Graiguecullen 0-11 St Joseph’s 2-4
Laois Shopping Centre SFC Quarter-final
Graiguecullen are through to the semi-finals of the Laois SFC following a hard-earned win over St Joseph’s in O’Moore Park this evening.
It wasn’t a classic – far from it – but Padraig Clancy’s men won’t mind. They’re into the last four and now just 60 minutes away from a first final appearance since 2011.
Ian Fleming’s injury time free was the winner but it was a game they led in for the most part and would have been sick had they not come through.
Joseph’s will be frustrated with themselves. They didn’t play great but they had plenty of possession and had enough chances to win it too.
St Joseph’s played their usual defensive game and for most of the first half had 14 men in their own half, Brendan Hickey isolated up front on his own.
Most of the Graigue lads followed them up the pitch and while it led to a congested area, Graigue were still able to make enough scoring chances for themselves.
Jamie Parr (free) and Brendan Hickey swapped early points, Graigue soon forged three ahead after scores from Parr, a long-range effort from Mark Timmons and a Ross Hennessy free.
Brendan Hickey, though, got in for St Joseph’s first goal in the 15th minute. A long ball from Brian Daly was fumbled by Liam Kearney and though Hickey himself seemed to have spurned the goal chance when he dropped the ball himself, he still reacted quickest to poke to the net from close range.
Graigue continued to have plenty of ball however and wing backs Luke Alsybury both joined Timmons on the scoreboard while Ambrose Doran also added a nice point to put three in it again.
Yet St Joseph’s got the last score of the half, Dan Dunne doing excellent work to fist a Mickey Keogh delivery to the net. At half time the sides were level – St Joseph’s 2-1 Graiguecullen 0-7.
Mattie Campion came on as a half-time sub for Graigue and a fine point from distance put them into the lead within two minutes of the restart.
Graigue responded by bringing on Aaron Forbes – who had suffered personal tragedy during the week with the sudden death of his dad Harry. He would later be joined by Barry Brennan, on for his first championship appearance of the year. Both had a big impact.
An Ian Fleming free from outside the ’45 levelled things up again and then Doran pointed after Forbes did the spadework. Another sweet Fleming free nudged them two clear and they could have made it safe moments later but Ross Hennessy’s goalbound effort crashed off the post and was cleared to safety.
Despite a couple of poor attacks St Joseph’s would eventually bring themselves level. First Tom Dunne pointed and the equaliser came from Enda Butler as the game entered injury time.
Graigue had another kick in them though and Ian Fleming pointed a free after Tom Dunne was harshly penalised for a foul on James Doogue.
That was enough. Graigue held on.
SCORERS – Graiguecullen: Ian Fleming 0-3 (frees), Jamie Parr 0-2 (one free), Ambrose Doran 0-2, Ross Hennessy 0-1, Luke Alsybury 0-1, , Trevor Collins 0-1, Mark Timmons 0-1 St Joseph’s: Brendan Hickey 1-1, Dan Dunne 1-0, Enda Butler0-1, Tom Dunne 0-1, Enda Butler 0-1
GRAIGUECULLEN: Ger Kieran; Bobby Doyle, Jimmy Bolton, Liam Kearney; Luke Alsybury, Mark Timmons, Trevor Collins; Ian Fleming, Shane O’Neill; Danny O’Reilly, Chris Hurley, Jamie Parr; Ambrose Doran, Ross Hennessy, Brian Byrne. Subs: Aaron Forbes for Hurley (33 mins), Barry Brennan for Parr (38 mins), James Doogue for Doran (58 mins)
ST JOSEPH’S: Aaron Cooney; Donal Ramsbottom, Tom Dunne, Aidan Brennan; Colin Campion, Cathal Fleming, James Kelly; Brian Daly, Ian Donnelly; Dan Dunne, Mickey Keogh, Paddy Hickey; Liam Kealy, Brendan Hickey, Dylan Doyle. Sub: Adam Campion for B Hickey (22 mins), Mattie Campion for Doyle (half time), Danny Hickey for Campion (43 mins), Jason Campion for D Dunne (45 mins), Enda Butler for Donnelly (48 mins), James Smith for Daly (58 mins)
REFEREE: Eddie Kinsella (Courtwood)