Laois 1-5 Sligo 1-11
Fr Manning Cup Final
The Laois U-16s lost out to a powerful Sligo outfit in Longford this afternoon as they claimed Fr Manning Cup glory.
Noel Coss, Shane Conlon and Mossy O’Connor’s side have enjoyed a brilliant journey over the last five weeks but they just fell short at the final hurdle.
Wicklow, Wexford and Westmeath proved no match for them in the group stage and they then defeated Limerick in the semi final to reach the decider.
In all of those games, they came from half time deficits to run out winners and although they tried to repeat the trick here – it just wasn’t to be.
Sligo began the game like a train with two points in the opening minute and that would set the trend for the entire half as they had a real spread of scorers.
More than half of their starting team scored with only corner forward Michael Langan landing a brace.
Colin Dunne was Laois’s main attacking threat in the opening period with three of their four points while Graiguecullen’s Conor Kelly grabbed the other.
But Sligo dominated the midfield battle and that gave the platform for Luke Casserly, Canice Mulligan, James Kiernan, Simon McKeon, Adam Gallagher and Conor White all splitting the posts.
Laois almost had a goal on the stroke of half time when Colin Dunne’s long range free dropped short and Brian Smith got a shot off but Sligo keeper Jack Lundy saved it and they took a 0-9 to 0-4 lead into the interval.
Sligo pushed on seven points clear with two early scores on the resumption of play but Laois refused to go away and came right back into it with five minutes to play.
Colin Dunne struck for a goal and then hit a point to narrow the gap to three but Laois couldn’t push on to get level.
Instead, Sligo pounced for the game’s second goal with virtually the final kick to seal a six point win.
The bulk of these lads will make up the 2020 Laois minor panel and a run like this in this competition is certainly encouraging.
SCORERS- Laois: Colin Dunne 1-4 (two frees), Conor Kelly 0-1
LAOIS: Sam Krebs (Courtwood); Ben Dempsey (Portlaoise), Kian Lawlor (Graiguecullen), Dan Daly (The Heath); Simon Fingleton (Park-Ratheniska), Ben Reddin (Portlaoise), Daire Scully (Clonaslee); Brian Smith (Portlaoise), Conor Heffernan (Killeshin); PJ Ward (Portarlington), Oisin Hooney (St Joseph’s), Ross Meredith (Emo); Odhran Delaney (Ballyroan-Abbey), Colin Dunne (Arles-Killeen), Conor Kelly (Graiguecullen). Subs: Padraig Rafter (Rathdowney-Errill), DJ White (Portlaoise), Dylan Murphy (Portarlington), Josh Hogan (Portlaoise), Sam Birrane (Portlaoise), Adam Burns (Portarlington), Josh Kelly (Crettyard), Lee Day (Barrowhouse), Jack Tobin (Portlaoise), Adam Delaney (St Joseph’s), Eoin Connolly (Ballyfin), Sam Quinn (Ballyroan-Abbey), Shaun Fitzpatrick (Ballyroan-Abbey)
SLIGO: Jack Lundy; Sean Clifford, James Burns, Mark Heraghty; Luke Casserly, Canice Mulligan, James Kiernan; Brian Byrne, Ciaran O’Reilly; Simon McKeon, Dylan Walsh, Cian Oates; Adam Gallagher, Conor White, Michael Langan