A brilliant and dogged Laois display saw them qualify for a second successive Leinster U-20 final as they overcame Kildare in Portlaoise.
Laois enjoyed a more clinical start to the game, although chances were few and far between given the dreadful conditions. Mark Barry (free) opened the scoring for them and then Damon Larkin was on hand to fire in a well-taken goal in the 13th minute.
Kildare replied through Alex Beirne but Laois picked off some wonderful scores through Matthew Byron (free), Mark Barry and Ronan Coffey to lead by six. Kildare needed some signs of life before half-time and they got them, thanks to points from Shane O’Sullivan and Darragh Kirwan, but Laois led 1-4 to 0-3 at the interval.
Kildare could manage just one point facing into the elements in the second half, as Laois kept them at arm’s length. Alex Beirne got them within a goal in the 39th minute, but it never got better than that.
Mark Barry (2) and Colin Slevin replied for Laois to see them safely through to the decider.
SCORERS – Laois: M Barry 0-4 (2f), D Larkin 1-0, M Byron (f), R Coffey, C Slevin 0-1 each.
Kildare: A Beirne 0-2, S O’Sullivan (f), D Kirwan 0-1 each.
KILDARE – M Anderson; J Hamill, J Lawler, S Moore; DJ Earley, P McDermott, J Collins; M Grehan, T O’Connor; J Sargent, S O’Sullivan, A Steed; A Beirne, D Kirwan, C McCabe.
Subs: D Brophy for Howlin (40), S O’Neill for Daly (45)
LAOIS – M Byron; M Dowling, A Mohan, N Keane; S O’Flynn, G Saunders, J Lacey; PJ Daly, B Howlin; R Coffey, J Owens, D Larkin; M Barry, D Galvin, C Slevin.
Subs: D McDermott for Sargent (40), L Griffin for Kirwan (45, inj), M Cully for Grehan (53)
Ref: F Kelly (Longford)