Kevin Quinn hat-trick helps Wicklow to sensational win over Laois

First win for the Garden County against Laois in 36 years in the championship

Wicklow 5-15 Laois 4-12

Kevin Quinn scored a devastating hat-trick of goals as Wicklow channelled the spirit of 1986 to set-up a Leinster quarter-final against Meath with a sensational win over Laois.

A season’s best performance saw the Garden avenge their previous league defeat to the O’Moore men, while writing a new chapter in a rivalry defined by the “Battle of Aughrim”.

In the 36 years that have passed since then, Laois have been perfect in the championship against Alan Costello and Gary Duffy’s men.


Within three minutes, Billy Sheehan knew they had a task on their hands to keep that run going against a side that ran rampant with a strong breeze at their backs.

The opening 10 minutes were helter-skelter. Wicklow’s first goal arrived after just three minutes, when Healy robbed Dylan Kavanagh of possession before setting off a counter-attack down the left. Podge O’Toole made an incisive run down the inside left before setting it inside to Fitzgerald, whose shot was saved against the bar by Matthew Byron. Eoin Darcy was on hand to gobble up the rebound.

Laois responded defiantly, with Evan O’Carroll setting up Gary Walsh for the goal barely a minute later. O’Carroll followed that up with a point to give Laois their only lead of the contest.

Padraig O’Toole scored Wicklow’s second goal off a good solo run from Andy Maher, while points from Mark Kenny (two) and Mark Jackson (free) had them in command by the time Sean O’Flynn scored a well-worked goal for Billy Sheehan’s men.

Mark Kenny scored straight from the kick-off and the Ballymanus man added two more long-range belters to his tally.

The hosts got their third goal on 29 minutes. A Matthew Byron kick-out was poor, and arrived straight at Dean Healy. He moved it right to Eoin Darcy, who passed it back across to Kevin Quinn. The Blessington man checked inside a number of challengers before blasting it home. Wicklow ended the half leading by 3-11 to 2-3 and in command.

The home side may have been playing against the wind in the second-half, but that did not disrupt their attacking ambition. Within three minutes, they had their fourth green flag, when Kevin Quinn powered past a couple of despairing challenges before firing to the back of the net.

Gary Walsh had a chance to reduce arrears with a shot at goal, only for it to be saved by Jackson. Up the other end, there was no mistake from Wicklow for their fifth and Quinn’s third. A kick up the middle from Kenny dropped onto the heads of Darcy, Healy, and Quinn. The Tinahely man flicked the ball into the path of Healy, who moved it on to Quinn, who dispatched past Byron.

Evan O’Carroll’s return from a black card set up a chaotic final 10 minutes.

Patrick O’Sullivan scored Laois’ fourth goal, while Gary Walsh was shown a straight red card for an off the ball encroachment, and Patrick O’Keane was later sent off for Wicklow for a second yellow.

Wicklow: M Jackson (0-3, 3f); M Stone, T Moran; N Devereux, A Maher (0-1), Z Cullen; P O'Toole (1-1), JP Hurley; R Stokes, D Healy (0-2), D Fitzgerald (0-1); M Kenny (0-5), K Quinn (3-0), E Darcy (1-2, 2f). Subs: O Cullen for Fitzgerald (47), O McGraynor for Darcy (63), M Traynor for Kenny (66).

Laois: M Byrne; T Collins, M Timmons, A Mohan; D Kavanagh, J O'Loughlin, B Byrne (0-1); K Lillis, S O'Flynn (0-1); D O'Reilly, E Lowry, P O'Sullivan (1-1); M Barry (0-3, 3f), E O'Carroll (0-2), G Walsh (2-2, 2f). Subs: A Farrell for Kavanagh (ht), P Kingston (0-3, 2f) for Lillis (40), S Moore for Lowry (51), C Doyle for O'Loughlin (63),

Referee: F Kelly (Longford)