Home Sport GAA DJ the hero as Portlaoise claim Feile glory

DJ the hero as Portlaoise claim Feile glory

The Portlaoise team who were crowned U-14 Feile champions this afternoon
The Portlaoise team who were crowned Laois U-14 Feile champions

Portlaoise 1-4 Ballyroan-Abbey 0-4

U-14 ‘A’ Football Feile Final

DJ White kicked 1-2 for Portlaoise as they claimed the U-14 ‘A’ Feile football title in O’Moore Park this afternoon.

In what was a tense affair, with little separating the sides throughout, White’s goal which arrived three minutes in the second half proved decisive.

Both of these teams had run up big scores in winning their respective semi-finals with Portlaoise beating St Pauls and Ballyroan-Abbey getting the better of Portarlington but there were just nine scores in this one with both defences on top.

In saying that, Portlaoise almost had a goal with their first attack. DJ White blasted away from the Portlaoise defence but his shot was brilliantly saved by Finnian Cuddy.

Nevertheless, the first point of the game did come from that attack as Kyle Enright recycled the ball back to White and he scored from the angle.

Aaron Brennan responded with a free for Ballyroan-Abbey but White quickly hit back with one of his own before Portlaoise fashioned a second goal chance only for the excellent Cuddy to deny them once more – this time thwarting Michael Culliton.

Michael Culliton did raise a white flag a short time later but Ballyroan-Abbey ended the half on a high with late points from Alan McWey and Aaron Brennan to send us in level at the break at 0-3 each.

Ballyroan-Abbey took the lead for the first time on the resumption of play through an Aaron Brennan point before the game’s turning point after 23 minutes.

Josh Hogan intercepted the ball in midfield and played it delightfully into the path of White who raced clear before placing a shot in the bottom corner.

Ballyroan-Abbey had the chance to grab a goal of their own two minutes later when Aaron Brennan soloed through the Portlaoise defence but his low shot went agonisingly wide of the far post.

The game was then stopped for ten minutes after a massive collision between Ballyroan-Abbey Shaun Fitzpatrick and Portlaoise’s Joe O’Toole left the latter motionless on the ground.

A stretcher was required to take the wing back off the pitch with a neck brace in place and hopefully he will make a speedy recovery.

Portlaoise went three points clear when play resumed as wing back Sam Birrane popped up with what turned out to be the last score of the game.

Ballyroan-Abbey went in search of the goal that would force extra time but Portlaoise keeper Lee Smyth would not be beaten.

He denied substitutes Darren Mulhall and Colin Byrne and on the one occasion he was beaten, the cross bar came to his aid to deny Odhran Delaney’s fisted effort.

Colin Byrne had one last chance to force the draw but his shot went wide and Portlaoise held on for the win.

SCORERS – Portlaoise: DJ White 1-2, Sam Birrane and Michael Culliton 0-1 each Ballyroan-Abbey: Aaron Brennan 0-3, Alan McWey 0-1

PORTLAOISE: Lee Smyth; Jamie Preston, Jack Tobin, James Conroy, Sam Birrane, Ben Reddin, Joe O’Toole; Brian Smith, Barry Fitzpatrick; Josh Hogan, Kyle Enright, Kieran Walsh; DJ White, Liam Óg Brennan, Michael Culliton. Subs: Ben Dempsey, Jamie O’Callaghan, Richard Whelehan, Colin McEvoy, Darragh Buggie, Harry Whalley, Dylan Cahill, Matthew Delaney, Ross Doyle, Adam Forrestal, Tiernan Hayes, Jason Horan, Mark Kelly, Colm Killeen, Callum McHugh, Peter Naughton, Dara Ramsbottom, Darragh Savage, Darragh Whelan

BALLYROAN-ABBEY: Finnian Cuddy; Killian Byrne, Davin McEvoy, Matthew Gibney; Sam Quinn, Conor McWey, Tiernan Cahill; Aaron Brennan, Shaun Fitzpatrick; Michael O’Connor, Lawson Obular, Munashe Karigombe; Ben McDonald, Odhran Delaney, Alan McWey. Subs: Darren Mulhall, Colin Byrne, Colin Powders, Tally Hassett, Patrick Whelan, Liam Kavanagh, Jack McMahon, Conor Dooley, Ben O’Dea, Darren Cuddy, Bernard O’Dea

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Stradbally native Alan Hartnett is a graduate of Knockbeg College who has worked in the local and national media since 2008. Alan has a BA in Economics, Politics and Law and an MA in Journalism from DCU. His happiest moment was when Jody Dillon scored THAT goal in the Laois senior football final in 2016.