Portarlington 1-10 Emo-Courtwood-The Rock 1-6
Laois Shopping Centre MFC ‘A’ Final
For the second time in four years Portarlington are Laois MFC ‘A’ champions following a hard-earned win over Emo-Courtwood-The Rock in O’Moore Park this evening.
They’re a club on the rise and this minor success comes on the back of the same group of players claiming U-17 honours last year.
The St Paul’s juvenile club had dominated their respective age grades at U-14 and U-16 and with back to back to titles at U-16 were an obvious contender for this year’s minor. At minor, the Emo-Courtwood combo were also joined by The Rock. Port, however, had won last year’s U-17 decider so had genuine ambitions of their own coming into this year’s campaign too.
It was the last minor final as U-18 as next year it will revert to U-17. So for one of these sides it was a chance to win the last title in the minor grade as we know it.
On an evening that resembled the start of winter, Portrlington played with the stiff breeze in the first half. But they struggled to make full use of it.
Emo-Courtwood-The Rock took the lead with an early Alan Kinsella free and he and fellow county minor Ronan Coffey would swap points in a slow opening quarter to leave the sides level 0-2 each after 15 minutes.
A nice point from play from Padraig Kirwan put Emo-Courtwood-The Rock one up but Port drew level through Curtis Lyons-Carroll and then hit two points in a row – from centre-back Alex Mohan and wing-forward Warren Carroll – to take the lead for the first time.
Kinsella hit back with a point from play straight away but the last score of the half came from Port joint captain Jordan Fallon. At half-time, Port led 0-6 to 0-4.
And they got a dream start to the second half, Ronan Coffey’s effort for a point dipping at the last moment, hitting the post and ending up in the net. All of a sudden Port were five up.
Kinsella hit back with a free but that was cancelled out again by Coffey. It stayed that way for a good while. Emo-Courtwood-The Rock had plenty of chances but they too found it hard to get to grips with a tricky wind, registering five wides in a row before Coffey ended a long spell without a score with another free.
Warren Carroll and Jack Owens then exchanged fine points from play and Emo-Courtwood-The Rock were thrown a lifeline when Niall Dunne tucked away a penalty after being fouled himself. That came with two minutes remaining though and Port were able to hang on with Coffey bringing his tally to 1-5 with a late free.
SCORERS – Portarlington: Ronan Coffey 1-5 (0-4 frees), Warren Carroll 0-2, Curtis Lyons-Carroll 0-1, Jordan Fallon 0-1, Alex Mohan 0-1. Emo-Courtwood-The Rock: Alan Kinsella 0-4 (three frees), Niall Dunne 1-0 (penalty), Padraig Kirwan 0-1, Jack Owens 0-1
PORTARLINGTON: Sean Mooney; Aaron Heaney, Eoin Kennedy, Michael Bennett; Adam Kirwan, Alex Mohan, Cathal Bennett; Sean-Michael Corcoran, Jordan Fallon; Curtis Lyons-Carroll, Ronan Coffey, Warren Carroll; Colin Slevin, Jordan Fitzpatrick, Jack Whelan. Subs: Darragh Galvin for Whelan (24 mins), Conor McCarthy for Kirwan (Black Card – 50 mins)
EMO-COURTWOOD-THE ROCK: Oisin Keogh; Seamie McEvoy, Liam Crowley, Andrew Flynn; Padraig Kirwan, Sean O’Flynn, Sean O’Neill; Niall Dunne, Niall Gorman; Cian Langford, Jack Owens, Matthew Byron; Cian Doyle, Alan Kinsella, Ned Ryan. Sub: Rory Doyle for Byron (40 mins), Seth Mooney for Ryan (52 mins)
REFEREE: David Moore (St Joseph’s)