Laois are back in the Leinster final after a convincing 0-12 to 0-8 win over Carlow today in Croke Park. They will face the winners of Dublin and Longford in the other semi-final.
It was a deserved victory for John Sugrue's side, who led for the entire game. At half-time the score was 0-6 to 0-3 and Carlow looked blunt going forward. However, they rallied at the start of the second half and strong running from wing-back Jordan Morrissey repeatedly drew fouls and opportunities for Paul Broderick. 17 minutes into the second half, Carlow were back within a point.
Then Sugrue rolled the dice and introduced Evan O'Carroll for Ross Munnelly. Munnelly had been given his fill of it by Chris Crowley and his side needed fresh legs to target inside. The people of Laois were unsure if O'Carroll would even tog today due to the untimely death of his father, Michael, earlier in the week.
O'Carroll was the spark Laois needed to come back into the game. Immediately the UCD youngster's movement posed questions of the Carlow full-back line and he was dragged down. Donie Kingston converted the straightforward free. Two minutes later O'Carroll again was out in front and once more won a free which Kingston added.
With the last kick of the game, O'Carroll added a point of his own to cap an outstanding impact from the bench.
Evan O'Carroll, who sadly lost his dad this week, kicks the last point as Laois reach the Leinster Final. Lovely moment
— Will O'Callaghan (@willocallaghan) June 10, 2018
Hats off to Evan O'Carroll , some courage after a terrible loss.#Laois
— Peter Gray Jnr (@GrayJnr) June 10, 2018
Leinster Senior Football Final here we come. We face the winners of Dublin and Longford in the 2018 final. pic.twitter.com/TnlDAhZt6A
— Laois GAA (@CLGLaois) June 10, 2018
As for Laois, they were full value for their win and can look forward to their first Leinster final appearance since 2007.