Home Sport GAA Deadly Dunne fires Laois to third successive Leinster minor semi final

Deadly Dunne fires Laois to third successive Leinster minor semi final

Laois 2-13 Carlow 0-5
Leinster Minor Football Championship Quarter Final 

Laois will contest the Leinster minor championship semi final for the third year running following a very comfortable win over Carlow in MW Hire O’Moore Park this afternoon.

Laois have struggled at this level to get the better of their neighbours in recent years – needing late points to snatch draws in 2018 and 2019.

But this was never a contest as Laois dominated every aspect of the game from start to finish – with vice-captain Colin Dunne top scoring with a final tally of 1-6.

Carlow only managed five points over the 60 minutes and that was largely down to the dogged efforts of the entire backline where Darragh Slevin, Ben Reddin and Ben Dempsey were particularly impressive.

Laois absolutely blitzed Carlow in the opening six minutes – registering 1-4 without reply.

Kieran O’Donnell, Ross Meredith, Conor Kelly and Colin Dunne all raised white flags before some brilliant work from captain Simon Fingleton and Oisin Hooney set up Conor Heffernan on the edge of the square for a simple score.

And Laois’s second goal came after 12 minutes when Ross Meredith played a lovely ball through to Colin Dunne who finished into the corner off his right foot.

Carlow did manage to get back into the game after that with scores from Oisin Dillon and Conor O’Neill but they still trailed 2-4 to 0-2 at the water break.

But Laois stepped on the gas again on the resumption with Colin Dunne converting a mark and kicking one from play to leave six in it again.

Kieran O’Donnell added to that with a 45 and Oisin Hooney brought the half to a close as Laois led 2-8 to 0-2 at the interval.

Laois made a couple of changes at half time but they stayed ticking over the scoreboard with Dunne, Kelly and Shaun Fitzpatrick all pointing to leave Laois 2-11 to 0-3 ahead at the second water break.

Dunne and Bryan McMahon traded frees on the resumption with Conor Kelly and Carlow sub Ronan Quinlan swapping efforts from play to leave 14 between them with five minutes to play.

And Laois saw it out with a point from Kian Lawlor to set up a semi final with Meath, most likely in Navan, next Saturday.

SCORERS – Laois: Colin Dunne 1-6 (one free, one mark), Kieran O’Donnell 0-2 (one 45, one free), Ross Meredith 0-1, Conor Kelly 0-3, Conor Heffernan 1-0, Shaun Fitzpatrick 0-1, Kian Lawlor 0-1 Carlow: Oisin Dillon 0-1, Conor O’Neill 0-1, Bryan McMahon 0-2 (both frees), Ronan Quinlan 0-1 (one mark)

LAOIS: Sam Krebs (Courtwood); Darragh Slevin (Portarlington), Ben Reddin (Portlaoise), Ben Dempsey (Portlaoise); Josh Hogan (Portlaoise), David Dooley (Rosenallis), Shaun Fitzpatrick (Ballyroan-Abbey); Simon Fingleton (Park-Ratheniska), Conor Heffernan (Killeshin); Oisin Hooney (St Joseph’s), Conor Kelly (Graiguecullen), PJ Ward (Portarlington); Kieran O’Donnell (Portlaoise), Ross Meredith (Emo), Colin Dunne (Arles-Killeen). Subs: Kian Lawlor (Graiguecullen) for Hooney and Ben Coen for O’Donnell (both HT), Darragh Scully (Clonaslee) for Fitzpatrick and Jack Byrne (Graiguecullen) for O’Donnell (both 46), DJ White (Portlaoise) for Dunne (50)

CARLOW: Jason Brennan; Evan Gorry, Eoghan Byrne, Dara Curran; Padhraic Byrne, Adam Johnson, Ciaran Timmons; Stephen Smyth, Conor O’Neill; Oisin Dillon, Bryan McMahon, Pauric Whyte; Cillian Fagan, Oisin Doyle, Kieran Nolan. Subs Cian Doran for Whyte and Cillian McGrath for Gorry (both ht), Cian Byrne for Brennan (40, inj), James Farrell for Johnson and Ronan Quinlan for Fagan (both 46)

SEE ALSO – Big occasion for Masterson brothers as they’re both named to start for Connacht against European giants Racing 92

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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.