James Doyle's 58th-minute goal proved crucial as Carlow beat Laois at Dr Cullen Park, tonight, 1-17 to 1-15.
The prize for the never-say-die winners, who also beat their neighbours in this competition almost a year ago to the day, is a semi-final date with Offaly in four weeks' time.
The flawless finishing of Mark Kavanagh - who hit seven scores before the break - was instrumental in ensuring the losers of a 0-12 to 0-9 interval advantage.
Provincial finalists at minor level three years ago, the O'Moore County had a strong breeze at their backs in the first half and five Kavanagh points - two of them from play - propelled them ahead by 0-5 to 0-2 inside ten minutes. Doyle replied to further Laois efforts from Eoghan Fennelly and Kavanagh as the gap remained at three after 19 minutes, 0-8 o 0-5.
Doyle reduced the arrears to two and Eoin Redmond made it a one-point game. Kevin McDonald, who had clipped over the first two points of the night, knocked over a Carlow free on 23 minutes to halve the deficit (0-9 to 0-8) after Leigh Bergin had drilled over a superb score for the visitors.
Ryan Mullaney made it 0-10 to 0-8 and Doyle hit back only for Laois to finish the first half with two late points from Gavin Dunne and Sean Downey to lead by three at the short whistle.
McDonald frees either side of an Owen Roberts score had the Barrowsiders level within seven minutes of the turnaround but Kavanagh restored the O'Moore advantage, as did Steven Bergin after McDonald has slotted another free. The losers were unlucky halfway through the second half when Andrew Mortimer's goal was chalked out for a square ball.
Yet another McDonald free tied the scores up at fourteen apiece with twelve minutes to play and the visitors weree dealt a hammer blow when Ryan Mullaney received his marching orders for two yellow cards. However, ten minutes from the end, Kavanagh added a stunning goal to his string of points to give the 14 men a 1-14 to 0-14 advantage…
Game over? Not quite... A brilliant Jack Barron save kept Carlow in contention after McDonald (free) had reduced the hosts' arrears to two and it was squeaky bum time when McDonald converted another free five minutes from time. Kavanagh brought his personal haul to 1-9 three minutes from the end but Doyle's 58th-minutee goal had the Barrowsiders back in front when it mattered most, 1-16 to 1-15.
Bergin missed a late attempt to force a draw before Doyle's injury-time point confirmed that Carlow (who also had a man sent off at the death) would join Offaly, Westmeath and either Dublin or Wexford in the last four in the province.
Carlow - J Barron; P Coughlan, G Coady, M Malone; E Redmond (0-1), S Whelan, A Dunne; K McDonald (0-9, 8f), A Amond; J Doyle (1-4), S Brennan (0-1), C Foley; L Galway (0-1), J Kelly, T Joyce. Subs: O Roberts (0-1) for J Kelly, J Whelan for A Amond, J Murphy for A Dunne.
Laois - E Rowland; D Palmer, C Phelan, R Broderick; C McEvoy, L Bergin (0-1), R Mullaney (0-1); G Dunne (0-1), S Downey (0-1); K Duggan, S Bergin (0-1), A Corby; M Kavanagh (1-9, 0-7f), J Lennon, E Fennelly (0-1). Subs: A Mortimer for G Dunne, D Quinlan for E Fennelly, R McEvoy for A Corby, K Freeman for S Downey.
Referee - K Jones.