Offaly overcome slow start to reach first Leinster U21 final since 2007
Offaly 2-9 Laois 2-8
Offaly recovered from a scoreless opening 19 minutes to reach their first Leinster U-21 football final since 2007 as they edged out Laois.
Laois led 1-2 to 0-0 after 13 minutes, with Colm Murphy finding the net, and they looked in control until Offaly roared back with a goal and a point from Ciaran Farrell.
Paddy Dunican then launched over two superb points that helped Offaly into a 1-5 to 1-2 lead before Doyle landed a free with the last score of the half to cut the gap to 1-5 to 1-3.
Offaly picked up where they left off at the start of the second half with a point from Jack Walsh followed by a thunderous goal from wing-back Adam Mahon, leaving them comfortable at 2-6 to 1-3.
Offaly led by seven with six minutes to go but Laois had another kick in them and a penalty from Sean Moore left it a three point game with only two minutes to go.
They had one last-ditch attempt but Offaly managed to deny them the goal they needed.
Scorers – Offaly: C Farrell 1-1 (0-1f), A Mahon 1-0, S Tierney 0-3 (1f), P Dunican , J Hayes (1f) 0-2 each, J Walsh 0-1. Laois: S Moore 1-6 (1-0 pen, 0-6fs), C Murphy 1-0, L Knowles, T Shiel 0-1 each.
OFFALY – B Rohan; C Horan, D Dempsey, C Doyle; A Mahon, C Stewart, PJ Daly; J Hayes, J Lalor; C Farrell, P Dunican, J Walsh; S Tierney, R McNamee, R McEvoy. Subs: J Egan for Stewart (16), K Higgins (for McEvoy (47), J Clancy for Dunican (BC, 53), C Brazil for Dempsey (58).
LAOIS – A Cooney; J Kelly, S Nerney, L Knowles; P O’Sullivan, E Buggie, T Collins; D O’Reilly, D Luttrell; D Connolly, B Daly, C Whelahan; C Murphy, S Moore, B Byrne. Subs: A Carroll for Byrne (h-t), D Doyle for Connolly (41), T Shiel for Kelly (4).
Ref – B Cawley (Kildare)