In tough conditions at O'Connor Park in Tullamore on Wednesday evening, Offaly defeated Laois in the group stages of the Electric Ireland Leinster Minor Football Championship.
The victory came despite Offaly trailing by five at the break after an opening 30 minutes which saw them score just a point. The low score was mainly down to the strong wind they faced.
In the second half, Offaly came alive, outscoring Laois 2-9 to 0-3 to claim their first win of the championship.
"Listen, the conditions were horrific for both teams out there," Offaly manager Roger Ryan told Midlands 103.
"Both teams went at it. Underfoot conditions were heavy, the wind was massive. It was just a matter of battling and trying to stay in it in the first half, keep the score as low as possible, and hope Laois don't get too far ahead.
"10 minutes before the throw-in, we realised that we'd be playing against the breeze. It was a matter of if we have the ball, Laois can't score.
"We just stayed in the game. I think we were five points down at half-time. I was very happy with that. I felt we could have done with a small bit more composure in the first half. These boys are all learning. They're very young. Hopefully, they learn for the next day, and adapt to the conditions a little bit better."
The Offaly goals came via Carney brothers Robert and Fionn from Ballyskenach-Killavilla.
Fionn Carney goal for Offaly vs Laois
Offaly minors put on a strong comeback last night, 0-1 to 0-6 at the break, they scored 2-09 in the second half with the wind to beat Laois by 7 points!
Here is their second goal, scored by Fionn Carney! 🟢⚪️🟡
Watch the full game ➡️ https://t.co/8RTIDVIpju pic.twitter.com/K8Z5CYrRci
— Clubber (@clubber) April 13, 2023
Offaly had lost to Kildare in the opening round but Wednesday's victory puts them in the hunt for a place in the knockout stages. They face Longford, who have lost to both Laois and Kildare, in the final game of the group stages on April 27th.
"On any given night, you don't know what to expect," said Ryan.
"You have to remember that these young men are only 16 or 17 years of age. They have a lot going on in their lives. On any given day, they could turn up different.
"I can't say we'll turn up as composed the next day. It's just the way it goes with them. They're going to be there fighting for starting positions.
"We're back at training on Saturday morning, and we have Longford here in two weeks' time. We're looking forward to hopefully getting a big crowd into O'Connor Park for that game."