Opportunity knocks for Laois

A great opportunity beckons for Laois and Carlow as they clash in the Bord Gáis Energy Leinster U21 hurling semi-final at Dr Cullen Park tonight (7.30pm).

Laois, who overcame a highly-fancied Dublin with two late goals in the quarter-final, have not been in a provincial decider since 1990, while their hosts have never reached theLeinster final at the grade.

The O’Moore County’s manager Tony Doran admits his side are in a good position, but is avoiding any complacency.

“We have a reasonable chance,” he says, “but put it this way, Carlow will be happy that it’s Laois they’re facing rather than Dublin.

“We know that it’s going to be a very tough game and we’ll have to be every bit as good as we were against Dublin if we’re to get through.”

Of the Laois team, Gearóid Burke, Barry Dunne, Willie Dunphy, Stephen Maher and Neil Foyle have all played senior championship this year, in the county’s 3-23 to 1-7 loss to Dublin.

Three days later, however, the U21s turned the tables and Doran knows that another win would help to maintain confidence.

“It’d be great for moral to get into the final,” he says, “not just for the lads themselves but for the county as a whole. Knowing that we’re able to compete is huge.”

In the other last-four game, Kilkenny meet Wexford at Nowlan Park, a game live on TG4.

The Cats are managed by Richie Mulrooney, who guided the county to the Leinster minor title three years ago, beating Wexford by 11 points in the final.

Senior panellists Cillian Buckley – who had been struggling with ahamstring injury – Richie Doyle, Pádraig Walsh and Willie Phelan are all in the starting 15 for the hosts, who are seeking a first provincial title in three years.

Wexford are backboned by senior players Jack Guiney, Willie Devereux and Matthew O’Hanlon.

WEXFORD (U21HC v Kilkenny): M Fanning; W Devereux, M O’Hanlon, A Nolan; M Moloney, C Goff, A Cash; A Nolan, D O’Keeffe; L Chin, M O’Regan, G Moore; J Hobbs, J Guiney, B Carton.

Subs: D Moloney, B O’Gorman, C Clince, C Foley, D Foley, D O’Leary, F Mullins, I Byrne, K Nimmo, K Whelan, L Og McGovern, P Greene, R Clarke, S O’Gorman, T Dunne.

KILKENNY (U21HC v Wexford): D Walsh; J Corcoran, W Phelan, J Lyng; L Harney, R Doyle, B Kennedy; G Brennan, O Walsh; C Kenny, P Walsh, C Buckley; G Aylward, W Walsh, K Kelly.

CARLOW (U21 v Laois): B Tracey, B Lambe, C Lawlor, L Kinsella, J Corcoran, D English, J Doyle, A Kenny, C Wall, R Smythers, J Nolan, A McDonald, K Roberts, M Kavanagh, P Shaw.

LAOIS (U21 v Carlow): TBC.

More in this section

CourtsGaaPlace: Dr Cullen ParkPlace: Nowlan ParkPerson: Tony DoranPerson: Gearoid BurkePerson: Barry DunnePerson: Willie DunphyPerson: Stephen MaherPerson: Neil FoylePerson: DoranPerson: Richie MulrooneyPerson: Cillian BuckleyPerson: Richie DoylePerson: Pádraig WalshPerson: Willie PhelanPerson: Jack GuineyPerson: Willie DevereuxPerson: Matthew O’HanlonPerson: M FanningPerson: W DevereuxPerson: M O’HanlonPerson: A NolanPerson: M MoloneyPerson: C GoffPerson: A CashPerson: D O’KeeffePerson: L ChinPerson: M O’ReganPerson: G MoorePerson: J HobbsPerson: J GuineyPerson: B CartonPerson: D MoloneyPerson: B O’GormanPerson: C ClincePerson: C FoleyPerson: D FoleyPerson: D O’LearyPerson: F MullinsPerson: I ByrnePerson: K NimmoPerson: K WhelanPerson: L Og McGovernPerson: P GreenePerson: R ClarkePerson: S O’GormanPerson: T DunnePerson: D WalshPerson: J CorcoranPerson: W PhelanPerson: J LyngPerson: L HarneyPerson: R DoylePerson: B KennedyPerson: G BrennanPerson: O WalshPerson: C KennyPerson: P WalshPerson: C BuckleyPerson: G AylwardPerson: W WalshPerson: K KellyPerson: B TraceyPerson: B LambePerson: C LawlorPerson: L KinsellaPerson: D EnglishPerson: J DoylePerson: A KennyPerson: C WallPerson: R SmythersPerson: J NolanPerson: A McDonaldPerson: K RobertsPerson: M KavanaghPerson: P ShawEvent: U21Organisation: LaoisOrganisation: CarlowOrganisation: Bord Gáis EnergyOrganisation: DublinOrganisation: O’Moore CountyOrganisation: U21sOrganisation: KilkennyOrganisation: WexfordOrganisation: TG4Organisation: CatsOrganisation: LeinsterOrganisation: U21HCOrganisation: U21
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