With the game entering injury-time, Laois managed to increase their lead to five, when Oisin Hooney played a high ball in from out on the sideline, Ward leaped up ahead of the advancing Limerick goalkeeper Kevin Lane, fisting it to the net.
O’Shaughnessy converted another free for Limerick with the last kick of the game, as Laois secure their place in the final.
Laois will face Sligo in the final in Longford next Saturday after they enjoyed a 1-10 to 0-6 win over Offaly this afternoon.
SCORERS – Laois: PJ Ward 1-2, Colin Dunne 0-4 (0-2 frees), Ross Meredith 0-3, Conor Kelly 0-2, Simon Fingleton 0-2, Ben Dempsey 0-1 Limerick: David O’Shaughnessy 1-4 (0-4 frees), Eoin McGrath 0-1, Paddy Kennedy 0-1, James Killian 0-1 (free), Garry Sheehan 0-1, Kenny Lynch 0-1, Diarmuid Dennehy 0-1
LAOIS: Sam Krebbs (Courtwood), Ben Dempsey (Portlaoise), Cian Lawlor (Graiguecullen), Dan Daly (The Heath), Simon Fingleton (Park-Ratheniska), Ben Reddin (Portlaoise), Padraig Rafter (Rathdowney-Errill), Brian Smith (Portlaoise), Conor Heffernan (Killeshin), PJ Ward (Portarlington), Oisin Hooney (St Josephs), Ross Meredith (Emo), DJ White (Portlaoise), Colin Dunne (Arles-Killeen), Conor Kelly (Graiguecullen) SUBS: Daire Scully (Clonaslee St. Manman’s) for Lawlor (20), Josh Hogan (Portlaoise) for Rafter (HT), Odhran Delaney (Ballyroan-Abbey) for White (35), Adam Burns (Portarlington) for Heffernan (40), Sam Birrane (Portlaoise) for Dempsey (45), Lee Day (Barrowhouse) for Smith (50), Dylan Murphy (Portarlington) for Kelly (58)
LIMERICK: Kevin Lane, Zach McCarthy, Frank Corcoran, Sean Ryan, Eoin McGrath, Cathal O’Mahony, Cathal Hartnett, Darragh Murray, Padhraic McMahon, Paddy Kennedy, Andrew Kearns, Ciaran O’Sullivan, Darragh Bridgeman, James Killian, David O’Shaughnessy SUBS: Kenny Lynch for Andrew Kearns (50′), Colin Rochford for O’Shaughnessy (50′), Oisin Enright for O’Sullivan (55′), Diarmuid Dennehy for Bridgeman (57′)
Referee: Brian Deering (Carlow)