Carlow 1-14 Laois 0-9
Laois crashed out of the Leinster U-21 championship on Wednesday night as a poor second half performance saw Carlow book a place in the last four.
It was a fully merited win for Carlow, as they did well with the wind at their backs in the second half and pointed with ease in the last 20 minutes. They now face Wexford and will hope to qualify for their first Leinster final since their minor side of 2006 lost out to Kilkenny.
Despite playing into a strong breeze, Carlow had the better of the opening exchanges as Derek Byrne (free) and Edward Byrne helped them into an early two point lead.
Laois were denied what looked a penalty when Christy Murray was hauled down in the penalty area before they got their first score, a long range free from goalkeeper Eoin Reilly.
Neil Foyle leveled the game with a point from play moments later after good work by John O’Loughlin before Foyle then put Laois in front for the first time with a free.
Carlow briefly drew level thanks to a Paudie Kehoe point from a placed ball but it was all Laois after that as Christy Murray put them back in front.
The first real goal chance fell to the visitors after that as good work from Murray drew out the Carlow defence, and his hand pass found the in-rushing David O’Mahony, but his shot was straight at Kevin Kehoe.
Tomas Burke pointed a free soon after that to push Laois further ahead, and points from Andrew Collier and Foyle (free) left Laois four ahead at half time, 0-7 to 0-3.
It was all Carlow on the restart as corner forward Paudie Kehoe started to find his range. He hit three points from placed balls in the first six minutes of the second half to reduce the gap to a single point, before Neil foyle relieced some of pressure with a pointed free for Laois.
It proved to be only a brief respite for Laois as the Carlow pressure came in waves, and lead by the excellent Kehoe at corner forward, they were level with 19 minutes to go.
After that it was all one way traffic as Kehoe repeatedly found the target both from frees and from play, and Laois became increasingly desperate for scores.
With eight minutes to go the gap stood at six points and when Laois were awarded a 21 yard free, they brought goalkeeper Eoin Reilly up to take it, but his effort was saved. Carlow got the goal their performance deserved in injury time when Alan McDonald cracked home an unstoppable effort, and they can now look forward to a clash with Wexford in the last four.
Scorers - Carlow: Paudie Kehoe 0-10 (four frees, three 65’s), Alan McDonald 1-1, Dwayne Kavanagh (free), David English, Edward Byrne 0-1 each; Laois: Neil Foyle 0-5 (four frees), Eoin Reilly (free), Tomas Burke (free), Andrew Collier, Chris Murray 0-1 each
LAOIS: E Reilly; B Smith, B Galvin, P Flynn; B Guilfoyle, T Burke, L Broderick; B Glynn, A Collier; C Murray, J Gaughan, J O’Loughlin; TJ Lalor, N Foyle, D O’Mahoney. Subs: D Peacock for Lalor (half time), G Lanham for Gaughan (38 mins), J Corrigan for O’Mahony (57 mins), M Burke for Broderick (58 mins), A Moore for Glynn (61 mins)
CARLOW: K Kehoe; G Kelly, D O’Brien, K McCabe; M Mullins, D Kavanagh, A Corcoran; D Byrne, M Ryan; D English, E Byrne, DJ Regan; P Kehoe, M Clowry, A McDonald. Subs:
Ref: Ciaran Groome (Offaly)
By Rory Delaney, Leinster Express