O'BYRNE CUP - Laois lose out to late double from Hannon

Laois' hopes of getting Justin McNulty's tenure off to a winning start were dashed on Sunday afternoon, as two late points from Wicklow's Tony Hannon secured a dramatic late win for Mick O'Dwyer's charges.

Laois' hopes of getting Justin McNulty's tenure off to a winning start were dashed on Sunday afternoon, as two late points from Wicklow's Tony Hannon secured a dramatic late win for Mick O'Dwyer's charges.

Wicklow 1-10

Laois 1-9

Hannon's late double capped a dramatic last 15 minutes to the game, as Laois recovered from being seven points down to go one point ahead, only for those two late points to deny them a smash-and-grab victory.

In truth, Wicklow deserved the win having lead for most of the game, as Laois only sprung to life in the closing stages after the introduction of a few more senior members of the panel.

Justin McNulty admitted afterwards he wasn't concerned by the result as he experiments with his side ahead of the start of the league. There were four players making their first competitive starts; Robbie Kehoe, Shane Julian and Conor Boyle in defence, with Mchael Finlay starting at corner forward. Kehoe impressed the most out of that quartet as he proved tenacious at corner back, while Finlay could also be satisfied with his debut, landing three points in total.

When the likes of Darren Maher, Daith Carroll and Jason Enright are factored in, all players with limited experience at this level, it was very much an experimental side put out by Laois' new manager, and a raft of changes can be expected for next weekend's clash with Athlone IT.

Wicklow lead 0-6 to 0-4 at half time after having the best of the opening half, and stretched that lead out to seven in the second half thanks to a Tony Hannon penalty.

Trailing by 1-8 to 0-4, Laois rallied, as points from Mchael Finlay (2), Ross Munnelly and Barry Fitzgerald left a goal between the teams, which Daith Carroll then supplied with a fine individual effort.

Craig Rogers then put Laois ahead with his first point, but Hannon held his nerve to point two late chances to seal the win for Wicklow.

SCORERS - Laois: Daith Carroll 1-1, Mchael Finlay 0-3 (two frees), Barry Fitzgerald (free), Ross Munnelly (free), Padraig Clancy, Craig Rogers, Colm Parkinson 0-1 each; Wicklow: Tony Hannon 1-2 (1-0 pen, 0-1 free), Dean Odlum 0-4 (three frees), Dean Siney 0-2 (one free), Paddy Dalton, Conor McGraynor 0-1 each

LAOIS: Darren Maher; Shane Julian, Denis Booth, Robbie Kehoe; Paul Begley, Darren Strong, Conor Boyle; Padraig Clancy, Cathal g Greene; Craig Rogers, Colm Parkinson, Gary Kavanagh; Mchael Finlay, Daith Carroll, Jason Enright. Subs: Mark Timmons for Greene (48 mins), Barry Fitzgerald for Enright (48 mins), Cahir Healy for Julian (51 mins), Ross Munnelly for Kavanagh (58 mins)

WICKLOW: John Flynn; Stephen Kelly, Alan Nolan, Alan Byrne; Paul Cunningham, Anthony McLoughlin, Darren Hayden; Rory Finn, Ciaran Hyland; Paul Earls, Tony Hannon, Paddy Dalton; Dean Odlum, Niall Gaffney, Dean Siney. Subs: Conor McGraynor for McLoughlin (half time), Michael McLoughlin for Cunningham (61 mins), Padraig Higgins for Byrne (61 mins)

Referee: Joe Curley (Meath)