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O'Carroll's introduction proves key as young forward stars for Laois

The home side were two point winners this evening.

The young forward starred for Laois this evening.
The young forward starred for Laois this evening.
Image: James Crombie/INPHO

Laois 0-20
Wicklow 3-9

EVAN O’CARROLL INSPIRED Laois to a second-half comeback in the Leinster U21 football championship quarter-final in O’Moore Park on Wednesday night.

The Crettyard man didn’t start because of a hamstring injury but he was introduced early in the second-half when Wicklow were five up (2-6 to 0-7) and looking like causing a massive shock.

But O’Carroll looked every inch the senior star and he kicked three excellent points as Laois began to dominate.

Nigel Murphy, Tom Shiels and Conor Hogan also landed nice points with Murphy’s second effort putting Laois into the lead for the first time.

Laois stretched three clear but Wicklow had a couple of late goal chances come back off the crossbar, one of them a 54th minute penalty from full-forward Marc Lennon.

But Laois did just enough to pull through and Ruairi Mannion’s goal deep in stoppage time was the last act of the game and mere consolation.

It was all very different in the opening half. With the aid of the breeze, the Wicklow full-forward line had the Laois defence in all sorts of bother.

Gary Allen was particularly impressive and he notched 1-5 in the opening 30 minutes.

Marc Lennon was just as dangerous in the full forward line alongside him and it was his goal after seven minutes that put Wicklow into a strong position.

But Laois, with Tom Shiels and Sean Moore as their main threats, just about kept in touch and were 2-6 to 0-7 down at the break.

O’Carroll’s introduction swung the game firmly in Laois’s favour though and they now play Dublin in the semi-final on Saturday week.

Meanwhile, Derry came out on top in their Ulster U21 championship preliminary round game against Antrim this evening.

Derry will face Donegal next Wednesday night after their 0-16 to 0-11 victory at Celtic Park.

Scorers for Laois: Sean Moore 0-8 (6 frees), Tom Shiels (1 free) and Evan O’Carroll 0-3 each, Nigel Murphy 0-2, Michael Keogh, Conor Hogan, Brian Daky and Evin Keane 0-1 each.

Scorers for Wicklow: Gary Allen 1-6 (0-4f), Marc Lennon and Ruairi Mannion 1-1 each, Sean McGraynor 0-1.


1. Aaron Cooney (St Joseph’s)

2. Liam Knowles (Stradbally)
3. Adam Campion (St Joseph’s)
4. Eoin Buggie (Stradbally)

5. Trevor Collins (Graiguecullen)
6. Robbie Dowling (The Heath)
7. Daniel O’Reilly (Graiguecullen)

8. Brian Daly (Barrowhouse)
9. Nigel Murphy (Emo)

17. Michael Keogh (St Joseph’s)
18. Tom Shiels (Stradbally)
22. Aaron Carroll (Ballyroan-Abbey)

13. Colm Murphy (Portarlington)
14. Eoin Lowry (Killeshin)
15. Sean Moore (Ballyfin)

21. Conor Hogan (Courtwood) for Carroll (27)
11. Evan O’Carroll (Crettyard) for Murphy (32)
23. Cillian Callally (Rosenallis) for Campion (43)
20. Evin Keane (The Heath) for Lowry (47)
24. Aidan Brennan (St Joseph’s) for Buggie (60)


1. Ian Murphy (St Patrick’s)

2. Eoin Kelly (Donard-The Glen)
3. Caolan McGorman (Blessington)
4. Eoghan Marsh (An Togher)

5. Conor Healy Donard-The Glen)
6. Eoin Murtagh (Dunlavin)
7. Martin Cullen (Barndarrig)

8. David Boothman (Blessington)
9. Sean McGraynor (Avondale)

10. Josh Callaghan (Kilmacnogue)
11. Patrick O’Connor (Blessington)
12. Cathal McGee (Bray Emmetts)

13. Gary Allen (Dunlavin)
14. Marc Lennon (Bray Emmets)
15. Michael O’Connor (Blessington)

17. David Gethengs (Baltinglass) for Healy (19)
18. Peter Manning (Blessington) for Marsh (41)
23. Ruairi Mannion (St Patrick’s) for Allen (Black card, 52)

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