Wicklow’s U21 footballers can hold their heads high after a credible performance against Laois ended in the narrowest of defeats last night.
Two late points from Laois’s Evan Costello secured a 0-10 to 0-09 victory for the visitors in Baltinglass.
Laois crushed the garden County in the corresponding fixture last year and were red hot favourites this time around.
Laois led at the break by 0-6 to 0-5 with Martin Keogh and Martin Scully both adding crucial scores in the first half.
Wicklow then drew level at 0-8 apiece coming in to the final furlong only for Costello to dash the Garden County’s hopes late on.
Laois will now face off against either Longford or Westmeath, who were still level after extra time and will now go into a replay.
Scorers – Laois: E Costello 0-5 (4fs), P McEvoy, M Keogh, E O’Carroll, M Scully, P Kingston 0-1 each. Wicklow: P Murphy, D Keane, B McCrea 0-2 each, T Smith, T Kealy, D Dawson 0-1 each.
Wicklow – D Mann; J Manley, R Marron, C Hatton; C Ffrench, D Lohan, J Snell; P Phelan, D Dawson; S Hogan, T Smith, R O’Brien; T Kelly, P Murphy, B McCrea. Subs: J Miley for J Manley, D Keane for R O’Brien, P Crowley for P Murphy, A Daly for McCrea.
Laois – G Brody; E Feane, C Lennon, D Dunne; D Ramsbottom, M O’Halloran, D Fitzpatrick; J Campion, P McEvoy; A Farrell, E Costello, E George; E Carroll, M Keogh, M Scully. Subs: P Kingston for A Farrell, R Dowling for D Ramsbottom, D Cullen for E George.