Emo 2-13 Portlaoise 1-11
Laois Shopping Centre IFC Round 2
Championship favourites Emo marched into the Laois IFC semi-finals this evening following a five-point win over Portlaoise in Mountmellick.
The win means Emo are into the last four with Portlaoise reverting to a quarter-final meeting with The Rock in two weeks time.
Player-manager Paul Lawlor got Emo off the mark early on but Craig Rogers and Ronan McEvoy responded before points from Evan Costello and Nigel Murphy and a goal from Costello had Emo 1-3 to 0-2 up after 14 minutes.
Portlaoise responded well with a McEvoy adding another point and the Aaron Rafter getting in for a goal to level things up again. Yet we had the game’s third goal soon after – Nigel Murphy coming up from wing-back to strike for his third championship goal in two games.
Cian Langford added a point but Portlaoise hit the next three points – two from Ronan McEvoy and one from Rogers. An Evan Costello free, however, was the last score of the half and Emo led 2-5 to 1-6 at the break.
Points from McEvoy and Rogers had Portlaoise level early in the second half but Emo went back ahead after points from Paul Lawlor and Chris Gleeson, the second could have been a goal after great build-up play from Strong and Costello.
Emo would stay ahead from there on. Portlaoise could manage only three more points, all from frees, as two Darren Strong points from play as well as frees from Costello (two), Lawlor and Cian Langford saw Emo home.
Portlaoise’s Colin Finn and Emo’s Evan Costello were given their marching orders late on but by then the game was already up.
SCORERS – Emo: Evan Costello 1-4 (0-3 frees), Paul Lawlor 0-3 (one free), Nigel Murphy 1-1, Cian Langford 0-2, Darren Strong 0-2, Chris Gleeson 0-1. Portlaoise: Ronan McEvoy 0-5, Craig Rogers 0-5 (four frees), Aaron Rafter 1-0, Martin Staunton 0-1 (free)
EMO: David Whelan; Liam Crowley, James O’Rourke, Ian Fennelly; Nigel Murphy, Finbarr Crowley, Pádraig Kirwan; Darren Strong, Marc Carney; Cian Langford, Shane Murphy, Chris Gleeson; David Gorman, Paul Lawlor, Evan Costello. Subs: Paddy Dunne for Fennelly (41 mins), Dylan Lalor for Gorman (41 mins), Brian Gorman for Carney (43 mins)
PORTLAOISE: Michael Nolan; Darragh McAuley, Colin Finn, Fintan Walsh; Paddy Downey, Jack Browne, Oisin Fitzpatrick; Craig Scully, Ronan Molloy; Ronan McEvoy, Craig Rogers, Liam McGovern; Jason Maher, Martin Staunton, Aaron Rafter. Subs: Aindle Macgearailt for McGovern (Black Card – 53 mins), Ray Nerney for Downey (55 mins)
REFEREE: Clifford Ward (Portarlington)
SEE ALSO – All of this evening’s Laois GAA results