Leinster Under-20 hurling round-up: Offaly and Westmeath through to quarter-finals

Offaly win dramatic penalty shoot-out over midlands rivals Laois

The Leinster Under-20 Hurling Championship is down to the quarter-final stage after Offaly and Westmeath secured their places on Friday evening.

Both have come through the second tier and the real business now begins as they cross sticks with the top tier teams.

Offaly will play the third placed tier one county next week with Westmeath playing the fourth-placed ones after a dramatic penalty shoot-out win over midlands rivals Laois.

Galway got their campaign off the mark with their first win in tier one, beating Wexford and the final placings will be decided on Saturday evening after the meeting of Kilkenny and Dublin.


Offaly’s progression to the quarter-finals was predicted by almost everyone. With a number of last year’s outstanding minor side on board, they have cruised out of tier two and had a runaway double scores win, 2-20 to 1-10 over Kildare, in the preliminary quarter-final in Tullamore on Friday evening.

First-half goals from Shane Rigney and Adam Screeney gave them a 2-8 to 0-6 half-time lead. After playing against a strong wind, the result was in the bag and they went through the motions in the second half, emptying their bench.

In a remarkably close, exciting midlands derby, Westmeath edged out Laois in the harshest circumstances possible in the other preliminary quarter-final, taking the penalty shoot-out 3-2.

There was almost nothing between the teams the whole way through. Laois led by 0-9 to 0-8 at half-time but Westmeath got two in front, 0-14 to 0-12, as it went into the final 10 minutes. It went down to the wire with Laois getting a dramatic goal and a point in injury-time – Cillian Dunne netting the goal to force extra-time, 1-14 to 0-17. They still couldn’t be separated in extra-time and were level, 0-20 to 1-17, at the end of the first period, 0-22 to 1-19 at full time.

In tier one, Galway got their first win, beating Wexford by 1-20 to 1-17. Ahead by 1-12 to 0-11 at half-time, Galway pushed 1-17 to 0-12 clear after 38 minutes. A 40th-minute Jack Redmond goal brought Wexford right back into it and Galway had to work hard to win.