Laois dig deep to deny battling Longford

Laois 2-12 Longford 2-9

Laois will meet Meath in the Leinster U-20 FC quarter-final after victory over Longford

Laois finished strongly to defeat and eliminate a valiant Longford side in round 2 of the Leinster U-20 football championship at O’Moore Park.

Tom Byrne and Sean O'Shea's charges went ten points up after 18 minutes but found themselves two points down with 13 minutes to play.

However, they kicked the final five points of the game to claim a quarter-final place - which could become a semi final if they defeat Meath next week.

Davy Costello and Oisin Hooney rattled in goals early on for Laois as despite playing against the wind in the first half, they burst into a 2-4 to 0-0 lead.

Tomás O Broin's Longford deserve huge credit as a Caolan Lynch goal gave them the spark they needed to enjoy a good end to the half. Lynch added to the goal with two points and Michael Flynn did likewise, while Michael Hynes and Ronan Courtney also scored.

A Colin Dunne point was all Laois managed in this period as their lead was cut, leaving it 2-5 to 1-6 at half time.

Longford kept that momentum going when play resumed and despite facing the breeze, they controlled possession really well.

A second goal came after 40 minutes when Michael Hynes dispossessed Laois keeper Conor Brown in front of goal and finished smartly to the net.

Michael and Matthew Flynn then added points to move them 2-9 to 2-7 ahead with 47 minutes on the clock. But Laois summoned a revival in the final stages as subs Cathal Lee and Jonah Kelly pointed, along with Conor Heffernan, Colin Dunne and Davy Costello, to seal the win.

SCORERS - Laois: Davy Costello 1-3, Oisin Hooney 1-1, Colin Dunne 0-3 (one free), Shaun Fitzpatrick, Cormac Murphy, Cathal Lee, Conor Heffernan, Jonah Kelly 0-1 each. Longford: Caolan Lynch 1-2, Michael Hynes 1-1, Michael Flynn 0-3, Matthew Flynn 0-2 (one free), Ronan Courtney 0-1

LAOIS: Conor Brown; Stephen Lennon, Ben Dempsey, Sean McGrath; Conor McWey, Simon Fingleton, Darragh Slevin; Conor Heffernan, Ben Reddin; Cormac Murphy, Oisin Hooney, Shaun Fitzpatrick; Davy Costello, Jack Byrne, Colin Dunne. Subs: Davin McEvoy for Murphy (35), Tom Fennelly for Reddin (41), Jonah Kelly for Hooney (47), Cathal Lee for Dune (53)

LONGFORD: Oisin McManus; Darragh Finlass, Sean Morgan, Cian Sutton; Oisin O'Toole, Dylan Lynch, Ronan Courtney; Ben Lynn, Matt Duffy; Matthew Flynn, Michael Hynes, Gavin Farrelly; Michael Flynn, Jamie Brady-Hynes, Caolan Lynch. Subs: Jason Glancy for Brady-Hynes (24), Diarmuid Farrell for Lynch (52), Jack Walshe for Farrelly (54), Josh Sorohan for Courtney (61), Brady-Hynes for Matthew Flynn (63)

REF: E O'Connor (Offaly)