Sport Hurling

Friday 15 December 2017

Cripps spurs Laois to first final since 1991

Laois 1-14, Wexford 0-13

Laois qualified for the final for the first time since 1991 by beating Wexford at O'Moore Park.

Despite playing against a strong breeze, Laois opened the scoring through Aidan Corby after two minutes, with Wexford hitting three unanswered points in reply. Laois weren't fazed though, and excellent work down the right by Darragh Cripps set Stephen Bergin up for the game's only goal.

Wexford came back well and, led by full-forward Conor McDonald, were 0-8 to 1-4 ahead at half-time. They pushed that out to two early in the second half thanks to a John Bridges point, but Laois steadily chipped away and were back level by the 41st minute thanks to a point from Cripps.

That set the tone for a tense finale. Corby put Laois in front after a fine solo run, but Bridges drew Wexford level.

Another Cripps point from close range put Laois back in the lead, and John Lennon increased the cushion to two with an excellent point. Ciaran McEvoy's long-range free then put Laois three up and Ronan Delahunty's long-range effort sealed a historic win for the home side.

SCORERS - Laois: D Cripps 0-5 (3fs), C McEvoy 0-3 (2fs, 1 '65'), S Bergin 1-0, A Corby 0-2, J Campion, L Bergin, J Lennon, R Delahunty 0-1 each. Wexford: C McDonald 0-5 (4fs, 1 '65'), J Bridges, D Pepper, D Shanley 0-2 each, B Eviston, S Donohue 0-1

LAOIS – E Rowland; G Dunne, R Mullaney, E Cuddy; D Palmer, C McEvoy, L O'Connell; L Bergin, R Delahunty; J Lennon, C Collier, A Corby; D Cripps, J Campion, S Bergin. Subs: C Stapleton for Collier (54), M Kavanagh for L Bergin (58), K Bergin for Lennon (62).

WEXFORD – O O'Leary; S Donohue, L Ryan, M O'Brien; P Foley, C Devitt, P Barden; G Bailey, C Dunbar; S Kelly, D Shanley, J Cash; J Firman, C McDonald, D Pepper. Subs: J Bridges for Bailey (23), J O'Connor for Kelly (h-t), B Eviston for Firman (44), A Maddock for Dunbar (49)

Ref – D Harrington (Dublin)

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