Electric Ireland Leinster Minor Hurling Championship Round 2
By Pat Costello
THAT was the week that was! Fresh from the outstanding exploits of the U20 hurlers on Tuesday evening Kildare’s minor hurlers added to the excitement by scoring a seven point victory on Wednesday evening over a Laois side that included former Waterford Manager, Derek McGrath, as part of their backroom team.
The sides were level on only one occasion in the game, that was after Fionn Maher opened the scoring for Kildare with a free and Laois full forward, Colin Byrne equalised from play inside the first three minutes. Right from Eoin Sheehan’s long puck out, Kildare corner forward, James Dolan, won possession outside the 21 yard line and raced through to score his own and his side’s first goal. Kildare were never headed after this, in fact the closest the O’Moore county got in the game was two points.
Kildare finished the half with 1-3 without reply with the points coming from Niall Dolan, Alan Tobin and Fionn Maher and the opportunist goal coming from a James Dolan kick to the net after Laois had failed to clear the danger to leave the hosts leading 2-8 to 0-6 at the break with Laois surely ruing the nine wides they recorded in the half.
The O’Moore county turned around with the wind and sun in their backs and looked like they meant business as they trotted off three points without reply through Brian Duggan, half time substitute, Jack Breen and Colin Byrne, his fourth at that stage. Kildare rose to the challenge again and Maher with his fourth, a free, Seamus Kelleher and Niall Dolan pushed them back to seven points in front at the second half water break.
Each time that Laois looked like they would eat into the Kildare lead in the final quarter through the likes of midfielder, Eoghan Cuddy, Kildare responded with the impressive Maher who ended up with 9 points from play, frees and a sideline cut.
Kildare will now face Wexford in the Quarter Final on Wednesday evening next.
KILDARE: Eoin Sheehan; Ciaran Kirwan, Liam O’Reilly, Rian Redfern; Oisin Maher, Daniel O’Meara, Ryan Sinkey; Dara Crowley, Alan Tobin 0-3 (2f); Seamus Kelleher 0-1, Cian Boran, Niall Dolan 0-3 Ciaran Mangan, Fionn Maher 0-9 (5f, 1 S/L cut) , James Dolan 2-0. Subs: Bill Hennessy for Oisin Maher 17, Killian Harrington for Mangan 28, Sean Murphy for James Dolan 51, Josh O’Donoghue for Boran 56, Sean Holmes for Niall Dolan 59.
LAOIS: Brochan O’Reilly; Tom Cuddy, Ryan Quinlan, Cathal Cuddy; Cody Comerford, Aaron Phelan 0-1, Barry Fitzpatrick; Eoghan Cuddy 0-5 (4f), Diarmuid Dooley; Brian Duggan 0-2, Liam Kavanagh, Jer Quinlan 0-1; Ciaran McKelvey, Colin Byrne 0-5 (3f), Conor Fitzpatrick. Subs: Jack Breen 0-1 for McKelvey H/t, Conor Doran for Conor Fitzpatrick 41, Ciaran Flynn for Duggan 53.
REFEREE: Adam Kinahan (Offaly)