Laois manager Donncha Phelan after having a final few words with his players before taking on Westmeath in the Electric Ireland Leinster Minor Football Championship at O'Moore Park. Photo: Alf Harvey
The Laois minor footballers are back in action this Friday night when they take on Kildare in the Leinster semi-final following a month break.
Laois opened their campaign away to Carlow, where a last-gasp free from Ballyroan Abbey's Brian Whelan last-gasp free from Ballyroan Abbey's Brian Whelan in the sixth minute of injury-time salvaged a draw for the O'Moore men in Carlow IT.
Phelan's men found themselves seven points down at half-time after an underwhelming first-half display where Westmeath raided the Laois defence for 1-5 in the opening seven minutes, in comparison to Laois's solitary point, but a brilliant individual goal from PJ Ward gave Laois a lifeline five minutes after the restart.
Trailing by five points heading into the final quarter, an amazing strike from Oisin Hooney into the top-corner and a composed penalty from Brian Whelan saw Laois take the lead for the very first time with eight minutes to go. Despite how much action was packed into the remaining minutes with Westmeath having two goals disallowed and numerous crucial interceptions and blocks, Whelan's penalty would ultimately be the final score of the game as Laois held out for a stunning win.
Longford awaited in the final group game where Donncha Phelan’s men led by a margin of 11 points in the closing stages of the first half, but a rallying Longford comeback in the second-half just failed. The home side closed the gap to two points six minutes after the restart only for Laois to steady the ship, by the final whistle Longford had the gap back to two but Laois held firm to top the group and book their place in the semi-final.
Yesterday we brought you Kildare manager Colin Ward's starting team to face Laois, and today Laois boss Donncha Phelan has named his team for Friday night's clash at O'Moore Park.
Phelan has named an unchanged team to the side that narrowly defeated Longford in their final group last month.
Laois will play Kildare this Friday (June 21) at O'Moore Park with throw-in set for 8pm.
Team: Michael O’Connell (Portlaoise); Shaun Fitzpatrick (Ballyroan Abbey), Sean Greene (Emo), Nathan Little (Courtwood); Simon Fingleton (Park-Ratheniska), Eddie Critchley (Portlaoise), Mark Keogh (Spink); Ben Brennan (Portlaoise), Conor Goode (Stradbally); Oisin Hooney (St Joseph’s), Brian Whelan (Ballyroan-Abbey), PJ Ward (Portarlington); Colin Dunne (Arles-Killeen), Rioghan Murphy (Portarlington), Paddy Hosey (Emo).