Mark Barry, Laois is after this ball in their Leinster U-17 Football Championship game with Louth. Photo Denis Byrne
Laois U-17 footballers recorded a landslide victory over Louth in O'Moore Park last night, as they got their Leinster campaign off to an impressive start.
Given the fact that Laois lost to Louth in the opening round of the Leinster Minor Championship ,you would have expected a fairly close game at U-17 level. However, boosted by the fact that Louth had a number of key players missing due to them still being involved in the Leinster MFC semi-final next week, Laois eased their way into Round 2.
Louth opened the scoring with a Shane Matthews point, before Laois took full control. Two Niall Dunne points were sandwiched with one from Jack Owens, before Damien McCaul grabbed the first of Laois’s goals with a nice finish after a one-two with Andrew Swayne.
Jack Owens grabbed a second Laois goal after showing a great bit of strength and blasting home.
Two points from captain Colin Slevin and one from Dean Brophy put them in a commanding position just twelve minutes in. Things got worse for Louth as Nuel Orinnka was black carded after a deliberate hit on Ronan Coffey.
Shane Matthews slotted over Louth’s second, and last, point of the half, with Laois netting two more goals before the end of the half to put the game to bed.
Midfielder Andrew Swayne found the net for Laois’s third, before three minutes later Mark Barry netted another with his second attempt after a superb catch by full forward Owens, whom Louth couldn’t deal with it at all.
Laois were ahead by a score line of 4-6 to 0-2 at the break, but they were far from finished. Niall Dunne put over a free to begin the second half, followed by points from Colin Slevin, Owens and Damien McCaul.
McCaul and Mark Barry further stretched Laois’s lead out, before a number of subs were brought in with around fifteen minutes to play.
Substitute Cian Doyle put one between the posts with his first touch of the ball, and in the same minute Barry added another. Louth got their only point of the half through Shane Matthews, who scored all three of their points on the night.
Owens found the net for a second time, and showed off his individual brilliance, tagging on another point and two goals.
Laois now await the draw for the next round, with Meath, Westmeath, Kildare and Longford all earning first round victories on the same night.
Scorers: Jack Owens 4-3, Damien McCaul and Mark Barry (0-1 free) 1-2 each, Andrew Swayne 1-0, Colin Slevin and Niall Dunne (0-2 frees) 0-3 each, Dean Brophy and Cian Doyle 0-1 each.
Team: Niall Gorman; Michael Dowling, Seán O’Flynn, Alex Mohan; Killian Horgan, Gary Saunders, Colin Slevin; John Rogers, Andrew Swayne; Dean Brophy, Ronan Coffey, Damien McCaul; Mark Barry, Niall Dunne, Jack Owens. Subs: Josh Lacey for Brophy (38mins, inj), Cathal Duggan for Slevin (44mins), Paddy Walsh for Coffey (44mins), Eoin O’Connor for Horgan (49mins), Cian Doyle for McCaul (51mins), Bernard Wheatley for Dunne (54mins)
Scorers: Shane Matthews 0-3 (0-2 frees).
Team: Alex Finnegan; Sean Faulkner, Darren Geoghegan, Nuel Orinnka; Sam Kenny, Donal McKinney, Andrew Bingham; Pearse Hawkins, Gerry Curran; Gabriel Bell, Shane Meade, Ciaran McMahon; Jamie Gilkes, Gavin Gregory, Shane Matthews. Subs: Adam Hanratty for Orinka (17mins, black card), Kieran Flynn for McMahon (half time).