Meredith hat-trick sinks Carlow

July 15, 2007
Laois regained the Leinster MFC at Carlow's expense thanks to a stunning hat-trick of Croke Park goals from Conor Meredith. Match-winner Meredith netted three times in the opening half and finished the 2007 Leinster minor football championship decider with 3-1 to his name, propelling the O'Moore County to a narrow 3-8 to 1-12 victory over their gritty neighbours. The Scallion Eaters were appearing in their first-ever provincial decider thanks to superb victories over Wexford, Meath, Westmeath and Louth. And they would have been celebrating a historic breakthrough but for Meredith's uncanny finishing. The first two points of the match were shared before O'Dempsey's clubman Meredith eluded two defenders to slide a low shot past advancing Carlow 'keeper Pat Hughes. He then turned provider, placing Brian Smyth for the winners' third point. Denis Murphy's eleventh-minute point for the Tricolours was cancelled out by a Zach Tuohy effort at the end of a lung-bursting solo run from left half back. Meredith calmly slotted home a 20th-minute penalty and he struck again two minutes from the break to give Laois a nine-point interval cushion. Cormac Mullins drove a Carlow penalty over the bar ten minutes after the resumption but the underdogs continued to battle and gradually ate into the deficit. Jordan Lowry got their goal following a ricochet off the crossbar and the Carlow pressure was intense in the closing stages. But Laois had done enough in the first half and just about held on for a great win.

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