O'Carroll's hat-trick inspires Laois
A hat-trick from 17-year-old corner-forward Evan O'Carroll eased Laois past Wicklow at O'Moore Park.
Wicklow had surged into an early lead, with centre-forward Theo Smith hitting the back of the net after eight minutes, having been set up by Conor McGraynor.
Laois were enjoying plenty of possession, but were taking their time in translating it into scores. However, their patience was eventually rewarded.
Points from Evan Costello and Dan Dunne got them back within one, and then O'Carroll took over. His first goal came from a direct ball into the Wicklow square which fell kindly for him to lash home from close range, and he added another with a clinical left-footed shot to help Laois into a 2-6 to 1-3 lead at the break.
O'Carroll completed his hat-trick 10 minutes into the second half, with three more goals from Kevin McGrath (2) and Paul Kingston sealing the win.
SCORERS – Laois: E O'Carroll 3-0, K McGrath 2-1, E Costello 0-5 (1f), P Kingston 1-0, M Campion, L McGovern 0-2 each, D Dunne 0-1 ('45'). Wicklow: T Smith, B McCrea 1-1 each, P O'Rourke 0-3 (1f), P O'Keeffe 0-2, C McGraynor 0-1.
LAOIS – G Brody; A Campion, MO'Halloran, S Attride; W Young, P McEvoy, D Dunne; M Campion, A Ryan; A Farrell, L McGovern, K McGrath; P Kingston, E Costello, E O'Carroll. Subs: D O'Connor for Farrell (38), J Farrell for McGovern (47), S Murphy for O'Connor (57), M Dowling for Young (58), K Lennon for Ryan (58).
WICKLOW – P Miley; J Snell, M O'Brien, J Kelly; A Murphy, R O'Brien, D Woods; S Hogan, K Dempsey; J Henderson, T Smith, P O'Rourke; B McRea, C McGraynor, P Murphy. Subs: M Mangan for R O'Brien (h-t), P O'Keeffe for P Murphy (h-t), D Keane for Dempsey (38), P Crowley for McGraynor (47).
Ref – J Hickey (Carlow)