Louth Under-21s set up a Cadburys Leinster U12 Championship final showdown with Dublin after overcoming Offaly on a 0-10 to 0-8 scoreline in Navan on Wednesday night.
It was backs to the wall for the last 25 minutes, even backsides to the wind, if you will - but with some heroic last gasp defending Louth managed to resist a ferocious second half onslaught from Offaly to reach their first Leinster final in 16 years at this level.
To use a well worn sporting cliché – it was a game of two halves. The Wee County ultimately won the game in the first half as they pummeled a nervous looking Offaly with a series of unanswered scores.
Offaly will be haunted for a long time by the misses and chances that went a begging in both halves.
Yet the men from the Faithful County did more than their fair share to make the second half a thrilling period, with substitute Peter Cunningham kicking some classy scores to claw Offaly back into contention.
But Colin Kelly’s young guns displayed the kind of grit and determination near the end which can make provincial champions.
LOUTH: Joe Flanagan, Ciaran Murray, Dermot Campbell, Tiernan Hand, Michael McKeown, Patrick Reilly, Anthony Williams, Eoin O’Connor, Shane O’Hanlon, Ruairi Moore, Cathal Bellew, Peter Kirwan, Ben Rogan, William Woods, Barry Hamilton. Subs: Eoin Duffy for M McKeown, 38 mins; Brian Berrill for B Hamilton, 50 mins; Eamonn O’Neill for P Kirwan, 55 mins. Booked: W Woods, 7 mins; A Williams, 24 mins; T Hand, 28 mins; E O’Connor, 28 mins; E Duffy, 39 mins; R Moore, 42 mins. Sent off: R Moore, 59 mins.
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