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Costello edges out gritty Wicklow

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Evan Costello of Laois

Evan Costello of Laois

Evan Costello of Laois

Laois had to work extremely hard for this one-point victory over Wicklow in Baltinglass.

This enthralling battle was in complete contrast to last year when the Laois men romped to a 6-11 to 2-8 victory.

Evan O'Carroll had the opening point for Laois in the third minute, but Wicklow fought back to take a 0-5 to 0-4 lead after 16 minutes and they were unlucky not to bag a goal.

Laois hit back for another point by centre-forward Evan Costello from a free followed by a score by Michael Keogh to take a 0-6 to 0-5 lead into the break.

To their credit Wicklow never gave up the battle, levelling the scores twice, and it took late points by Laois free-taker Costello to nail down the win.

Wicklow and Laois both lost midfielders to second yellow cards early in the second half with Daniel Dawson and Jason Campion sent off within three minutes of each other.

Scorers – Laois: E Costello 0-5 (4fs), P McEvoy, M Keogh, E O'Carroll, M Scully, P Kingston 0-1 each. Wicklow: P Murphy, D Keane, B McCrea 0-2 each, T Smith, T Kealy, D Dawson 0-1 each.

Laois – G Brody; E Feane, C Lennon, D Dunne; D Ramsbottom, M O'Halloran, D Fitzpatrick; J Campion, P McEvoy; A Farrell, E Costello, E George; E Carroll, M Keogh, M Scully. Subs: P Kingston for A Farrell, R Dowling for D Ramsbottom, D Cullen for E George.

Wicklow – D Mann; J Manley, R Marron, C Hatton; C Ffrench, D Lohan, J Snell; P Phelan, D Dawson; S Hogan, T Smith, R O'Brien; T Kelly, P Murphy, B McCrea. Subs: J Miley for J Manley, D Keane for R O'Brien, P Crowley for P Murphy, A Daly for McCrea.

Ref – N McKenna (Kildare)

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