Portarlington 2-16 Stradbally Parish Gaels 1-6
Laois Shopping Centre Minor Football Championship Semi-Final
Minor League winners Portarlington are one step away from completing a league and championship double following a 13 point win over Stradbally Parish Gaels in Ratheniska tonight.
Centre forward Ronan Coffey was Portarlington’s main man as he kicked nine points – eight of which arrived in the second half.
Portarlington came into the game as favourites and went nine points ahead at one stage in the first half.
But the Gaels rallied to reduce the margin to four at half time and had chances to narrow it further only for some poor wides at crucial times.
The game began well for the Gaels as some strong running from Elliott Scully resulted in him being fouled with Mark O’Connell converting the resulting free.
However, Portarlington responded in devastating fashion. They turned the Gaels over in their own half with Ronan Coffey finding Jordan Fallon on the edge of the square who popped it off to Warren Carroll and he rattled the net.
Alex Mohan, Colin Slevin and Seán Michael Corcoran all raised white flags before Portarlington’s second goal arrived after 13 minutes.
Ronan Coffey was again the architect as he picked out the explosive Jordan Fitzpatrick who burst past Colm Clancy before smashing the ball into the top corner.
Portarlington almost had a third goal but Colin Slevin’s thunderbolt was diverted onto the post by the finger tips of Gaels’ keeper Simon Hartnett.
Coffey then kicked his first point before Damien McCaul finally lifted the siege with a free which sparked a revival.
Stradbally Parish Gaels had their first goal when Elliott Scully cut inside Mikey Bennett and cracked a shot which came back off the post and the ball fell to Mark O’Connell who tucked it into the net.
The same player kicked two more frees for the Gaels before half time either side of a Colin Slevin score for Portarlington to leave the score reading 2-5 to 1-4 at half time.
Stradbally Parish Gaels had opportunities to cut the deficit on the resumption of play but they failed to take them and Portarlington made them pay.
Colin Slevin kicked the first point of the half for Portarlington before the excellent Ronan Coffey slotted five on the trot to leave nine between the teams.
The Gaels kept trying and they almost had a second goal when Colum Dunne forced the ball out to Damien McCaul but his shot was saved by Seán Mooney.
Charlie O’Brien and Dunne slotted a point each for the Gaels to leave seven between them as we entered the final quarter – but they failed to score again.
Colin Slevin, Darragh Galvin and Curtis Lyons added further point for Portarlington as the excellent Ronan Coffey fired over two more frees before the finish.
Portarlington will now face Emo-Courtwood-The Rock in a repeat of last year’s U-17 final – where Portarlington will be hoping for a similar result.
SCORERS – PORTARLINGTON: Ronan Coffey 0-9 (0-5 frees), Warren Carroll and Jordan Fitzpatrick 1-0 each, Colin Slevin 0-3, Alex Mohan, Sean Michael Corcoran, Curtis Lyons and Darragh Galvin 0-1 each STRADBALLY PARISH GAELS: Mark O’Connell 1-3 (0-3 frees), Damien McCaul, Colum Dunne and Charlie O’Brien 0-1 each
PORTARLINGTON: Seán Mooney; Aaron Heaney, Eoin Kennedy, Mikey Bennett; Adam Kirwan, Alex Mohan, Cathal Bennett; Seán Michael Corcoran, Jordan Fallon; Curtis Lyons, Ronan Coffey, Graham Byrne; Colin Slevin, Jordan Fitzpatrick, Warren Carroll. Subs: Darragh Galvin for Byrne (14mins), Conor McCarthy for M Bennett (55mins)
STRADBALLY PARISH GAELS: Simon Hartnett; Graham Devitt, Colm Clancy, Ronan Stapleton; Jack Langton, Killian Horgan, Ronan Maher; Kilian Mcgannon; Cormac Deegan, Charlie O’Brien, Elliott Scully; Cathal Hewitt, Damien McCaul, Mark O’Connell. Subs: Eamonn Delaney for Devitt (16mins), Ciarán O’Neill for O’Brien (46mins), Darren Robinson for Hewitt (57mins), Conor Donlon for Maher (57mins), Tadhg Murray for Stapleton (59mins), Daniel Bowe for Deegan (59mins)
Referee: John Flynn (The Rock)
SEE ALSO – Emo-Courtwood-The Rock book minor final spot