Home Sport GAA Graiguecullen dent O’Dempsey’s league final aspirations

Graiguecullen dent O’Dempsey’s league final aspirations

A big win for Graiguecullen tonight
A big win for Graiguecullen tonight

Graiguecullen 2-12 O’Dempsey’s 1-8

ACFL Division 1A

Graiguecullen dented O’Dempsey’s aspirations of reaching the ACFL Division 1A final after they inflicted a seven point defeat upon them in Fr Maher Park tonight.

Pádraig Clancy’s charges came into the game after playing out a thrilling draw with league leaders St Joseph’s but they went one better tonight against the team in second place.

Despite the loss O’Dempsey’s remain second but the gap between them and Portlaoise could be just one point if The Town can get the better of St Joseph’s on Monday night.

O’Dempsey’s made a brilliant start to this one however, and found themselves 1-2 to no score up after five minutes.

Robbie Kehoe and Bryan Nugent raised the first white flags of the evening either side of a Matthew Finlay goal to give O’Dempsey’s a dream start.

O’Dempsey’s only managed one more Nugent point in the fifteen minutes that followed as Graiguecullen built up a lead they wouldn’t relinquish.

Keeper Danny Bolger began the comeback by converting three frees while Luke Alsybury, Shane O’Neill and Danny O’Reilly all chipped in with further points before Brian Byrne notched the home team’s first goal.

Johnny Kelly narrowed the gap to one with a brace but Graiguecullen ended the half on a high as Paul Mulready rammed home their second goal to leave them 2-6 to 1-5 in front at the break.

Chris Hurley and Danny Bolger moved Graiguecullen six clear on the resumption of play and O’Dempsey’s were dealt a further blow after 41 minutes when Darren Finlay received a straight red card.

But the visitors were given a brilliant chance to get back into the tie when they were awarded a penalty at the midpoint of the half but Conor Meredith sent the spot kick wide.

Eoin Finlay, Bryan Nugent and Robbie Kehoe all managed to score points for O’Dempsey’s before the finish but it was all in vein as Graiguecullen saw out their win with late scores from Brian Byrne, Danny O’Reilly and Chris Hurley.

Next up for O’Dempsey’s is a home tie against Stradbally, who’s outside chances of reaching a league semi-final ended tonight when they were beaten by The Heath.

While O’Dempsey’s will be hoping for a favour from Graiguecullen in their next game as they will take on Portlaoise.

SCORERS – GRAIGUECULLEN: Brian Byrne 1-2 (0-1 free), Danny Bolger 0-4 frees, Paul Mulready 1-0, Danny O’Reilly and Chris Hurley 0-2 each, Luke Alsybury and Shane O’Neill 0-1 each O’DEMPSEY’S: Bryan Nugent 0-3 (0-1 free), Matthew Finlay 1-0, Robbie Kehoe and Johnny Kelly 0-2 each, Eoin Finlay 0-1

GRAIGUECULLEN: Danny Bolger; Martin Doyle, Bobby Doyle, Seán Farrell; Wayne Humphries, Jimmy Bolton, Luke Alsybury; Ian Fleming, Paul Mulready; Jamie Sheehan, Danny O’Reilly, Chris Hurley; Brian Byrne, Shane O’Neill, Danny Alsybury.

O’DEMPSEY’S: Pádraig Bannon; Cormac O’Hora, Peter O’Leary, Tommy Kehoe; Richard Whelehan, Shane Nurney, Robbie Kehoe; Conor Meredith, Rory Bracken; Matthew Finlay, Bryan Nugent, Barry Kelly; Darren Finlay, Eoin Finlay, Johnny Kelly. Subs: Eugene Nolan for Bracken (41mins), Eoin Cunnigham for Kelly (48mins)

Referee: Seamus Mulhare (The Heath)

READ ALSO – All of Thursday night’s Laois GAA results