Home Sport GAA Portlaoise display title ambitions by dismantling O’Dempsey’s

Portlaoise display title ambitions by dismantling O’Dempsey’s

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Portlaoise began their SFC campaign with a big win
Portlaoise continue their SFC campaign with a big win

Portlaoise 5-14 O’Dempsey’s 1-14

Laois Shopping Centre Senior Football Championship Round 2

Portlaoise scored 1-8 without reply in a scintillating first half to blow O’Dempsey’s out of the water in the final game in O’Moore Park this evening.

O’Dempsey’s led early on but failed to score for fifteen minutes after the midpoint of the half – a period in which the Town took over.

This game started at a fast pace with three points on the board inside 90 seconds.

The first came from Brian Nugent for O’Dempsey’s after a surging run from Barry Kelly but Portlaoise equalised soon after via Paul Cahillane from in front of the stand.

But Eoin Finlay had O’Dempsey’s back in front before Nugent extended their advantage to two with another spectacular point from distance.

However, Portlaoise had the game’s first goal after five minutes. Paul Cahillane saw off the challenge of two defenders on the endline before crossing the ball into the centre where Ciarán McEvoy side-footed it to the net.

Scott Lawless added a free and the Town led by 1-2 to 0-3 after seven minutes before O’Dempsey’s hit back through Stephen O’Leary.

And the same player landed a second to square the game by the midpoint of the half.

O’Dempsey’s then had three goalbound efforts stopped by Graham Brody. Two from Micheal Finaly and the other, which was the best of the lot, from Conor Meredith who shot low after a strong run by the Portlaoise number one was equal to it.

O’Leary and Cahillane swapped points before Gareth Dillon edged Portlaoise once clear after 18 minutes.

Benny Carroll, Cahillane and Scott Lawless made it five in a row for Portlaoise before they had a second goal.

After some neat passing, Gareth Dillon spotted that Adrian Kelly had wandered to the edge of the square completely unmarked and he played him the ball from which he fired past Eugene Nolan.

Portlaoise were dominating now and Brian McCormack made it 1-7 without reply just before half time with a quickfire brace.

The Town were dominating all over the field now and Conor Dunphy also pointed before O’Dempsey’s finally lifted the siege with a Stephen O’Leary free.

But Cahillane grabbed one more to leave it 2-11 to 0-7 at half time.

The new half continued in the same fashion that the old one ended in. Benny Carroll kicked his second point straight from the throw in and then won the resulting kick-out before laying the ball off to Paul Cahillane who rattled the net.

And it was certainly game over by the 35th minute. A high ball by Kieran Lillis was won by Adrian Kelly and, in a carbon copy of his first goal, he scored.

Brian McCormack then landed a brace to leave the scoreline reading 4-14 to 0-7.

Barry Kelly replied with a point but Portlaoise were then awarded a penalty when Shane Nerney fouled Paul Cahillane and he stepped up to beat Eugene Nolan from the spot.

Stephen O’Leary kicked a brace of frees while Conor Meredith and substitute Darren Fitzpatrick also split the posts as O’Dempsey’s tried to keep their side of the scoreboard ticking.

And they also managed a goal with eight minutes to play. Johnny Kelly turned over the ball and tore upfield before finding Stephen O’Leary who drew his man before playing the ball to Michael Finlay and he rattled the net.

Stephen O’Leary then took his tally to seven points with another free and Peter O’Leary scored another to leave twelve points in it at the finish.

SCORERS – PORTLAOISE: Paul Cahillane 2-4 (0-1 free), Ciarán McEvoy 1-0, Scott Lawless 0-2 (0-1 frees), Gareth Dillon 0-1, Benny Carroll 0-2, Brian McCormack 0-4, Adrian Kelly 2-0 O’DEMPSEY’S: Eoin Finlay 0-1, Brian Nugent 0-2, Stephen O’Leary 0-7 (0-6 frees), Barry Kelly 0-1, Darren Fitzpatrick 0-1, Conor Meredith 0-1, Michael Finlay 1-0, Peter O’Leary 0-1

PORTLAOISE: Graham Brody; Brian Mulligan, Kieran Lillis, David Holland; Chris Finn, Conor Dunphy, Frank Flanagan; Ciarán McEvoy, Adrian Kelly; Conor Boyle, Benny Carroll, Gareth Dillon; Paul Cahillane, Scott Lawless, Brian McCormack. Subs: Ricky Maher for Cahillane (39mins), Dean Cullen for Dillon (43mins), Shane Smyth for McEvoy (47mins), John Kavanagh for Lawless (50mins), Kevin Fitzpatrick for Dunphy (51mins)

O’DEMPSEY’S: Eugene Nolan; Tommy Kehoe, Cormac O’Hora, Shane Nerney; Robbie Kehoe, Johnny Kelly, Barry Kelly; Rory Bracken, Eoin Finlay; Micheál Finlay, Brian Nugent, Matthew Finlay; Stephen O’Leary, Peter O’Leary, Conor Meredith. Subs: Bobby Sweeney for Matthew Finlay (10mins, inj), Darren Fitzpatrick for Eoin Finlay (39mins), Richard Whelehan for Sweeney (44mins)

Referee: John Flynn (The Rock)