Portlaoise 0-15 O’Dempsey’s 1-4
Laois Shopping Centre Senior Football Championship Quarter Final
Portlaoise are into the semi finals of the SFC following an eight point win over O’Dempsey’s in O’Moore Park this evening.
Malachy McNulty’s men were rarely troubled by an ultra defensive O’Dempsey’s side who needed a late Conor Meredith penalty to put some respectability on the final score.
Portlaoise were guilty of squandering good opportunities early on. Scott Lawless missed a close range free and Ciarán McEvoy blazed a real goal chance wide.
But Bruno McCormack did open Portlaoise’s account after three minutes and he was followed by a brace from Scott Lawless and another from Conor Boyle by the midpoint of the half.
And Portlaoise almost had a goal when McCormack fielded a high ball and unleashed a thunderbolt which cannoned back off the underside of the bar and was eventually cleared.
O’Dempsey’s registered their first shot of the game after 18 minutes but Micheal Finlay’s effort went short and Portlaoise added another two through Gareth Dillon and Paul Cahillane.
Portlaoise went seven clear through McCormack before O’Dempsey’s finally opened their account via a Brian Nugent free in the 21st minute.
Bruno McCormack got his third soon after but Eoin Finlay brought the half to an end with an excellent effort from in front of the stand to leave it 0-8 to 0-2.
The second half began in a similar fashion to the first with Portlaoise continuing to dominate thanks to a fisted effort from Gareth Dunphy and then another one from the same player off his left boot.
Stephen O’Leary opened O’Dempsey’s account in the new half but Brian Mulligan quickly re-established Portlaoise’s eight point lead.
McCormack then had another goal chance but this time he found keeper Podge Bannon in his way as he got down well to the left to thwart him.
Matthew Finlay then fisted a point for O’Dempsey’s after he got on the end of a high ball to make it 0-11 to 0-4 with 15 minutes to play.
But there was no let up from Portlaoise as they continued to add points with Kieran Lillis and Brian McCormack adding more scores.
O’Dempsey’s needed goals now and they moved Conor Meredith in full forward with that thought in mind but Graham Brody pulled off a fine save to deny him from close range with his first chance
Benny Carroll put Portlaoise ten in front but O’Dempsey’s were then awarded a penalty with four minutes to play when Eoin Finlay was dragged down – which Conor Meredith converted.
But that was as good as it would get for O’Dempsey’s who had Micheal Finlay dismissed after picking up a second yellow card before the end.
Conor Dunphy rounded off the scoring for Portlaoise who are really looking good.
SCORERS – PORTLAOISE: Paul Cahillane 0-1 (0-1 frees), Brian McCormack 0-4, Scott Lawless 0-2 (0-1 frees), Conor Boyle 0-1, Gareth Dillon 0-3, Brian Mulligan 0-1, Kieran Lillis 0-1, Benny Carroll 0-1 O’DEMPSEY’S: Conor Meredith 1-0 (1-0pen), Brian Nugent 0-1 (0-1 frees), Eoin Finlay 0-1, Stephen O’Leary 0-1, Matthew Finlay 0-1
PORTLAOISE: Graham Brody; Brian Mulligan, Frank Flanagan, David Holland; Chris Finn, Kieran Lillis, Conor Dunphy; Adrian Kelly, Conor Boyle; Benny Carroll, Ciarán McEvoy, Gareth Dillon; Scott Lawless, Brian McCormack, Paul Cahillane. Subs: David Seale for McEvoy (45mins, inj), Kevin Fitzpatrick for Lawless (55mins)
O’DEMPSEY’S: Podge Bannon; Robbie Kehoe, Tommy Kehoe, Peter O’Leary; Barry Kelly, Shane Nerney, Johnny Kelly; Conor Meredith, Rory Bracken; Matthew Finlay, Brian Nugent, Darren Fitzpatrick; Stephen O’Leary, Micheal Finlay, Eoin Finlay. Subs: Cormac O’Hora for Nugent (47mins), Richard Whelehan for Nerney (52mins)
Referee: David Moore (St Joseph’s)