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Dublin: 8°C Wednesday 12 May 2021
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Laois book place in Leinster U20 final after edging past Kildare

Damon Larkin struck the only goal of the game for Eddie Kinsella’s side.

Alex Beirne top-scored for Kildare.
Alex Beirne top-scored for Kildare.
Image: Laszlo Geczo/INPHO

Laois 1-7

Kildare 0-4

Rory Delaney reports from O’Moore Park.

LAOIS ARE THROUGH to a second successive Leinster U20 final after overcoming Kildare in horrendous conditions at O’Moore Park tonight.

A first-half goal from Damon Larkin gave Eddie Kinsella’s side an advantage they never looked like relinquishing. They were dogged in defence and clinical in attack, impressively converting the few chances they created.

The game started slowly, understandably so given the driving wind and rain. It eventually arrived in the sixth minute as Mark Barry curled over a free for Laois.

It took another seven minutes for the game’s second score to arrive, but it was worth the wait for Laois as Damon Larkin struck for a well-taken goal. Goalkeeper Matthew Byron then came up to take a free, and Laois were 1-2 to 0-0 ahead after 20 minutes.

Alex Beirne finally got Kildare on the scoreboard after that with a point from 30 yards out, but Laois hit back through Ronan Coffey and Mark Barry, the lead now out to six.

Kildare needed to get something going before half-time and they did, with points from Shane O’Sullivan and Darragh Kirwan. Laois were still in control at the break though, leading 1-4 to 0-3.

Kildare were facing into the conditions in the second half and needed a strong showing to get back into it, but apart from an Alex Beirne point they failed to score.

That score got them within a goal, but they lost Shane O’Sullivan to a red card and Laois picked off some nice scores through Mark Barry (2) and Colin Slevin to seal their place in the final.

Scorers for Laois: Mark Barry 0-4 (0-2 frees), Damon Larkin 1-0, Matthew Byron 0-1 (free), Ronan Coffey 0-1, Colin Slevin 0-1.

Scorers for Kildare: Alex Beirne 0-2, Shane O’Sullivan 0-1 (free), Darragh Kirwan 0-1.

LAOIS

1. Matthew Byron

2. Michael Dowling
3. Alex Mohan
4. Neil Keane

22. Sean O’Flynn
6. Gary Saunders
7. Jack Lacey 

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8. PJ Daly
9. Barry Howlin

10. Ronan Coffey
11. Jack Owens
12. Damon Larkin

23. Mark Barry
14. Daragh Galvin
24. Colin Slevin 

Substitutes:
5. Dean Brophy for Howlin (40 mins)
19. Sean O’Neill for Daly (45 mins)
18. Ross Bolger for Galvin (54 mins)

KILDARE

16. Matt Anderson

2. Jack Hamill
3. John Lawler
4. Sean Moore

5. DJ Earley
19. Paddy McDermott
7. Jack Collins

20. Mark Grehan
9. Tony O’Connor

17. Jack Sargent
14. Shane O’Sullivan
10. Adam Steed

22. Alex Beirne
11. Darragh Kirwan
24. Cathal McCabe

Substitutes:
8. Darren McDermott for Sargent (40 mins)
13. Luke Griffin for Kirwan (45 mins)
18. Mark Cully for Grehan (53 mins)

Referee: Fergal Kelly (Longford)

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