Friday 15 November 2019

Ten of the best for Diarmuid Whelan as Laois dethrone Kildare in U20 Leinster Championship

Laois 0-17 Kildare 1-11

Laois' Diarmuid Whelan. Photo: Ray McManus/Sportsfile
Laois' Diarmuid Whelan. Photo: Ray McManus/Sportsfile

Diarmuid Whelan struck a magnificent ten points as Laois ended Kildare's reign as Leinster and All-Ireland U-20 champions at St Conleths Park last night.

Kildare started sharply, 0-4 to 0-1 ahead by the eighth minute. Even at that stage, Laois were looking dangerous and Whelan (2) and Doran struck to level by the 13th.

As momentum flowed from one end to the other, Kildare then scored the next four points to move 0-8 to 0-4 ahead by the 21st minute.

However, Laois moved up a gear and outscored Kildare by 0-10 to 0-1 over the next half hour. Eoin Dunne scored a well struck 45 as they scored the last three points of the half to go in 0-8 to 0-7 behind.

After wing back Dean Brophy scored the first point of the restart, Whelan scored three in a row to push Laois 0-11 to 0-8 ahead.

Darragh Kirwan knocked over Kildare’s first score in the second half but by then, the signs were ominous as Doran, Whelan and Coffey got scores.

There were over six minutes added on and in the fifth of those, Kildare won a penalty. Luke Griffin stepped up confidently and slotted to briefly cause some panic among the Laois support in the crowd.

However, they went up the field and fittingly it was Whelan who got on the ball and fired over his tenth point of the game to send Kildare packing and set up a quarter-final against Westmeath.

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Scorers – Laois: D Whelan 0-10 (3fs), M Doran 0-4, R Coffey 0-1, D Brophy 0-1, E Dunne 0-1 (45). Kildare: L Griffin 1-2 (2fs), D Kirwan 0-3, C Joyce 0-2, J Cully 0-2 (f), B McDonnell, L O’Flynn 0-1 each.

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