Leinster U20 Final: Archer’s accuracy proves the difference as Dublin beat Laois 4-18 to 0-17

Dublin 4-18 Laois 0-17 

Dublin defeated Laois by 13 points on Friday evening at O’Connor Park to claim their first-ever Leinster U20 Football Championship. In fairness to both teams, they went all-out attack as the scores suggest with the teams sharing 4-35 in 60 minutes of football. Billy O’Loughlin’s Laois came into the game on the back of three solid wins over Meath, Kildare and Westmeath, however, this proved to be one step too far for the O’Moore men.

Dublin started the game brightly and they kicked the first four scores of the game. Tom Gray would have been happy with this as Karl Lynch Bissett, Ross McGarry, Sean Lambe and man of the match Ciaran Archer found the target. Diarmuid Whelan got Laois’ first score of the game. Centre forward Michael Doran pointed for Laois then only for Archer to reply. Laois went on to knock over four points in a row then which meant they took the lead. However, the Dubs were not to be outdone as they hit four successive points of their own. They led by 0-9 to 0-06. The games first goal came then on 24 minutes when Archer intercepted a poor kick-out from Laois Matthew Byron. Dublin in control at the break 1-11 to 0-08.

Dublin upped the tempo even further in the second half. They got their second goal of the game on 42 minutes through Ciaran Archer. He got on the end of a rebound effort from Ross McGarry. Dublin had another goal on 49 minutes when Kieran Kennedy fired past Matthew Byron. Laois were reduced to 14 men on 52 minutes after Colin Slevin was shown a red card by Brendan Cawley. Laois’ chance of making any sort of comeback all but gone now. Peadar O’Cofaigh Byrne was fouled then inside the parallelogram by Eoin Dunne, the referee had no choice but to award a penalty. Archer sent the keeper the wrong way to complete the hat trick of goals.

Dublin now face Galway in the semi-final next weekend, where a stiffer challenge again will be expected.

Dublin: David O’Hanlon; Darren Maher, Daire Newcome, Eoin O’Dea; Kieran Kennedy (1-0), Neil Matthews, Sean Lambe (0-1); Peadar O Cofaigh Byrne, Donal Ryan; Niall O’Leary  (0-1), Karl Lynch Bissett (0-1), James Doran (0-3); Brian O’Leary (0-2), Ciaran Archer (3-8, 0-7f, 1-0 pen), Ross McGarry (0-2, 0-1f).

Subs: David Lacey for Ryan (43), Harry Ladd for B O’Leary (55), Aaron Lynch for Maher (55), Conor Kinsella for O’Dea (57) Mark Lavin for N O’Leary (60), Sean Foran for Kennedy (60).

Laois: Matthew Byron; Michael Dowling, Seamus Lacey, Alex Mohan; Colin Slevin, Sean O’Flynn, Dean Brophy; Robert Tyrell, Eoin Dunne (0-1); Mark Barry (0-2, 0-1f), Michael Doran (0-1), Ronan Coffey (0-1); Alan Kinsella (0-2), Dan McCormack, Diarmuid Whelan (0-8, 0-6f).

Subs: Jack Owens (0-1) for Doran (36), Niall Dunne (0-1) for McCormack (38), Jason Maher for Coffee (48), Kevin Byrne for Lacey (55), Ross Brennan for Brophy (58), Jack Lacey for Mohan (58).

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