Leinster Under-20 Football Development League
By Kieran Murphy
THE purists (or maybe those who just want to be argumentative) say a genuine hat-trick is the achievement of scoring three goals in succession so if that is the case Laois corner forward, Jack Owens, did this on Thursday at Crettyard in the Leinster Under-20 Football Development League game.
He will hardly be presented with the match ball but the Emo corner forward actually accounted for 3-1 which was the sum total of the Laois scores in the opening 11 minutes. His intervention was needed as Wexford had started well with Jamie Myler and Michael Molloy nudging the visitors ahead with a point each.
Two of the Owens goals were screamers into the bottom left hand corner of the net and the third was a routine strike after he took the pass from Jack Lacey.
Wexford never recovered. On 15 minutes Diarmuid Whelan added a fourth goal and with Michael Doran and Daniel McCormack also raising green flags the home team led 6-5 to 0-5 at the interval. Jamie Myler was by far Wexford’s best performer landing all but one of his side’s points in the half.
There was no let-up from Laois in the third quarter. Right from the throw-in Eoin Dunne pointed from play. More scores eventually came with Whelan netting once more.
The eventual winners could have scored ten if they had so put their mind down to it. Instead, while they kept a fair degree of pressure on the opponents, they lost interest. Who could blame them.
The Model County did regain respectability with Myler leading the way. His goal was more opportunist when his shot from distance was contested by the Laois goalkeeper and a forward backing in on him. Even if another Wexford player got a touch Myler was entitled to claim the goal as the ball never moved off the trajectory set by the centre-forward.
It was small beer. Michael Doran and Michael Dempsey accounted for the final two points of the game for Laois.
LAOIS: Niall Gorman (Emo); Kevin Byrne (Ballylinan), Seamus Lacey (Ballylinan), Alex Mohane (Portarlington); Jack Lacey (St Joseph’s), Colin Slevin (Portarlington), Dean Brophy (St Joseph’s); Robert Tyrell (0-1, Camross), Eoin Dunne (0-5, 0-2fs, Rosenallis); Niall Dunne (Courtwood), Michael Doran (1-3, Killeshin), Ronan Coffey (Portarlington); Jack Owens (3-1, Emo), Daniel McCormack (1-0, O’Dempsey’s), Diarmuid Whelan (2-2, Ballyroan Abbey).
Subs: Jason Maher (Portlaoise) for Owens (38m), Michael Dempsey (0-1, St Joseph’s) for Coffey (38m), Killian Horgan (0-1, Annanough for Slevin (43m), Ross Brennan (Portlaoise) for Lacey (46m), Paddy Walsh (Killeshin) for Whelan (49m), Tom Kelly (0-1, O’Dempsey’s) for Dunne (50m)
WEXFORD: Darragh Rochford; Liam O’Connor, Cathal Kirwan, Jack O’Leary; Enda Minogue, Ben Maddock, Byron Byrne; Paudie Hughes, Aaron Breen; Gavin Sheehan, Jamie Myler (1-6, 0-1 ’45, 0-2fs), Sean Nolan (0-2); Michael Molloy (0-2, 0-1f), Sean Forde, Dylan McVeigh.
Subs: Dean Doyle (0-1) for Breen (36m), Adam Hogan for Forde (36m), Peter Kelly for O’Leary (36m), Eoghan Herlihy for O’Connor (46m), Conor Kehoe for Molloy (54m)
Referee: John Hickey (Carlow)