Home Sport GAA 14-man Dublin claim O’Byrne Cup glory despite battling Laois display

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

Laois senior footballers new
Photo: Paul Dargan

Laois 0-11 Dublin 1-13
O’Byrne Cup Final 

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.

The Laois men played with an extra man for 40 minutes following John Small’s red card but in the end, five matches in 14 days took its toll as the Dubs won.

But this O’Byrne Cup campaign, which started so miserably in Wexford two weeks ago, has turned out rather well for Laois and gives them a platform to build from for the rest of the year.

Laois began the game with two wides and were then caught on a counter attack for the game’s first score which was a goal via Sean Bugler.

Harry Ladd added a point and Laois were thankful to a fantastic block from Alex Mohan shortly after which stopped a certain Tom Lahiff goal.

But Billy Sheehan’s men weathered the storm and slowly grew into the game with Evan O’Carroll leading the charge.

He won three frees that were converted by Mark Barry (2) and Sean Moore before a 45 from keeper Danny Bolger left it level at the first water break.

Dublin went 15 minutes without a score but Aaron Byrne and Ciaran Kilkenny soon ended that.

But Laois continued to impress as O’Carroll landed a point and then won a free which Sean Moore converted to tie the game again.

However O’Carroll’s half was soon to be brought to a premature end after 30 minutes when he tangled with John Small off the ball.

The Dublin defender was shown a straight red card but O’Carroll was also forced off with a bloody nose.

Dublin were now down to 14 men but they finished the half with points from Ross McGarry and Cormac Costello to leave them 1-5 to 0-6 ahead at half time.

O’Carroll returned for the second half and cut the gap to one after 40 minutes with Barry leveling it three minutes later.

Ross McGarry regained the advantage for Dublin with his second of the afternoon and a Lee Gannon mark left them 1-7 to 0-8 ahead at the second water break.

Cormac Costello extended the lead to three when play resume as Laois appeared to be tiring with the playing of five games in 14 days appearing to tell.

Aaron Byrne and Mark Barry then traded points before Brian Fenton and Evan O’Carroll did the same to leave three between them with 10 to play.

Laois kept battling away but couldn’t get any closer as Dublin were crowned champions.

SCORERS – LAOIS: Mark Barry 0-4 (three frees), Evan O’Carroll 0-3, Sean Moore 0-2 (two frees), Danny Bolger 0-1 (one 45), Gary Walsh 0-1 DUBLIN: Sean Bugler 1-0, Brian Fenton 0-2, Cormac Costello 0-2 (one free), Harry Ladd 0-1, Aaron Byrne 0-2, Ciaran Kilkenny 0-2, Ross McGarry 0-2, Lee Gannon 0-1 (mark), Tom Lahiff 0-1

LAOIS: Danny Bolger (Graiguecullen); James Kelly (St Joseph’s), Trevor Collins (Graiguecullen), Alex Mohan (Portarlington); Sean O’Flynn (Courtwood), John O’Loughlin (Rosenallis), Cathal Fennessy (Ballylinan); James Finn (Ballyfin), Kieran Lillis (Portlaoise); Brian Byrne (Graiguecullen), Eoin Lowry (Killeshin), Cormac Murphy (Crettyard); Mark Barry (O’Dempsey’s), Sean Moore (Ballyfin), Evan O’Carroll (Crettyard). Subs: Gary Walsh (Ballylinan) for O’Carroll (30, blood, reversed HT), Danny O’Reilly (Graiguecullen) for Murphy (49), Dylan Kavanagh (The Heath) for O’Flynn (54), Gary Walsh for Moore (56), Brian Daly (St Joseph’s) for Finn (60), Cian Doyle (Courtwood) for Fennessy Dylan Doyle (St Joseph’s) for Byrne and Podge Dunne (Park-Ratheniska) for Lillis (all 68)

DUBLIN: Michael Shiel; Lee Gannon, David Byrne, Eoin Murchan; Tom Lahiff, John Small. Kieran Kennedy; Brian Fenton, Cameron McCormack; Sean Bugler, Ciaran Kilkenny, Ross McGarry; Cormac Costello, Harry Ladd, Aaron Byrne. Subs: Niall Scully for Ladd (ht), Lorcan O’Dell for McCormack (52), Warren Egan for McGarry (58)

Referee: Cormac Reilly (Meath)

SEE ALSO – After almost two years closed, Portlaoise Leisure Centre will re-open at the end of February

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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.