Home Sport GAA Six Talking Points from the Laois footballer’s O’Byrne Cup final against Dublin

Six Talking Points from the Laois footballer’s O’Byrne Cup final against Dublin

Dr Cullen Park

A battling display from Laois wasn’t enough as they went down by five points to Dublin in the O’Byrne Cup final this afternoon.

It brings to an end an entertaining O’Byrne Cup campaign where Laois defeated Meath, Wicklow and Kildare but lost to Wexford and Dublin.

Today’s game brought up many Talking Points and we delve into them below:

1 – Man of the match 

While Laois suffered defeat, there were once again many fine individual performances.

Danny Bolger was assured in the goals while Alex Mohan held the dangerous Cormac Costello very well in front of him.

James Kelly won an ocean of ball throughout and Sean O’Flynn absolutely ran himself into the ground.

But for the second time this season, we’ve gone for full forward Evan O’Carroll. In the first half, he was involved in all six of Laois’s points – scoring one, being fouled for four frees and also playing a role in the 45 which Danny Bolger converted.

He scored again in the second half and while he did tire after that, it was another very accomplished display.

2 – Failing to utilise the extra man

John Small was shown a straight red card for an off the ball incident involving Evan O’Carroll after 30 minutes.

The game was level at the time and it meant Laois would play the next 40 minutes with an extra man – but they never really made that advantage pay.

James Kelly seemed to operate as the extra defender and he did that role very well but Laois failed to attack with any real width which could have stretch the Dublin defence.

3 – Controversial two point swing

Laois felt aggrieved at the start of the game as two umpiring decisions went against them.

Evan O’Carroll began the match with two wides but the first of his shots looked like it had gone over the bar but was not given.

Dublin’s first point from Harry Ladd also looked like it went wide but was given. A two point swing that in a game of small margins, was considerable.

4 – Five games in 14 days

That was Laois’s fifth game in the last two weeks and it definitely showed in the final 15 minutes of the match.

Laois battled very well but they looked tired at the end and, as they had played one game more than Dublin, you could really see it.

5 – Injuries for Laois to worry about

With so many games coming thick and fast, injuries were always likely and a few players have succumbed.

Paul Kingston and Alan Farrell haven’t been seen since the Meath game while Paddy O’Sullivan and Gareth Dillon were ruled out today with niggles.

All will be assessed in the coming week as Laois get ready to begin the next phase of their season.

6 – What happens next?

Laois have eight days to prepare for the first round of the National League.

They face Louth in Round 1 of Division 3 on Sunday January 30 in Ardee at 2pm

SEE ALSO – 14-man Dublin claim O’Byrne Cup glory despite battling Laois display

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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.