The Laois minor hurlers salvaged a victory from their trip to Newbridge as they came from behind to rescue a one-point win today.
Laois 1 - 14
Kildare 2 - 10
Electric Ireland Minor Hurling Championship Round 2
Adam Kirwan stepped up when Laois needed him most, hitting 1-3 in the second half including the all-important goal and two late frees to see Laois reverse a five-point deficit and take the lead for the first time since the opening score of the game to steal the win from a well-drilled Kildare outfit.
Laois went in trailing by a point at the interval, 1-7 to 0-9, and even fell five points behind seven minutes after the restart but battled back to level with just under a quarter of an hour to play. Kildare retook the lead with five minutes to go but Laois finished strong with Adam Kirwan pointing two late frees.
The sides were well matched in the opening half, exchanging score for score right up until the Kildare goal which arrived twenty-one minutes in when David Qualter rattled the Laois net after a fine passing move.
Last week's Minor Hurler of the Week Dan Delaney hit two points while DJ Callaghan and Cathal O’Shaughnessy fired singles for Laois, but Kildare struck back with Cathal McCabe and a Qualter free. The final point of the half went to Clonaslee's Cian Conroy to leave just a point between the sides at the interval.
Jack Higgins and Dan Delaney swapped points on the resumption, but then Kildare's second goal arrived from the same culprit, Qualter, followed swiftly by another Higgins point as Laois looked like they could be in trouble.
Laois replied with a cracking Kirwan goal from an incredibly tight angle to bring Laois back into the game. The same man reduced the gap to the minimum before Camross' Tomas Keys levelled the sides with just under a quarter of an hour to go.
Kildare retook the lead five minutes from time through a Qualter free, but Laois finished the stronger to see Kirwan convert a brace of late frees to steer the result in their favour as they held out to claim a dogged victory.
Scorers: Adam Kirwan 1-5 (0-4 frees), Dan Delaney 0-3, DJ Callaghan and Tomas Keyes 0-2 each, Cathal O’Shaughnessy and Cian Conroy 0-1 each.
Team: Finnan Cuddy (Trumera); Ned Fitzpatrick (St Lazerian’s Abbeyleix), Danny Brennan (Park-Ratheniska-Timahoe), Ian Shanahan (Ballinakill); Cian Conroy (Clonaslee St Manman’s), Fionan Mahony (St Lazerian’s Abbeyleix), Brian Bredin (St Fintan's Mountrath); Tomas Keyes (Camross), Tadhg Cuddy (Castletown); James Duggan (The Harps), David Dooley (Rosenallis), Dan Delaney (Camross); Cathal O’Shaughnessy (Ballinakill), DJ Callaghan (Clonaslee St Manman's), Adam Kirwan (St Fintan's Mountrath). Subs: Eoin Naughton (Portlaoise) for Callaghan, Lawson Obular (St Lazerian's Abbeyleix) for Fitzpatrick, Cian O’Shaughnessy (Ballinakill) for Cathal O’Shaughnessy, Kevin Mulhall (Clough-Ballacolla) for Delaney.
Scorers: David Qualtar 2-3, Cathal McCabe 0-3, Jack Higgins 0-2, Darragh Melville and Alo Hackett 0-1 each.
Team: Alo Hackett; Peter O’Donoghue, Sean Conway, Matthew Eustace; Colman O’Donovan, Cian Shanahan, Paul Dolan; Eoin Kelliher, Conan Boran; Ferran O’Sullivan, Jack Higgins, Cathal McCabe; Darragh Melville, Rossa Stapleton, David Qualter.