Laois 0-9 Kildare 1-6 - Laois win 6-5 on penalties
Laois booked their place in Saturday’s O’Byrne Cup final against Dublin in dramatic fashion after they defeated Kildare in a penalty shoot-out.
Both sides took 10 kicks in the shoot-out and after taking the second kick, twice Kildare had a kick to win the game but they fluffed both efforts and it is Billy Sheehan’s team who will be back in Carlow on Saturday.
The result was probably a fair reflection on the game as Laois looked the sharper outfit throughout. They led 0-3 to 0-1 after 16 minutes but a 23rd-minute Daniel Flynn goal left Kildare 1-2 to 0-3 ahead.
Evan O'Carroll and Eoin Lowry scored to tie the game before Paddy Woodgate struck late in the half for Kildare to leave them 1-3 to 0-5 ahead at half-time.
O'Carroll and Gary Walsh pointed early in the second half for Laois to put them ahead but despite the game being littered with mistakes, a Jimmy Hyland free and a fisted effort by Jack Sargent saw them lead once again.
O’Carroll levelled before the water-break and both sides only managed a point apiece in the final quarter as the game petered out into a disappointing draw.
Laois scored their first three kicks in the shoot-out and Brian Daly had a chance to win it for them with their fifth kick but he was denied by Mark Donnellan.
Woodgate and Daniel Flynn had chances to win for Kildare but both missed and the game was eventually decided when Cormac Murphy converted Laois' 10th kick and Paul Cribbin's effort was saved by Laois goalkeeper Matthew Byron.
LAOIS: M Byron; J Kelly, T Collins, A Mohan; S O'Flynn, J O'Loughlin, G Dillon (0-1); K Lillis, J Finn; B Byrne, E Lowry (0-1), P O'Sullivan, R Munnelly, E O'Carroll (0-3), S Moore (0-3, one free).
Subs: G Walsh (0-1, free)for Munnelly (42 mins), C Murphy for Byrne, D O'Reilly for O'Sullivan (both 55), P Dunne for Finn, D Kavanagh for Dillon (both 64), M Barry for Lowry, B Daly for O'Carroll (both 66).
KILDARE: M Donnellan; D Randles, M Joyce, T Harrington; D Hyland, J Murray, T Archbold; L Power, T Hoey; D O'Neill, E Lawless, K Flynn; P Woodgate (0-4, two frees), D Flynn (1-0), J Hyland (0-1, free).
Subs: K O'Callaghan for Hoey, M O'Grady for Joyce, J Sargent (0-1) for D Hyland (all h-t), P Cribbin for Lawless (47), A Masterson for Power (52), B McCormack for O'Neill (55), R Houlihan for Randles (64).
Referee: D Hickey (Carlow).