Compiled by Daragh Ó Conchúir
THREE goals in eight second-half minutes propelled Laois to a first ever All-Ireland Minor B Championship, getting the better of Limerick by 4-6 to 2-5 in the replayed decider at MacDonagh Park.
That there were two evenly-matched squads was evident in more than two hours of action but the three-goal riposte, after conceding two themselves each side of the interval, proved decisive in the end.
Conditions were much kinder for the players and supporters who returned to Nenagh and once more they were treated to an entertaining affair.
Katie Carroll opened the scoring for Limerick with a fifth-minute point but Laois got the perfect settler via a goal from Kirsten Keenan five minutes later, the towering full-forward making a spectacular catch before supplying a resounding finish.
Limerick appeared undaunted and were quickly level, thanks to points from Sinéad McElligott and Iris Kenneally.
Whereas the drawn encounter seven days previously was heavily influenced by a strong gale that made it the proverbial game of two halves, this encounter contained more ebbs and flows and Laois hit back with a brace of Alice Walshe points, and one more from Keenan to make it double scores.
By the time referee, Fintan McNamara blew the short whistle for half time, parity had been restored once more however, the Clare official awarding a penalty for a foul on the threatening McElligott after 27 minutes from which Enya Harrington sent the Laois net billowing, leaving it 1-3 each at the change of ends.
Robert Jones would have been looking for his troops to get a good start to the second half after the shock of the penalty concession but they were rocked back on their heels further when Orlaith Kelleher goaled two minutes after the restart, after being placed brilliantly by Shauna Foley.
Clodagh Tynan struck the equaliser in the drawn encounter and her point was a key score in terms of infusing the midlanders with renewed belief.
Within four minutes, they had added two goals to move four points clear. The first came as Eireann Cole moved in on the rebound after Limerick goalkeeper Sarah Gillane blocked Walshe’s delivery.
Tynan registered the third major 40 seconds later, her shot from distance going directly to the net, and it got better for Laois as Shona Jones’s magnificent half-volley left Gillane with no chance.
Now leading by eight, Laois could even afford to lose their own netminder Aedín Lowry in the 52nd minute, after the Camross player was sent off for a second bookable offence that prevented a Limerick goal.
Aimee Collier took up the vacancy between the posts and with her defensive colleagues in unyielding mood, there was no way back for Limerick.