Offaly beat Laois to win first Leinster minor title in 22 years

Offaly win first provincial honours since 2000 in front of 12,487 in Portlaoise

Offaly 0-21 Laois 0-13

Ten points from Adam Screeney and three from their outstanding captain Dan Ravenhill helped Offaly claim a first Leinster minor hurling title in 22 years in O’Moore Park on Monday evening.

Not since the year 2000 have Offaly won provincial honours at any grade in hurling but in front of a bumper crowd of 12,487 they did just that, proving that bit too strong for the brave home side.

Laois had knocked out Wexford and Kilkenny to get to the final and were seeking a first triumph since 1964. But despite taking an early lead with a couple of points from their chief scorer Ben Deegan, Offaly soon got their noses in front.

The excellent Ter Guinan got their first point and then the diminutive Screeney opened his account.

Despite playing against the breeze, Offaly were 0-6 to 0-3 up after 12 minutes, with Screeney leading the way and Cillian Martin, son of former Offaly great Kevin, also pointing.

For Laois, Deegan kept them in touch and Jer Quinlan also added a point - by half time Offaly were 0-9 to 0-7 in front.

Offaly came out of the traps quickest in the second half and Ravenhill got the first two points of the half. Leigh Kavanagh then pushed them five clear.

Deegan kept the scoreboard moving for Laois and Cormac Byrne also pointed but they could never get closer than three points and Donal Shirley, Shane Rigney, Conor Doyle, Cathal Robinson, Screen and Ravenhill saw Offaly safely home.

OFFALY: L Hoare; C Larkin, J Mahon , R Kelly; D Shirley (0-1), B Kavanagh, T Guinan (0-1); L Kavanagh (0-1), C Martin (0-1); S Rigney (0-2), D Ravenhill (0-3), C Doyle (0-1); C Robinson (0-1), N Furlong, A Screeney (0-10, nine frees). Subs: P Dooley for Guinan (blood 28-30mins), S Connolly for Martin (59), J Liffey for Doyle (60).

LAOIS: B O'Reilly; B Murphy, C Flynn, J Pearson; T Brennan, T Cuddy, C Hogan; A McDonagh, K Byrne; B Deegan (0-10, nine frees), L Kirby, J Breen (0-1); E Cuddy, J Quinlan (0-1), C Byrne (0-1). Subs: E Murphy for McDonagh (36 mins), A Carroll for Kirby (36), R Kelly for E Cuddy (51), J Deegan for Breen (59).

Referee: C Flynn (Westmeath).

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