Laois 0-10 Kilkenny 5-21
Senior star Adrian Mullen scored two goals to help DJ Carey's Kilkenny U-20 side to a big win over Laois in their Leinster U20 HC quarter-final at O'Moore Park
The Ballyhale Shamrocks youngster will be part of Brian Cody's senior side that take on Wexford in Sunday's Leinster final and he got a goal in either half this evening as they had 26 points to spare at the final whistle.
Kilkenny got the game's first three points with Niall Brassil landing a brace and Eoin O’Shea hitting another as a nervous looking Laois hit three wides.
Padraig Delaney finally opened Laois’s account after ten minutes and while Kilkenny senior Adrian Mullen hit another, Camross’ Eoin Gaughan landed two points to cut the margin to one after 11 minutes.
Laois were really competing well now with Gaughan, Ciaran Comerford and Brandon McGinley winning plenty of ball in the air.
But they were rattled after 12 minutes when James Bergin blasted through the Laois defence to score the game’s opening goal.
Laois responded through James Keyes but the ball was in the Laois net again after 19 minutes with Adrian Mullen cutting them open again to beat keeper Paudie McDonald from a tight angle.
In fairness to Laois though they stuck to their task well for the remainder of the half as Eoin Gaughan kept their side of the scoreboard ticking – but so too did Niall Brassil as Kilkenny took a 2-8 to 0-6 lead into the break.
Laois started the second well with a Diarmuid Conway point and then almost had a goal when, with keeper Dean Mason beaten, Conor Cosgrove’s shot just went wide.
Gaughan hit another free but Kilkenny resumed control as Niall Brassil and Evan Shefflin pointed before they got a rather fortuitous third goal with 45 minutes on the clock.
A long range Niall Brassil shot came back off the crossbar where Adrian Mullen was on hand to smash the ball into the top corner of the net.
Eoin O’Shea, Brassil and Stephen Donnelly and sub Aaron Brennan extended Kilkenny’s lead while a Joe Bergin point tried to keep Laois in touch but the game really got away from them from here.
Kilkenny got two more goals through Stephen Donnelly and substitute Sean Ryan while they fired over a flurry of points to leave 26 between them at the finish.
Kilkenny now go forward to a Leinster semi-final meeting with Galway.
Laois: Paudie McDonald; John Maher, Ryan Murphy, Liam Senior; Padraig Dunne, Padraig Delaney (0-01,1f), Allan Connolly; James Keyes (0-01), Diarmuid Conway (0-01); Eoin Gaughan (0-06, 4f), Daniel Comerford, Ciaran Comerford; Brandon McGinley, Conor Cosgrove, Joe Phelan (0-01).
Subs: Eoin Dowling for D Comerford (ht), Mark Hennessy for Cosgrove (40), Cormac Rigney for McGinley and Oisin Bennett for Connolly (52), Thep Fitzpatrick for Maher (57)
Kilkenny: Dean Mason; Tommy Ronan, Conor Flynn, Mikey Butler; Conor Heary, Michael Carey, David Blanchfield (0-01); John Dowd, Evan Shefflin (0-03); Eoin O’Shea (0-02), Niall Brassil (0-07, 5f), Adrian Mullen (2-00); Stephen Donnelly (1-01), James Bergin (1-00), Eoin Cody (0-04).
Subs: Aaron Brennan (0-01) for Dowd (42), Ciaran Brennan (0-01) for Bergin (49), Sean Ryan (1-00) for Mullen (51), James Brennan for Heary (53), Jordan Molloy (0-01) for O’Shea (54)
Referee: Richie Fitzsimons (Offaly)