EirGrid Leinster Under 20 FC Round 2 Results: Dublin 2-16, Westmeath 1-13; Wexford 3-13, Longford 2-9; Meath 2-11, Kildare 1-13; Laois 1-14, Wicklow 1-13; Carlow 5-11, Louth 3-15
A dramatic afternoon’s action took place in the EirGrid Leinster Under 20 Championship on Bank Holiday Monday, 4th June, with both games in Round 2 won by a single point and Carlow getting the better of Louth by two points in an eight-goal thriller.
The final round of group games takes place on Saturday, 16th June, after which six counties will progress to the knock-out stages. The teams that top Groups 1 and 2 will progress directly to the semi-finals, while the second placed teams in those groups, and the top two teams in Group 3 will contest quarter-finals.
Dublin have a 100% record in Group 1, with a six point victory over Westmeath at Parnell Park. Despite the concession of an early goal by Sean Petit for the visitors, a James Madden goal helped Dublin to a 1-8 to 1-5 interval lead.
Midway through the second half, Sean Bulger netted a second goal for the Dubs and they established a nine point advantage before a strong Westmeath finish cut the gap to six at the final whistle.
In the other Group 1 game, Wexford brought themselves back into contention with a seven point defeat of Longford. Again, the losing team raised the first green flag, through Joe Kelly. But Wexford hit back with goals from Robbie Brooks and Ivan Megan (from a penalty) gave them a 2-4 to 1-5 lead at the break.
In an enjoyable second half, Wexford struck for their third goal through Barry O’Connor in the 42nd minute and second Longford goal from Joe Kelly was not sufficient to inspire a comeback.
Meath trailed Kildare by a point (0-9 to 0-8) at half time in their crucial Group 2 game, but fought back to win by the minimum margin to collect their second brace of points in the championship.
The Lilywhites briefly led by two points early in the second half, but Meath edged in front with a 42nd minute goal from Darragh Campion. Jordan Morris soon followed with a second goal to give the Royal County a 2-10 to 0-11 lead, but a Jimmy Hyland goal threw Kildare a life-line and set up a dramatic closing ten minutes.
Laois hit four goals but still lost by a point in the first round, but recovered from that set back to record a one point win over Wicklow.
The Garden County held a 0-10 to 0-9 interval lead and their confidence grew after an early second half goal from Conor Byrne. At one stage, Wicklow led by four points, only for Laois to hit 1-2 without reply and ultimately edge an exciting duel.
It was yet another pulsating afternoon for Carlow GAA fans, as they defeated Louth by 5-11 to 3-15 to give themselves a great chance of qualifying from Group 3.
Five goals were registered in the first half alone, after which Louth led by 3-7 to 2-8, but three more goals for Carlow ensured it was a happy journey home for them from Drogheda.
EirGrid Leinster Under 20 Football Championship Group 1
Rd 1: Dublin 2-21 Longford 0-11; Westmeath 2-12 Wexford 1-12
Rd 2: Dublin 2-16 Westmeath 1-13; Wexford 3-13 Longford 2-9
Rd 3: Wexford v Dublin (16/6); Longford v Westmeath (16/6)
EirGrid Leinster Under 20 Football Championship Group 2
Rd 1: Meath 6-16 Wicklow 1-9; Kildare 1-17 Laois 4-6
Rd 2: Laois 1-14 Wicklow 1-13; Meath 2-11 Kildare 1-13
Rd 3: Meath v Laois (16/6); Kildare v Wicklow (16/6)
EirGrid Leinster Under 20 Football Championship Group 3
Rd 1: Offaly 2-19 Carlow 1-10
Rd 2: Carlow 5-11 Louth 3-15
Rd 3: Offaly v Louth (16/6)