The Laois minor footballers bowed out of the Leinster Championship at the semi-final stage following tonight's three-point loss to Kildare at O'Moore Park.
Laois 1 - 6
Kildare 0 - 12
Electric Ireland Minor Football Championship Semi-Final
Kildare started the better of the two sides, breaking the deadlock nine minutes in when Aaron Browne fired over to them away. Three frees followed for the Lilies through Eoin Bagnall, his third from forty-five metres out to push Kildare four points clear with fifteen minutes played.
Having failed to score in the opening quarter, Laois emphatically got on the scoresheet sixteen minutes in when Eddie Critchley picked out Oisin Hooney who blasted his shot past Kildare goalkeeper Cian Burke to bring Laois back into the reckoning. Bagnall replied with his fourth of the game, this time from play, to increase the Kildare lead to two points.
Laois chipped away at the visitors lead with Rioghan Murphy and Conor Goode combining to see the Stradbally midfielder send over his first of the day, reducing the Laois arrears to the minimum.
Laois had a goal chance straight after, Hooney's pop-pass over the top finding Brian Whelan to send him through one-on-one but Burke refused to be beaten a second time and excellently denied teh Ballyroan Abbey man's shot with twenty minutes on the clock.
Colin Dunne leveled the proceedings with a superb swinging point five minutes before the break, and then Conor Goode got in for his second point of the half after a quick-free from Whelan released him to edge Laois ahead for the first time in the game four minutes before the break.
That's how it remained as the sides went in at the interval, Laois narrowly leading by a point - 1-3 to 0-5. However, Kildare will be dissappointed with their composure in front of the posts as they kicked eight first-half wides.
Kildare re-opened the scoring a minute after the restart with Bagnall pointing a free to level the sides. Laois hit back with a free of their own from Brian Whelan but Oisin Milmoe replied instantly to keep the sides level.
Eoin Bagnall followed with his sixth and seventh points of the day as Kildare went two clear before Whelan converted a free for Donncha Phelan's men.
Kildare closed out the game with Aaron Browne and Shane Flynn adding points as the Lilies finished with three points to spare as they now progress to the Leinster final.
*See Tuesday's Leinster Express Sport for full coverage
Scorers: Oisin Hooney 1-0, Brian Whelan (frees) and Conor Goode 0-2 each, Colin Dunne and Ben Brennan 0-1 each.
Team: Michael O’Connell (Portlaoise); Eamon Delaney (Stradbally), Sean Greene (Emo), Nathan Little (Courtwood); Simon Fingleton (Park-Ratheniska), Eddie Critchley (Portlaoise), Mark Keogh (Spink); Kevin Swayne (Portlaoise), Conor Goode (Stradbally); Shaun Fitzpatrick (Ballyroan Abbey), Brian Whelan (Ballyroan-Abbey), Ben Brennan (Portlaoise); Colin Dunne (Arles-Killeen), Rioghan Murphy (Portarlington), Oisin Hooney (St Joseph’s). Subs: Ciaran Burke (Crettyard) for Keogh (33 mins), PJ Ward (Portarlington) for Burke (BC, 42 mins), Oisin Byrne (Arles-Killeen) for Dunne (46 mins), Paul O'Flynn (Courtwood) for Hooney (52 mins), Darragh Carolan (Stradbally) for Ward (56 mins), Paddy Hosey (Emo) for Swayne (63 mins).
Scorers: Eoin Bagnall 0-8 (0-7 frees), Aaron Browne 0-2, Oisin Milmoe and Shane Flynn 0-1 each
Team: Cian Burke; Conan Boran, Jack Quinn, Tommy Gill; Oisin O'Rourke, Ryan Comeau, Mark Maguire; Kevin Eustace, Shane Flynn; Ciaran O'Brien, Aaron Browne, Aedan Boyle; Oisin Milmoe, Adam Conneely, Eoin Bagnall. Subs: PJ Cullen for Comeau (21 mins), Matthew Whelan for Boyle (56 mins), Mikey Delahunty for O'Brien (BC, 51 mins).