Emo 3-11 Portlaoise 3-4
Laois Shopping Centre Intermediate Football Championship Final Replay
Emo will play senior football in 2018 after they defeated Portlaoise in tonight’s IFC final replay.
Player manager Paul Lawlor was in inspired form as his two goals in the first minute of the second half proved crucial as his side claimed the win.
But it didn’t start well for the victors at all. David Whelan’s attempt at a short kick out went straight to Jason Maher who raced through and rattled the net.
Martin Staunton swung one over a short time after to complete the perfect start to the game for Portlaoise.
However, Emo, just as they did on several occasions last week, came back.
Evan Costello landed a free and they then had the game’s second goal after six minutes.
Nigel Murphy’s shot came back off the upright and just as he was last Saturday, David Gorman was well position to collect the rebound and kick it into the net.
Niall Wheeler and Finbarr Crowley both then dissected the posts to leave Emo two clear at the midpoint of the half.
Portlaoise had chance but shot wide and wild on several occasions. With Craig Rogers free proving to be only their second point of the evening after 20 minutes.
And incredibly, neither side would score again before half time to leave it 1-3 to 1-2 at half time to Emo.
But the scoreless period ended 15 seconds after the restart. Nigel Murphy’s high ball was caught by Evan Costello and he found David Gorman.
The corner forward went around keeper Nolan but his shot was blocked on the line. The rebound came back to him and he squared it to Paul Lawlor who side-footed the ball home.
And from the resulting kick out the ball was in the net again. Once more it was route one stuff as another long ball came Paul Lawlor’s way and he slotted it away again.
Pádraig Kirwan then kicked a point and Emo were looking out of sight until a third second half goal in as many minutes stopped them in their tracks.
Jason Maher’s effort dropped short but Oisin Fitzpatrick got to the ball before David Whelan and raised the fifth green flag of the evening.
Emo needed to settle and player manager Paul Lawlor duly obliged landing a brace but a Craig Rogers free cut the gap to six after 38 minutes.
Evan Costello moved Emo seven clear with his second free and then Paul Lawlor put them eight ahead as we entered the final quarter.
Colm Byrne went off as a blood sub around this time and was replaced with Shane McManus for Portlaoise. And he, with his first touch, flicked Jack Brown’s hopeful ball into the net to leave it 3-8 to 3-3 with twelve minutes to go.
Darren Strong scored a much needed point for Emo after a great run by Nigel Murphy and Portlaoise were then reduced to 14 men when centre forward Craig Rogers was dismissed after picking up a second yellow card.
And Emo were safe from there. Paul Lawlor took his tally to 2-4 from distance.
Jack Brown responded with a free but that would be it for them as Emo prevailed with a late Nigel Murphy point putting the gloss on the win.
SCORERS – EMO: Paul Lawlor 2-4 (0-2 frees), David Gorman 1-0, Evan Costello 0-2 (0-2 frees), Niall Wheeler 0-1, Finbarr Crowley 0-1, Pádraigh Kirwan 0-1, Darren Strong 0-1, Nigel Murphy 0-1 PORTLAOISE: Jason Maher 1-0, Oisin Fitzpatrick 1-0, Shane McManus 1-0, Craig Rogers 0-2 (0-2 frees), Martin Staunton 0-1, Jack Brown 0-1 (0-1 free)
EMO: David Whelan; Brian Gorman, James O’Rourke, Paddy Dunne; Pádraig Kirwan, Shane Murphy, Liam Crowley; Niall Wheeler, Darren Strong; Cian Langford, Nigel Murphy, Finbarr Crowley; David Gorman, Paul Lawlor, Evan Costello. Subs: Brian Galvin for B Gorman (45mins, blood), Brian Gorman for Galvin (47mins), Dylan Lalor for Langford (58mins)
PORTLAOISE: Michael Nolan; Dean Lynch, Eoghan Feane, Colin Finn; Ray Nerney, Jack Brown, Oisin Fitzpatrick; Ronan Molloy, Craig Scully; Ronan McEvoy, Craig Rogers, Paddy Downey; Cian Taylor, Martin Staunton, Jason Maher. Subs: John Delaney for Feane (36mins), Colm Byrne for Nerney (41mins), Darragh McAuley for Delaney (43mins, black card), Shane McManus for Byrne (45mins, blood), Shane McManus for Staunton (49mins), Liam McGovern for Taylor (53mins), Aindle Mac Gearailt for Lynch (57mins)
Referee: Seamus Mulhare (The Heath)