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Quinlan the hero as Laois minor hurlers recover from Wexford comeback to reach Leinster semi finals

Laois minor hurlers

Laois 2-13 Wexford 3-8
Leinster Minor Hurling Championship Quarter Final 

The Laois minor hurlers are through to the Leinster semi finals following a dramatic encounter with Wexford this afternoon in O’Moore Park.

A fantastic display for 47 minutes left Laois seven points clear and they looked set to pull off victory.

But Wexford embarked on a massive comeback with two Cillian Byrne goals helping them to draw level.

And it looked like it would be another case of heartbreak for Laois when Wexford went ahead deep in injury time.

But with the final play of the game, a big high ball was sent into the Wexford area and Jer Quinlan latched onto it to win the game  and send the Laois supporters into delirium.

Laois started on the front foot as Ben Deegan got the first score of the game from a free in the first minute.

Wexford replied with a free of their own through full-forward Matthew Murphy. Deegan pointed his second free soon after.

Wexford’s next score would be a green flag as a free from keeper Jason Rossiter broke to Cillian Byrne and he made no mistake in rattling the back of the net.

Laois were well on top and went on a run of six points unanswered as Wexford failed to cope with Laois’ forward pressing.

Deegan pointed his third free while Jer Quinlan raised a white flag after great hassling by the Laois full-forward line. Deegan tapped over another free as Laois really began to turn the screw.

Liam Kirby and two super scores from Jack Breen had Laois in a healthy lead. Laois’ next score would be similar to the goal that Wexford scored.

A long free from keeper Brochan O’Reilly dropped to the captain Eoghan Cuddy and he fired the ball into the Wexford net.

The last three scores of the half went the way of Wexford as Simon Roche and two frees from Bryne brought us to the half-time whistle.

Laois led at the break 1-8 to 1-4 and were good value for their lead after a scintillating first-half performance.

Laois started the second-half just how they started the first with a 65’ from Duggan. Deegan tapped over a free as Laois extended their advantage.

Wexford were then reduced to 14 men after a horrible challenge from Simon Roche on Cormac Byrne. Midfielder Andrew McDonagh spilt the posts as Laois were making the most of their man advantage.

Cillian Byrne and Deegan (free) traded points as the Laois’ lead stood at seven points. The same two players both pointed frees before Wexford would stage a remarkable late comeback.

Cillian Byrne scored two goals with one been a penalty as Wexford now only trailed by one. Byrne levelled the game in the 59th minute as the game looked to have extra-time written all over it.

Substitute Evan Quigley got the score that looked to have won the game for Wexford. Laois surged forward one last time and a long ball in from Deegan was tapped into the net by Quinlan, to win the game for Laois.

Laois were deserved winners in the end, but they had to work for every bit of it that’s for sure.

Laois will now advance to play either Dublin or Kilkenny next Saturday for a place in a Leinster final.

SCORERS— Laois: Ben Deegan 0-8 (Seven frees, one 65), Jer Quinlan 1-1, Eoghan Cuddy 1-0, Jack Breen 0-2, Liam Kirby and Andrew McDonagh 0-1 each Wexford: Cillian Byrne 3-5 (three frees, 1-0 pen) Mathew Murphy (free), Simon Roche and Evan Quigley 0-1 each

LAOIS: Brochan O’Reilly (Portlaoise); Bobby Murphy (The Harps), Ciaran Flynn (The Harps), Joseph Pearson (Clough-Ballacolla); Thomas Brennan (Clough-Ballacolla), Tom Cuddy (Camross), Cormac Hogan (Clough-Ballacolla); Andrew McDonagh (Ballinakill), Kevin Byrne (Camross); Ben Deegan (Camross), Liam Kirby (The Harps), Jack Breen (Castletown); Eoghan Cuddy (Camross), Jer Quinlan (Borris-Kilcotton), Cormac Byrne (
Abbeyleix). Subs: Rory Kelly (Castletown) for K Byrne (13,inj), Aaron Carroll (Camross) for C Byrne (41), Justin Duggan (The Harps) for Breen (57)

WEXFORD: Jason Rossiter; Robbie Chapman, Charlie Rock, Ciaran Doyle; Eugene Clarke, Ben Asple, Dylan Purcell; Jack Hennessey, Paidi Doyle; David McCarthy, Simon Roche, Sean Rowley; Cillian Byrne, Matthew Murphy, James Murray. Subs: Brian Smith for Murphy (33,inj), Ben Keeley for McCarthy (42), Alex Power for Byrne (44), Cillian Byrne for Murray (47), Sean Doyle for Clarke (50), Evan Quigley for Rowley (57)

Referee: Mark Ryan (Dublin)

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