Moran on the mark to spark Longford to easy victory
Longford 4-13 Wicklow 1-5
Longford U-21s put Wicklow to the sword in a one-sided encounter at a washed out Newtowncashel grounds last night.
The hosts completely dominated, running out 16-point winners.
The midlanders got off to a blistering start, racing into a four point advantage thanks to their in-form marksman Larry Moran.
The visitors struggled to find any momentum in the opening half and registered just one point from play, the remainder coming from free-taker David Boothman.
Longford made the most of the strong winds in the opening quarter and quickly increased their advantage.
Midfielders Fergal Sheridan and Andrew Dalton dictated the pace of this affair.
After the interval, Longford shifted into fifth gear and blitzed Wicklow with a series of quickfire goals. Conor Shield instigated their purple patch as he broke free of his marker and rattled the back of the net.
DCU's Rory Connor was next up to raise the green flag when he fisted home from close range, and a third goal from Liam Connerton put the game beyond any doubt.
In the closing minutes, Wicklow did manage to reduce the margin when Marc Lennon hit the Longford net, but it was nothing more than a consolation.
SCORERS - Longford: L Moran 1-4 (0-2fs), R Connor, L Connerton 1-1 each, C Shield 1-0, K Farrell, A Dalton 0-2, S Kenny (f), D Reynolds, P Kiernan 0-1 each. Wicklow: M Lennon 1-0, D Boothman 0-2fs, T Donohue, D Henderson, J Crowe 0-1 each.
Longford - C Farrell; R Sweeney, A Farell, C Shield; L Sullivan, C Farrelly, D Reynolds; F Sheridan, A Dalton, R McNerney, E Noonan, S Kenny; L Moran, P Kiernan, L Connerton. Subs: R Connor for E Noonan (19), D McGivney for P Kiernan (40), K Farrell for F Sheridan (45), P Farrell for R McNerney (52), M Gorman for L Sullivan, M Mulligan for A Farrell (57).
Wicklow - A Murphy; B Finan, J Kavanagh, E Kelly; J Crowe, D Lohan, C Harton; D Boothman, T Donohoe; D Henderson, P Ellis, P Phelan, C French, J Delahunt, M Lennon. Subs: E Marah for E Kelly (25), C Healy for B Finan (ht), M O'Connor for P Ellis (24), S McGraynor for T Donohue (36), S O'Brien for J Kavanagh (44), P O'Connor for P Phelan (52).
Ref - B Crawley (Kildare)
Second-half blitz rounds off Laois comeback
Laois 4-12 Wexford 1-11
THREE second-half goals inspired Laois to a hugely impressive ten-point victory over Wexford in this EirGrid Leinster U-21 FC opening-round game at Enniscorthy last night.
Wexford made an impressive start moving into a 0-4 to 0-0 lead inside the opening 11 minutes through points from Padraig Conway, Paudie Barden and John Tubritt (two) before Laois opened the account with an Alan Farrell point.
Laois got a crucial breakthrough against the run of play after 16 minutes when Tom Shiel punched Paul Kingston's high cross to the net, leaving it 0-5 to 1-1.
The sides continued to trade points eventually going in level 0-9 to 1-6 at the interval.
Laois resumed in impressive fashion with three quick points from Kingston (2) and Shiel (free) but Wexford struck back with points from Jamie Carty and Tubritt, while Conway goaled after 39 minutes to put the home side 1-11 to 1-9 in front.
But Laois then took control, with excellent midfielder Farrell to the fore of their effort.
The visitors went on to add goals through Shiel to go 2-11 to 1-11 in front.
The Wexford struggle continued as Laois stormed through for further goals from Evan Keane and Evan O'Carroll in the closing five minutes to run out comfortable winners.
SCORERS - Laois: T Shiel 2-2 (0-2fs), E O'Carroll 1-1, E Keane 1-0, P Kingston 0-4 (2fs), J Moore 0-3, N Mullen, A Farrell 0-1 each. Wexford: P Conway 1-1, J Tubritt 0-4 (2fs), J Carty 0-2fs, P Curtis, S Byrne, P Barden, J White 0-1 each.
Laois - A O'Reilly; L Knowles, K Lennon, C Dunne; P O'Sullivan, C Hogan, R Dowling; D Cullen, A Farrell; P Kingston, J Moore, N Murphy; E Keane, E O'Carroll, T Sheils. Subs: N Mullen for Cullen (20), A Campion for Dowling (h-t), D O'Reilly for Murphy (50), C Maher for Moore (54).
Wexford - L Rafter; R Vaillejo, J Rossiter, P Curtis; N Rossiter, D Barden, G Staples; S Byrne, J White; E Nolan, J Tubritt, S Donohe; P Barden, J Carty, P Conway. Subs: N Hughes for Staples (41), E O'Byrne for Byrne (49), E Roche for Nolan (58), J Connors for Vaillego (60).
Ref - K Kelly (Carlow).