O’Dempsey’s 5-13 Crettyard Gaels 0-14
Laois Shopping Centre SFC Round 3
In the last round against Portlaoise, O’Dempsey’s shipped five goals and fell to a 12-point loss in a game that wouldn’t have done anything for their confidence.
But against a rejuvenated Portlaoise would anyone else have done any better? O’Dempsey’s had goal chances in the first half that day that could have changed the tone and complexion of the game. They didn’t take them. Here they did.
While Crettyard started well, O’Dempsey’s were able to make goal chances, scoring two in the first half and missing three more. But it was that ability to get goals made all the difference.
The first half was a really enjoyable game, Crettyard Gaels racing into an early 0-5 to 0-2 lead. Evan O’Carroll scored three points from play in that early spell with Cristoir Maher also on fire, scoring two points from play and involved in almost everything.
Cormac Murphy was also central to most of what Crettyard did and his battle with Peter O’Leary was one of the sideshows of the half.
Points from Michael and Matthew Finlay kept O’Dempsey’s ticking over and they drew level and when Michael Finlay crashed home a brilliant goal after that lovely left boot of his.
Cormac Murphy pointed either side of a Matthew Finlay point, Murphy’s second point as good a score as you’re likely to see this weekend. On the run and under severe pressure from O’Leary he swung over expertly. O’Dempsey’s had a penalty claim turned down when Niall Purcell upended Stephen O’Leary with a shoulder in the square but the drew level thanks to a Bryan Nugent free.
Cristoir Maher third point from play pushed Crettyard clear again but there was gaps appearing at the other end. Darren Fitzpatrick pointed from close range when through on goal but they had the ball in the net shortly after when Eoghan Finlay won a long ball and found enough space for himself to finish smartly for O’Dempsey’s second goal.
Barry Kelly raced up from wing-back for his customary point from play but the last score of the half went to Crettyard when O’Carroll pointed a free after being fouled himself.
Crettyard started the second half well with sub Jimmy Brennan punching over after great work from Murphy. O’Carroll missed a good chance to bring it back to one and when Stephen O’Leary rifled home O’Dempsey’s third goal in the 33rd minute, the signes were ominous.
Eoghan Finlay got in for their fourth after another long ball and with Conor Meredith becoming increasingly infuential they pulled further clear as the half wore on. And while Murphy swung over a couple of frees there was only ever one likely winner.
And O’Dempsey’s sealed the win with their fifth goal, big Bryan Nugent bringing his tally to 1-4 with a cool finish.
O’Dempsey’s go into the quarter-final draw, that loss to Portlaoise now out of their system.
For Crettyard Gaels, their season is over.
SCORERS – O’Dempsey’s: Bryan Nugent 1-4 (0-3 frees), Eoghan Finlay 2-0, Michael Finlay 1-1, Stephen O’Leary 1-1 (0-1 free), Conor Meredith 0-3, Matthew Finlay 0-2, Darren Fitzpatrick 0-1, Barry Kelly 0-1. Crettyard Gaels: Cormac Murphy 0-6 (four frees, one ’45), Evan O’Carroll 0-4 (one free), Cristoir Maher 0-3, Jimmy Brennan 0-1
O’DEMPSEY’S: Padraig Bannon; Tommy Kehoe, Peter O’Leary, Cormac O’Hora; Robbie Kehoe, Shane Nerney, Barry Kelly; Conor Meredith, Bryan Nugent; Darren Fitzpatrick, Johnny Kelly, Matthew Finlay; Stephen O’Leary, Michael Finlay, Eoghan Finlay. Subs: Bobby Sweeney for O’Hora (Black Card – 4 mins), Richard Whelehan for Fitzpatrick (injured – 50 mins), Eugene Nolan for Nerney (56 mins)
CRETTYARD GAELS: Jeff Moran; Niall Purcell, Sean O’Shea, Pierce Nash; Michael Jordan, Pa Brennan, Paddy Gorman; Evan O’Carroll, Pa O’Reilly; Paudge Lalor, Shaun O’Reilly, Cristoir Maher; Michael Nash, Cormac Murphy, Sean Downey. Subs: Jimmy Brennan for Downey (Black Card – 29 mins), Conor Barry for S O’Reilly (35 mins), William Fitzpatrick for P Nash (47 mins), Paul Simms for P O’Reilly (50 mins), James Kelly for Jordan (52 mins) Jason Dunne for Purcell (52 mins)
REFEREE: Maurice Deegan (Stradbally)