Tuesday 20 March 2018

Portlaoise claim remarkable 20-hour double

Portlaoise 0-15 Palatine 1-8

Portlaoise's Eoghan Whelan is challenged by John Reid, Palatine during the AIB Leinster GAA Senior Club Football Championship
Portlaoise's Eoghan Whelan is challenged by John Reid, Palatine during the AIB Leinster GAA Senior Club Football Championship
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Portlaoise capped a memorable weekend in the club's history when they beat Palatine in Netwatch Cullen Park yesterday, just 20 hours after winning the Laois SFC.

The Laois champions played the entire game without Zach Tuohy, who had been so crucial on Saturday, but still held off a stubborn Palatine side to set up a date with Sarsfields of Kildare on November 8.

Portlaoise started brightly, despite the exertions of their county final win the night before, with Craig Rogers unlucky to see a goal chance hit the side-netting. They took the lead in the sixth minute when Brian Glynn popped the ball over the bar from 30 yards out, but Palatine drew level thanks to a free from David Reid.

That set the tone for much of the half, with the scoring tit-for-tat as neither side could really stamp their authority on the game. Palatine took the lead for the first time thanks to a free from Brian Kelly, but Portlaoise wasted little time in restoring parity. Craig Rogers' free landed short and was punched clear of the Palatine penalty area, but it went straight to Paul Cahillane, who slotted it over.

Dean Cullen, who came off injured the night before, restored Portlaoise's lead when he pointed off his left foot, but two excellent frees from Brian Kelly meant Palatine edged themselves back into the lead.

They couldn't hold onto it, though, as Portlaoise finished the half strongly thanks to points from Gareth Dillon and Craig Rogers to see them lead by the minimum at the interval (0-5 to 0-4).

David Reid drew Palatine level within a minute of the restart, and a couple of points apiece meant the scores remained level heading into the last 20 minutes.

When Portlaoise should have been tiring, instead they picked up the pace, and a run of four points without reply put them in control. Reid again hit back for Palatine but two more Portlaoise points kept them in the ascendency.

Palatine were thrown a lifeline when Shane O'Neill fisted to the net with nine minutes left, but Portlaoise held them off to claim a deserved four-point victory.

SCORERS - Portlaoise: P Cahillane 0-5 (4f), B McCormack 0-3, C Rogers 0-2 (1f), C Healy, G Dillon, B Glynn, D Cullen, R Maher 0-1 each. Palatine: D Reid (2f), B Kelly (3f) 0-3 each, S O'Neill 1-0, J Kenny, S Reilly 0-1 each.

PORTLAOISE - G Brody; D Seale, C Healy, P Cotter; E Whelan, K Lillis, B Mulligan; D Cullen, C Boyle; G Dillon, B Smith, B Glynn; B McCormack, C Rogers, P Cahillane. Subs: R Maher for Cullen (41), C Finn for Cotter (41), C McEvoy for Glynn (52), C Dunphy for Boyle (57).

PALATINE - C Kearney; M Rennick, A Murphy, D Kinsella; J Kane, Christopher Crowley, S Reilly; N Reid, D Reid; P Cushen, P Reid, J Reid; T Kenny, B Kelly, J Kenny. Subs: Conor Crowley for Cushen (25), S O'Neill for Kinsella (34, BC), J Byrne for J Kenny (57), L Gordon for Kelly (57).

Ref - A Nolan (Wicklow)

Leinster Club SFC Round 1

Portlaoise stroll to ninth title after ruthless performance

Portlaoise 2-13 Emo 0-7

Portlaoise secured their ninth Laois title in a row after a ruthless demolition of Emo in this replay on Saturday evening.

AFL star Zach Tuohy, who had made such an impact in the drawn game when introduced from the bench for Portlaoise, started this time around, and he again exerted a big influence.

With six minutes on the clock and Portlaoise leading 0-2 to 0-1, Tuohy took a pass from Brian McCormack 20 yards out before bursting into the penalty area and firing a shot to the net.

Portlaoise never looked back after that, as they nullified all of Emo's major threats from the first game. Mick Lawlor, who scored two goals in the drawn game, was bottled up well by Cahir Healy, as Emo failed to score from play in the entire game. Following Tuohy's goal, Portlaoise steadily built a lead, with the post denying Paul Cahillane their second goal before Craig Rogers put them five ahead with a good point.

Cahillane (free), Tuohy and Brian Smith kept Portlaoise on course for victory, before Emo's best goal chance arrived. Nigel Murphy got through on goal, but his low shot was turned onto the post by Graham Brody, and all hope of upset went out the window.

Paul Lawlor pointed two frees before half-time for the challengers, but they had a mountain to climb at the break as they trailed 1-8 to 0-3.

There was no letting up from Portlaoise on the restart, as Brian Smith and Brian McCormack both pointed in the opening three minutes of the half.

Paul Cahillane then finished the game off as a contest in the 39th minute when he jinked his way into the Emo penalty area before drilling the ball to the net.

The rest of the game played out like a training session, much to Portlaoise's relief as they could withdraw players ahead of the date with Palatine the next day.

Things then got worse for Emo late on when corner-back Paddy Dunne suffered a suspected broken ankle, causing an eight-minute stoppage which only delayed the inevitable, as a late Ricky Maher free capped a record ninth title in a row for Portlaoise.

SCORERS - Portlaoise: P Cahillane (2f), Z Tuohy 1-2 each, B Smith 0-4, B McCormack 0-2, C Rogers, C Boyle, R Maher (f) 0-1 each. Emo: P Lawlor 0-5f, D Strong (f), E Costello (f) 0-1 each

PORTLAOISE - G Brody; D Seale, C Healy, P Cotter; E Whelan, K Lillis, B Mulligan; C Boyle, Z Tuohy; B Smith, D Cullen, G Dillon; B McCormack, C Rogers, P Cahillane. Subs: C Finn for Mulligan (42), B Glynn for Boyle (42), R Maher for Rogers (51), C Dunphy for Dillon (54), K Fitzpatrick for McCormack (58), L McGovern for Cahillane (65)

EMO - P Kirwan; S Murphy, S Carney, P Dunne; D Strong, N Wheeler, R Ryan; E Costello, M Carney; D Gorman, N Murphy, B Gorman; G Brophy, M Lawlor, P Lawlor. Subs: F Crowley for D Gorman (28), C Lawlor for B Gorman (45), D Langford for M Lawlor (49), J Coman for P Dunne (54, inj), C Gleeson for M Carney (58), D Whelan for Kirwan (58).

Ref - M Deegan (Stradbally)

Laois SFC final replay

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