The Rock 1-9 Barrowhouse 0-9
Laois Shopping Centre IFC Round 2 Qualifier
Six points from Aaron Dowling helped The Rock book their place in the Laois IFC quarter-final as they got the better of Barrowhouse in Stradbally this evening.
The Rock had pushed Courtwood all the way in their opening round game while Barrowhouse paid the price for a very poor first-half showing against Portlaoise.
The prize for the winners was a route back into the championship but for the losers their season will hinge on a relegation playoff. Barrowhouse will now play the losers of Timahoe or Annanough to see who makes the drop to Junior in 2018.
Barrowhouse were again slow to start here, falling 1-3 to no score after just 13 minutes, The Rock’s goal coming from the long-serving Tom McDonald while Aaron Dowling kicked two points and Kieran Carroll added another.
James Baldwin eventually got Barrowhouse off the mark in the 15th minute with a point from play and although Dowling hit back with two more for The Rock, Barrowhouse would outscore their opponents by 0-4 to 0-1 in the lead-up to half-time. Martin Murphy, Eric Mackey, Luke Malone and Michael Langton all pointed but a Stephen Conlon effort ensured The Rock led by 1-6 to 0-5 at the break.
Eric Mackey got the first of his four second-half points shortly after the restart but Barrowhouse could never get any closer than two points. The Rock would only score three points in the second half – two more from Dowling and another from Carroll – but Barrowhouse couldn’t get the goal the needed and The Rock held on.
They now go forward to a quarter-final in two weeks time where they will play Emo, Portlaoise or Rosenallis.
For Barrowhouse, it’s a relegation final for the second year running.
SCORERS – The Rock: Aaron Dowling 0-6 (two frees), Tom McDonald 1-0, Kieran Carroll 0-2 (one free), Stephen Conlon 0-1. Barrowhouse: Eric Mackey 0-5 (two frees), James Baldwin, Martin Murphy, Michael Langton and Luke Malone each
THE ROCK: Conor Allen; Paul Allen, Brendan Murphy, Conor Flynn; Anavil Storey, Kieran Conroy, Kieran Carroll; Brian Conlon, Philip Peake; Diarmuid Dooley, Shane O’Connell, Stephen McDonald; Stephen Conlon, Tom McDonald, Aaron Dowling
BARROWHOUSE: Darragh Phelan; Theo McDonald, Tom Paige, Denis Brophy; Andrew Baldwin, Joe Murphy, Michael Langton; Luke Malone, Martin Murphy; Neal O’Shaughnessy, Eric Mackey, James Brennan; Brian Malone, James Baldwin, Stevie Langton.
REFEREE: Vincent Dowling (O’Dempsey’s)
SEE ALSO – Junior ‘B’ football glory for Errill