What a night that was!
The Laois U-20 footballers have reached the Leinster semi final following a dramatic penalty shoout-out win over Westmeath in MW Hire O’Moore Park this evening.
Eddie Kinsella’s charges were pushed to the pin of their collar by Westmeath, just as they were last year, and looked like suffering defeat when the fell three points down after 45 minutes via a fortuitous Kieran Colclough goal.
But like last year, this group never know when they are beaten and they battled back with keeper Matthew Byron slotting a late free to force extra time.
Laois forged ahead on three occasions but Westmeath pegged them back and with both sides missing late chances to win the game, we headed for penalties.
Portlaoise were the first Laois team to take part in a penalty shoot out when they defeated St Pat’s of Wicklow in Aughrim and this was the first time a county team contested one.
Laois were up first and they scored their first three through senior Mark Barry, captain Ronan Coffey and former Irish soccer international Jack Owens.
Westmeath matched that and then keeper Matthew Byron, who had been the hero in normal time, missed his spot kick.
However Westmeath’s TJ Cox hit the bar before Damon Larkin, who was on the field in Aughrim last year, scored Laois’s fifth penalty meaning Westmeath had to do the same to force sudden death.
But they couldn’t and Laois go on to face Kildare on Saturday.
Check out the penalty shoot-out in full below: