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23rd May 2024

Offaly supporters invade pitch two minutes before end of Leinster U20 final


There were chaotic scenes in Laois Hire O’Moore Park on Wednesday night at the end of the Leinster U20 hurling final.

Offaly led by six points with the game heading into injury time but a number of their supporters had already made their way pitch-side.

Some supporters encroached onto the field as the game was still ongoing in the 60th minute and then when a ball went out of play, some of those supporters thought that the game was over.

They ran onto the field even though referee Caymon Flynn had not blown his final whistle.

There was confusion for about a minute with the Offaly players, the referee and the stewards telling their supporters to leave the field so that the game could be finished. Eventually, they were cleared off the field and the game re-commenced.

A puck-out was taken and eventually the ball broke to Dublin sub Conn Rock, who scored a goal to leave just three points between the sides. Some of pointed out in the aftermath that had this head-high shot gone five metres to the left or right, the the consequences could have been disastrous.

Dublin won a free from the next ball and the ground filled with tension.

22 May 2024; A Garda walks across the goal line as Dublin goalkeeper Kevin Hogan prepares to puck out the ball in the closing minutes of the Leinster GAA Hurling U20 Championship final match between Dublin and Offaly at Laois Hire O’Moore Park in Portlaoise, Laois. Photo by Ray McManus/Sportsfile

Eventually, the final whistle blew and Offaly had their pitch invasion again after their 1-18 to 1-15 victory.

Adam Screeney was the man-of-the-match in the game as Offaly sealed their second Leinster title in a row. The Kilcormac Killoughey sharpshooter was unerring on the frees and scored a brilliant brace of points from open play.

Offaly captain Dan Bourke very impressive on the night as was Brendan Kenny, who had a sensational game for Dublin scoring 0-3 from play from his role as a sweeper.

Offaly now advance to the All-Ireland final which will take place at the beginning of next month, where they will take on the winners of Friday’s Munster final, between Tipperary and Cork.