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Dublin: 9°C Tuesday 20 April 2021

Kildare, Offaly, Meath and Laois progress to Leinster minor semi-finals

There were also wins for Galway, Clare and Limerick in Connacht and Munster.

Adam Fanning battles with Cian Murphy.
Adam Fanning battles with Cian Murphy.
Image: ©INPHO

ADAM FANNING and OISIN O’Sullivan shone for Kildare this afternoon as their U20 side swept aside Louth’s challenge to reach the semi-finals of the Leinster minor championship.

The final result – a 2-16 to 1-7 win for the Lilywhites – was emphatic. Early on, however, Louth competed strongly, so much so that they led by two points at the first half water break.

But Kildare simply had too much firepower, Fanning and O’Sullivan contributing handsomely, backed up by Daragh Swords, Ben Fitzsimons, Charlie Litton, Cian Grimes and Shane Farrell.

The game turned on 28 minutes when Daragh Sloane got the only goal of the opening half – and suddenly, that extension of Kildare’s lead from one point to four had a huge psychological impact, boosting the home side’s morale, denting Louth’s.

A second half goal from Fionn O’Giollain extended the gap. Kildare now meet Offaly in next Saturday’s semi-final.

dylan-cassidy-looks-on-as-fionn-ogiollain-of-kildare-scores-a-goal Dylan Cassidy looks on as Kildare's Fionn O’Giollain scores a goal. Source: ©INPHO

The Faithful were tested fully by Wicklow – who were boosted by the brilliance of Eoin Doyle, their chief scorer. 

Indeed, Wicklow were right in it up until the 58th minute when Cormac Egan scored Offaly’s second goal, extending their lead to five points.

Until then, there was little separating these sides – Doyle’s scores keeping Offaly honest, Keith O’Neill’s three points, helped by a Jamie Guing score, ensuring that the contest remained even as half-time approached.

More to the point, the Wicklow keeper, Jack Sargent, was inspired, making three great saves throughout the game.

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Then came a major turning point – Alex Egan scoring Offaly’s first goal on the stroke of half-time.

Now ahead by three, Offaly had credit in the bank. But Wicklow were not finished, Doyle continuing to score his frees, and at the waterbreak they trailed by one, 1-6 to 0-8. But Offaly rallied, outscoring Wicklow 1-3 to 0-1 down the stretch, Wicklow’s cause hindered considerably by a black card to Tom Keogh midway through the second half.

Elsewhere in Leinster, Laois were comfortable winners over Carlow, registering a 15-point win, as Colin Dunne starred in their 2-14 to 0-5 victory.

The game was controlled by the O’Moore men from the start, Conor Heffernan’s third minute goal putting Laois ahead by 1-3 to no score.

And the scores kept coming – Dunne helping himself to plenty of points as well as a 12th minute goal while contributions also came from Conor Kelly, Kian Lawlor, Shaun Fitzpatrick, Kieran O’Donnell and Ross Meridith.

Laois now play Meath in next weekend’s semi-final after the Royals defeated Westmeath on a 3-11 to 0-7 scoreline.

While it was close enough in the first half – three points separating the teams at the break – Meath stepped up the intensity after the break and raced clear when John McDonagh scored their second goal with 10 minutes remaining.

McDonagh, Ruairi Kinsella, Ciaran Caulfield and Eoghan Frayne had all troubled the scorers before Caulfield picked out Kinsella with a superb pass to seal it for Meath with a third goal in the penultimate minute.

Elsewhere, Galway defeated Leitrim 2-17 to 0-12 in the Connacht MFC preliminary round with Cillian O’Curraoin getting two goals as Conal Gallagher won the man of the match award.

In Munster, Limerick defeated Waterford 2-12 to 1-5 in their provincial quarter-final. They will now meet Clare who thumped Tipperary by 20 points, 1-24 to 1-4 in their quarter-final this evening.

About the author:

Garry Doyle

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