Clinical Cahillane guides Portlaoise into Leinster final
Portlaoise 5-12 Killoe 0-11
Portlaoise stormed into the Leinster club final after a clinical display against Emmet Óg Killoe in Portlaoise yesterday.
Two goals early in the second half from the brilliant Paul Cahillane ended the game as a contest, as Portlaoise now advance to meet Ballyboden St Enda's in the final.
The Portlaoise full-forward line of Craig Rogers, Brian McCormack and Cahillane did all the damage, as they scored 4-11 of their total between them, giving the Killoe full-back line the run-around.
Killoe, inspired by their vocal travelling support, got the first score in a whirlwind start. Gareth Dillon should have had a goal for Portlaoise within seconds of the throw-in, but his shot was saved, allowing Killoe to break and eventually point through Sean McCormack.
Paul Cahillane replied for Portlaoise with a free, but Killoe were the more impressive side early on, and quickly re-took the lead. Daniel Mimnagh got on the end of a move, and despite coming under pressure, squeezed a shot away and found the target. A minute later, the same player pushed Killoe two ahead, but Portlaoise took control of the game after that.
Paul Cahillane pointed a second free before a pinpoint ball forward from Conor Boyle found Craig Rogers in space. He played a one-two with Conor Dunphy before rolling the ball to the net.
Three minutes later they were in again, as Daniel Keogh lost possession 35 yards out and a few passes later Portlaoise had worked it to Brian McCormack, who finished to the bottom corner.
Killoe had the chance to reply in kind, as Mark Hughes got in on goal, but his shot was brilliantly saved by Graham Brody. Denis McGoldrick did reply for Killoe eventually, but the concession of the goal looked to have rattled them, as they lost possession too softly time and again.
Two points from Craig Rogers pushed the Portlaoise lead out to six points, and already Killoe looked to be in deep trouble.
Sean McCormack and Denis McGoldrick twice narrowed the gap, but both times Portlaoise hit back. Paddy Kiernan's point in the final minute of the half got Killoe within five at the break (2-6 to 0-7).
The Longford champions had cause to be hopeful on the restart after a bright start to the second half. Sean McCormack pointed within seconds of play resuming, and Mark Hughes added another to get them within three.
The joy was short-lived though, as Portlaoise killed the game off after that. Paul Cahillane was at the centre of it, as he struck for two goals in the space of a minute.
The first was from a brilliant ball over the top by Brian Smith, leaving Cahillane with just Cillian Burns to beat. The second came after an intricate passing move ended with Cahillane again one-on-one with the 'keeper, and he finished superbly.
The win was wrapped up when sub Ciaran McEvoy then got their fifth goal with his first touch in the 53rd minute.
SCORERS - Portlaoise: P Cahillane 2-6 (4f), C Rogers 1-3 (2f), B McCormack 1-2, C McEvoy 1-0, B Mulligan 0-1. Killoe: S McCormack 0-5 (3f), D McGoldrick (f), D Mimnagh 0-2 each, P Kiernan, M Hughes 0-1 each.
PORTLAOISE - G Brody; J Delaney, C Healy, D Seale; E Whelan, K Lillis, B Mulligan; C Boyle , D Cullen; C Dunphy, B Smith, G Dillon; C Rogers, P Cahillane, B McCormack. Subs: R Maher for Dunphy (45), C McEvoy for Cullen (52), K Fitzpatrick for Smith (55), D Holland for Rogers (56, BC), C Finn for McCormack (60, inj).
KILLOE - C Burns; L Hughes, P McCormack, D Keogh; S Dowd, M Quinn, C Farrelly; J McCormack, S Kiernan; D McGoldrick, D Mimnagh, P Kiernan; P Thompson, S McCormack, M Hughes. Subs: R McGoldrick for Thompson (h-t), E Clarke for P Kiernan (43), L Moran for D McGoldrick (43), S Clarke for L Hughes (52), R Keogh for Dowd (56)
Ref - N Ward (Westmeath)