Goals key as Laois claim Leinster title

Laois played Westmeath in the U-16 Leinster Final in Durrow, County Offaly on Sunday and came away with a deserved win and a provincial title.

Laois played Westmeath in the U-16 Leinster Final in Durrow, County Offaly on Sunday and came away with a deserved win and a provincial title.

In a game where little separated the sides throughout the game, Laois finished stronger scoring the crucial goals that brought the provincial title to the county.

Westmeath were quicker out of the blocks and had scored 1-1 before centre forward Laura Peake got the first point for Laois.

However Westmeath responded and stretched the lead even further with two more points before Laois settled as Lizzy Ryan and Sarah Broderick got on the score sheet, the latter from a ‘45.

Westmeath responded again with three more points but Laois corner forward Leah Dunphy scored a trademark goal and Mary Keating, who was playing with a chest infection, added two points leaving the gap at the bare minimum at half time at Laois 1-5 to Westmeath 1-6.

After half time Ashling O’Dea brought Laois level but Westmeath restored their advantage with two more points.

Mary Keating pulled one back for Laois but again Westmeath countered with one of their own.

A goal from Mary Keating put Laois ahead for the first time but again Westmeath responded with a goal to move back in front.

Laois then hit a purple patch in the closing minutes of normal time as both Laura Peake and Lizzy Ryan scored crucial goals and Mary Keating added a point. Westmeath pushed hard in injury time and scored 1-1 to close the gap to three points but Laois held on for a deserved win

Ciara Cuddy was impressive at wing back as was Laura Peake at centre forward, but Mary Keating was the top player of the game for Laois, scoring 1-4 while suffering from a chest infection.

Laois: Aoife Donovan, Rachel Bergin, Courtney Lally, Rachel Cass, Ciara Cuddy, Sarah Broderick, Linda Keyes, Lizzy Ryan, Niamh Coss, Avril Deegan, Laura Peake, Ashling O’Dea, Gráinne Hyland, Mary Keating, Leah Dunphy, Sarah Creagh for Leah Dunphy.