Borris-Kilcotton 2-10 Rathdowney-Errill 0-12
Laois Shopping Centre ACHL Division 1
Two quick-fire goals before half-time made all the difference here as Borris-Kilcotton got the better of Rathdowney-Errill in Errill this evening to put themselves in the driving seat for a league semi-final place.
This was the first time for these two teams to meet since last year’s epic county final draw and replay but the only real similarity was that Borris-Kilcotton came out on top here.
Both teams were without their county contingent and a handful of of other regulars too and while the first half was ultra competive and a good battle, a massive shower of rain at half time seemed to knock the best out of the game. The scoring was slow throughout the second half with the teams only managing eight points between them. In the end Borris had enough, as five second-half frees got them over the line.
Early points from James Ryan and the lively John Purcell got Rathdowney-Errill off to a good start but an excellent long-range sideline cut from Daire Quinlan and a nice effort from play from Willie Whelan had the sides level after ten minutes.
Mark Treacy and Tadhg Dowling pointed to put Rathdowney-Errill 0-4 to 0-2 ahead. Stephen Dunphy and Enda Meagher (free) traded points before Dunphy (free) and Conor Kilbane added two more to leave the sides 0-5 apiece.
Rathdowney-Errill hit the next three points – a fine effort from play from Purcell, a Meagher free and another Dowling effort after a cross-field ball from Mark Treacy.
An excellent goal from Willie Whelan after a pass from Stephen Dunphy tied things up again and although Rathdowney-Errill responded immediately thanks to a Paddy Meade point that went over after hitting the cross bar, Borris-Kilcotton went into the lead for the first time when Emmet Jones fired a brilliant effort past Noel Brennan. Borris-Kilcotton had played second fiddle for most of the first half but they led 2-5 to 0-9 at the break.
The heavens opened at half time and with Borris-Kilcotton in the dressing rooms and Rathdowney-Errill on the pitch, it seemed as if that nearly made the difference.
In a poor enough second half, Stephen Dunphy pointed four frees and Eoin Fleming got another from half way. Rathdowney-Errill never really threatened and all they could muster was two points from Enda Meagher and one from Tadhg Dowling.
With Clough-Ballacolla guaranteed top spot and a place in the final, the battle is for the two semi-final positions. With eight points Borris-Kilcotton are in pole position but Camross can move on to eight with a win over Portlaoise on Friday night while Abbeyleix would move to seven if they beat Castletown.
Next week’s final round of games sees Camross play Clough-Ballacolla, Borris-Kilcotton meet Ballinakill, Rathdowney-Errill face Abbeyleix and Portlaoise clash with Castletown.
SCORERS – Borris-Kilcotton: Stephen Dunphy 0-6 (five frees), Willie Whelan 1-1, Emmet Jones 1-0, Eoin Fleming (free), Daire Quinlan (sideline cut) and Conor Kilbane 0-1 each; Rathdowney-Errill: Enda Meagher 0-4 (three frees), Tadhg Dowling 0-3, John Purcell 0-2, Mark Treacy, Paddy Meade and James Ryan 0-1 each
BORRIS-KILCOTTON: Eoin Fleming; Noel Delaney, Stephen Finan, Bill Meade; Jim Fitzpatrick, Brian Stapleton, Ben Quinlan; Danny Fitzpatrick, Conor Kilbane; Stephen Dunphy, Willie Whelan, Chris Jones; Emmet Jones, Stephen Campion, Daire Quinlan. Subs: Dean Carey for Whelan (53 mins)
RATHDOWNEY-ERRILL: Noel Brennan; Jimmy Corrigan, Brian Campion, Alan Delaney; Liam O’Connell, Joe Fitzpatrick, John Keane; Shane Dollard, Paddy Meade; Tadhg Dowling, Enda Meagher, James Ryan; Mark Treacy, John Purcell, Jordan Kavanagh.
REFEREE: John Lalor (Shanahoe)