Home Sport GAA Heartbreak for Laois as Offaly strike very late to claim Leinster U-20...

Heartbreak for Laois as Offaly strike very late to claim Leinster U-20 hurling league success

Laois U-20 Hurlers

Laois 0-13 Offaly 1-13 
Leinster U-20 Hurling League Final 

The Laois U-20 hurlers went agonizingly close to claiming Leinster league glory in the Faithful Fields this afternoon.

Ollie Hally’s charges were the better team in this contest but a mixture of some poor wides and bad fortune cost them in the end.

Laois led by a point in the last minute of normal time when Cody Comerford combined with sub Shaun Fitzpatrick to set wing back Podge Brennan through on the Offaly goal.

He appeared to be fouled as he got his shot away but referee Owen Behan didn’t see it that way and he let play continue after Mark Troy had made a brilliant save.

A scramble ensued and eventually Offaly came out with the ball, worked it up field at pace and their move ended with sub Darragh Tierney firing low to the net with his first touch of the game.

So instead of having an easy chance to go two points clear, Laois now trailed by two with the game in injury time and they just couldn’t recover.

It was disappointing for them but the game showed they are every bit as good as their neighbours and should be primed to have a real go at the championship next month.

A stiff breeze blew across the pitch in Kilcormac today and both sides struggled to get to grips with it.

Dan Delaney and the excellent Cody Comerford gave Laois an early lead but we were level by the midpoint of the half as Lochlann Quinn and Luke Nolan replied for the hosts.

Two more Quinn points and a score from Luke Carey moved Offaly ahead but Laois finished the half with five unanswered points.

Two of these came from Colin Byrne and Dan Delaney with another from Cody Comerford making it 0-9 to 0-6 at half time.

Offaly came back at Laois in the second half with the accuracy of Quinn on frees seeing them draw level by the 48th minute.

It was frantic stuff now but Laois regained the advantage through Podge Brennan before Offaly got that goal.

Quinn added a point after meaning that Laois needed a goal to force extra time.

The closest they came was via Philip Tynan who forced another save from Troy as Offaly held on.

Laois will now face either Antrim or Down in Round 1 of the Leinster championship next month.

SCORERS – Laois: Dan Delaney 0-5 (three frees), Cody Comerford 0-4, Colin Byrne 0-2, Podge Brennan and Cillian Dunne 0-1 each Offaly: Lochlann Quinn 0-8 (three frees, one 65), Darragh Tierney 1-0, Luke Nolan 0-2, Luke Carey, DJ McLoughlin and Dan Burke 0-1 each

LAOIS: Paddy Hassett (Rathdowney-Errill); Ian Shanahan (Ballinakill), Lawson Obular (Abbeyleix), Danny Brennan (Park-Ratheniska-Timahoe); Podge Brennan (Clough-Ballacolla), Niall Coss (Borris-Kilcotton), Bryan Bredin (Trumera); Cody Comerford (The Harps), Philip Tynan (Borris-Kilcotton); Tadhg Cuddy (Castletown), Dan Delaney (Camross), Adam Kirwan (Trumera); Colin Byrne (Abbeyleix), James Duggan (The Harps), Cillian Dunne (Clough-Ballacolla) Subs: Fionan Mahony (Abbeyeix) for Comerford (22 blood, reversed 27), Mahony for Bredin and Noah Quinlan (Borris-Kilcotton) for Kirwan (both 38), Eddie Critchley (Portlaoise) for Byrne (48), Shaun Fitzpatrick (Abbeyleix) for Duggan (55)

OFFALY: Mark Troy; Cathal King, Conor Hardiman, Joseph Hoctor; Shane Ryan, Sam Bourke, Luke Watkins; Rory Dunne, Dan Bourke; Cian Burke, Luke Nolan, DJ McLaoughlin; Lochlann Quinn, Luke Carey, Ronan Cleary. Subs: Niall Lyons for Dunne (28), Joe Ryan for Burke (43), Darragh Tierney for Cleary (50), Ciaran Daly for D Bourke (58), Cian Nolan for Carey (59)

Referee: Owen Behan (Kilkenny)

SEE ALSO – In Pictures: Stradbally parade returns in style as huge turnout in the Little Town

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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.