Home Sport GAA Graiguecullen turn on the style in second half to see off The...

Graiguecullen turn on the style in second half to see off The Heath

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

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Graiguecullen 0-10 The Heath 0-8

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Graiguecullen are through to the quarter-finals of the Laois SFC following a strong second-half showing against The Heath in O’Moore Park this evening.

It had looked bad for Graigue for long stages but the introduction of Aaron Forbes in the 40th minute, along a big lift in performance levels saw them outscore The Heath by 0-6 to 0-1 in the final 20 minutes.

The Heath had beaten reigning champions Stradbally in the opening round but they still came into this game as underdogs against a Graiguecullen side with plenty of potential and an up-and-coming manager in Padraig Clancy.

Veteran Eoin Delaney – who had tortured Stradbally in the opening round – again won a mountain of ball for The Heath in the full-forward line again. Both sides missed numerous early chances, The Heath wasting two good frees and Graigue seeing a goal chance coming back off the post.

A Brian Ging point got The Heath off the mark in the sixth minute and although Ian Fleming responded with a free, three in a row from the impressive Daithi Carroll had The Heath 0-4 to 0-1 up after 20 minutes.

Delaney popped over a point after Graigue keeper Ger Kieran had denied Andrew Booth and Carroll and Fleming swapped frees late in the half to leave The Heath leading 0-6 to 0-2 at the break.

A Ross Hennessy free got Graigue off the mark early in the second half but Daithi Carroll cancelled it out immediately at the other end in a move that had started with a fine Robert Dowling mark, one of many good clean catches he made over the course of the game.

The introduction of Aaron Forbes finally woke Graigue from their slumber. Ambrose DForan got a brilliant point from play and then Brian Byrne, Ian Fleming (free) and Doran again had them level by the 47th minute. While it was all Graigue at this stage, The Heath lifted the siege, with Andrew Booth doing brilliantly to set Mark Dunne up for a point. Indeed it could have been a goal.

In an immediate response, Graigue went in search of goal but Ross Hennnesy’s shot came back off the crossbar and then Forbes saw his goal shot hit the post. They’d be ahead soon enough though thanks to two Ian Fleming frees in succession, both of them hotly disputed by The Heath. Mark Timmons then came up with a brilliant point. Suddenly Graigue were two up.

Referee Eddie Kinsella played four minutes of injury time but The Heath couldn’t conjure up the goal they needed.

SCORERS – Graiguecullen: Ian Fleming 0-5 (all frees), Ambrose Doran 0-2, Ross Hennessy (free), Brian Byrne, Mark Timmons 0-1 each. The Heath: Daithi Carroll 0-5 (two frees), Brian Ging 0-1, Eoin Delaney 0-1, Mark Dunne 0-1

GRAIGUECULLEN: Ger Kieran; Bobby Doyle, Jimmy Bolton, Liam Kearney; Luke Alsybury, Mark Timmons, Trevor Collins; Shane O’Neill, Ian Fleming; Chris Hurley, Danny O’Reilly, Ross Hennessy; Ambrose Doran, Brian Byrne, Danny Alsybury. Sub: Aaron Forbes for Hurley (40 mins), Luke Hand for D Alsybury (47 mins)

THE HEATH: Joe Walshe; Gary Roe Smith, Aidan Bergin, Alan Whelan; Ciaran Booth, Denis Booth, James Phelan; Colin Nestor, Robert Dowling; JP Nerney, Chris Bergin, Brian Ging; Eoin Delaney, Daithi Carroll, Padraig Whelan. Subs: Andrew Booth for Whelan (26 mins)

REFEREE: Eddie Kinsella (Courtwood)

SEE ALSO – All of this week’s Laois GAA fixtures

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Steven Miller is owner and managing editor of LaoisToday.ie. From Laois, Steven studied Journalism in DCU and has 14 years experience in the media, almost 10 of those in an editorial role. Husband of Emily, father of William and Lillian, he's happiest when he's telling stories or kicking a point.