Wednesday 7 December 2016

Byrne pulls strings for Laois

Independent.ie Sportsdesk

Published 06/07/2016 | 02:30

James Kelly of Laois in action against Dan Molloy of Offaly. Photo: David Maher/Sportsfile
James Kelly of Laois in action against Dan Molloy of Offaly. Photo: David Maher/Sportsfile

Laois produced a strong second-half performance at O'Moore Park to book their place in the Leinster minor final for the first time in nine years.

Laois 1-15 Offaly 0-6

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Both sides were poor in a low-scoring first half, but Laois went up through the gears after the break to ease into the decider. Earlier, they put the first three scores on the board through Finbar Crowley and two frees from Diarmuid Whelan. Offaly waited until the 11th minute for their first score from Michael Mooney.

Evan Lowry of Laois shoots past Offaly goalkeeper Barry Rohan to score his side's only goal of the game, Photo: David Maher/Sportsfile
Evan Lowry of Laois shoots past Offaly goalkeeper Barry Rohan to score his side's only goal of the game, Photo: David Maher/Sportsfile

Whelan added another for Laois but Offaly were dominating midfield and had points from Cian Johnson and Shane O'Brien to leave them trailing by 0-4 to 0-3 at the break. Laois started the second half strongly, hitting four points on the trot. Offaly pulled one back from Cian O'Neill but this was his side's last score for 20 minutes. Laois stepped it up with captain Sean Byrne instrumental in his side's increased tempo as they hit 1-6, the goal coming from Mark McDermott. Offaly's Nathan Poland and Johnny Kelly for Laois swapped scores at the end but Laois' surge proved decisive.

Scorers - Laois: D Whelan 0-6 (5f), A Deering 0-4, M McDermott 1-0, F Crowley, A Kinsella, S Byrne, J O'Connor, E Lowry and J Kelly 0-1 each. Offaly: M Mooney 0-2, C Johnson (f), S O'Brien, C O'Neill, N Poland 0-1 each.

Laois - R McGrath; J Kelly, D Bennett, R Hitchcock; S Bolger, S Byrne, J O'Connor; L Delaney, M Connolly; F Crowley, A Deering, C Comerford; J Kelly, D Whelan, A Kinsella. Subs: E Lowry for A Kinsella (39), J Kavanagh for C Comerford (43), M McDermott for J Kavanagh (BC, 46), C Brennan for J O'Connor (50), D Feane for F Crowley (55), C Brennan for S Byrne (58).

Offaly - B Rohan; D Norris, D Kavanagh, S Geoghegan; R Hynes, J Quinn, D Molloy; M Mooney, S Molloy; E Farrell, C O'Neill, A Delaney; C Johnson, S O'Brien, C Lynam. Subs: C Dunne for E Farrell (43), N Poland for C O'Neill (46), L Gavin Mangan for J Quinn (52), E Dunne for A Delaney (55).

Michael Mooney of Offaly in action against Shane Bolger of Laois. Photo: David Maher/Sportsfile
Michael Mooney of Offaly in action against Shane Bolger of Laois. Photo: David Maher/Sportsfile

Ref - D Hickey (Carlow)

LEINSTER MFC SEMI-FINAL

Dan Molloy of Offaly in action against Johnny Kelly of Laois. Photo: David Maher/Sportsfile
Dan Molloy of Offaly in action against Johnny Kelly of Laois. Photo: David Maher/Sportsfile

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