Byrne pulls strings for Laois
Published 06/07/2016 | 02:30
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
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.
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).
Ref - D Hickey (Carlow)
LEINSTER MFC SEMI-FINAL