Home Sport GAA Emo-Courtwood-The Rock and Stradbally Parish Gaels to contest U-17 final

Emo-Courtwood-The Rock and Stradbally Parish Gaels to contest U-17 final

Emo-Courtwood-The Rock and Stradbally Parish Gaels will contest the second ever Laois U-17 football championship final on Sunday afternoon in O’Moore Park.

This will be the curtain raiser to the senior county final and it will also be Emo-Courtwood-The Rock’s second successive final.

Last year they lost out Portarlington by 1-10 to 1-4 so they will be hoping to go one step further this time.

See both match reports below:

Emo-Courtwood-The Rock 3-13 Portarlington 2-11

Emo-Courtwood-The Rock emerged victorious from a topsy-turvy affair in McCann Park last night.

Portarlington reached the last four after overcoming Portlaoise in Round 1 and, playing with the wind, they were first out of the blocks through a Ronan Coffey free.

Emo-Courtwood-The Rock turned things around quickly though as Matthew Byrion reeled off 1-1 before Cian Doyle moved his side four clear after five minutes.

But then it was Portarlington’s turn to be in the ascendancy. Byron added another free for the visitors but points from Rioghan Murphy, Ciarán Ward and Darragh Galvin had Port back in it before a Cathal Bennett goal put them 1-4 to 1-3 up at the midpoint of the half.

Ronan Coffey extended their lead with a free but Emo-Courtwood-The Rock scored 2-4 in the next ten minutes without reply to move eight clear.

Seán Greene and Niall Dunne raised green flags while Byron, Seán O’Neill and Seth Mooney also chipped in with points to make it 3-7 to 1-5 as we headed for first half injury time.

But the scoring wasn’t finished yet. The ball was in the net for a fifth time, a second for Portarlington, when Oisin Keogh spilled Ronan Coffey’s dropping shot and Rhys Donagher was there to lap up the rebound.

Coffey then kicked a free to leave it 3-7 to 2-6 at the break and Portarlington had hope they could come back again.

Three Ronan Coffey frees had the margin down to the minimum by the 39th minute of the game but that would be as close as Port would come.

Emo-Courtwood-The Rock responded with points from Byron, Jack Owens and a brace via Cian Doyle to move clear once more as we entered the last ten.

Portarlington needed another goal but the best they could manage was points from Coffey and Seán Michael Corcoran.

While late scores from Niall Dunne and Matthew Byron put some gloss on things for Emo-Courtwood-The Rock who will bid for the title on Sunday.

SCORERS – EMO-COURTWOOD-THE ROCK: Matthew Byron 1-6 (0-5 frees), Niall Dunne 1-1, Seán Greene 1-0, Cian Doyle 0-3, Jack Owens, Seán O’Neill and Seth Mooney 0-1 PORTARLINGTON: Ronan Coffey 0-7 (0-7 frees), Rhys Donagher and Cathal Bennett 1-0 each, Rioghan Murphy, Seán Michael Corcoran, Darragh Galvin and Ciarán Ward 0-1 each

EMO-COURTWOOD-THE ROCK: Oisin Keogh; Jake Doyle, Thomas Scully, Andrew Flynn; Conor Montague, Seán O’Flynn, Seán O’Neill; Niall Gorman, Jack Owens; Cian Doyle, Matthew Byron, Ned Ryan; Seán Greene, Niall Dunne, Seth Mooney. Subs: Fionn McHale for J Doyle (33mins), Paul O’Flynn for Gorman (56mins), Nathan Little for Ryan (58mins)

PORTARLINGTON: Seán Mooney; Aaron Coss, Mikey Bennett, Jack O’Neill; Cathal Bennett, Alex Mohan, Conor McCarthy; Seán Michael Corcoran, Adam Kirwan; Rioghan Murphy, Ronan Coffey, Darragh Galvin; Colin Slevin, Rhys Donagher, Ciarán Ward. Subs: Andrew Evans for Coss (ht), Washi Hamisi for Ward (45mins)

Referee: Vinny Dowling (O’Dempsey’s)

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Stradbally Parish Gaels 3-5 St Joseph’s 1-10

Stradbally Parish Gaels will play in the U-17 final for the first time after they came from seven points down to defeat St Joseph’s in Bill Delaney Park on Saturday afternoon.

Three second half goals proved crucial as the team, coached by Barney Maher, Billy Delaney, Donal Hogan and Pat Gorman, came back to win.

St Joseph’s, managed by former Laois manager Seán Dempsey, started well and were four points to the good up via Seamus Farrelly, Josh Lacey and Josh O’Brien (2).

Stradbally Parish Gaels were wasteful in attack early on and could have also conceded a goal but Simon Hartnett did brilliantly to thwart O’Brien from point blank range.

Two Damien McCaul points seemed to have settled the Gaels but St Joseph’s scored their only goal before half time as Seamus Farrelly shot low to the corner.

McCaul got a third point but St Joseph’s finished the half with further points from Lacey and O’Brien to lead by 1-6 to 0-3 at the break.

The gap was seven points on the resumption of play when Jamie Kelly came up from wing back to move Joseph’s further clear.

However, it was from here that the Gaels mounted their comeback. Killian Horgan showed great determination to get on the end of Conor Goode’s pass to raise their first green flag of the affair.

And a minute later the ball was in the net again. This time McCaul combined with Mark O’Connell and he beat Adam Nicholl-Waugh.

Conor Donlon then landed a point from an acute angle and the ball was in the Joseph’s net for a third time when Mark O’Connell got to a high ball and rounded the keeper to score.

Joseph’s were rattled but they began to edge their way back into the game with points from Josh O’Brien and Farrelly.

Damien McCaul pointed his third free but Bernard Wheatley narrowed the deficit to one soon after.

St Joseph’s pressed for the equaliser and they had the chance to get it with the last play but Ronan Maher executed a perfect tackle to snuff out their attack and the Gaels held on.

They will now face Emo-Courtwood-The Rock at 1.45pm in O’Moore Park on Sunday.

SCORERS – STRADBALLY PARISH GAELS: Mark O’Connell 2-0, Damien McCaul 0-4 (0-3 frees), Killian Horgan 1-0, Conor Donlon 0-1 ST JOSEPH’S: Seamus Farrelly 1-2 (0-1 frees), Josh O’Brien 0-4 (0-2 frees), Josh Lacey 0-2 (0-1 free), Jamie Kelly and Bernard Wheatley 0-1 each

STRADBALLY PARISH GAELS: Simon Hartnett, Graham Devitt, Eamonn Delaney, Rónán Stapleton; Conor Donlon, Killian Horgan, Ronan Maher; Kilian Mcgannon, David Barney Maher; Jamie Devoy, Damien McCaul, Conor Goode; Cathal Hewitt, Mark O’Connell, Ciaran O’Neill. Subs: Cathal Connaughton for Devitt (25mins), Darren Robinson for Devoy (48mins), Tadhg Murray for Delaney (59mins, inj)

ST JOSEPH’S: Adam Nichol-Waugh; Robbie Langton, Ciarán Carroll, James Knowles; Ryan Hogg, Jack Lacey, Jamie Kelly; Dean Brophy, Bernard Wheatley; Finnain Maher, Josh Lacey, Fergal Murphy; Ciarán Condron, Seamus Farrelly, Josh O’Brien. Subs: Oisin Lacey for Condron (40mins)

Referee: Artie O’Connor (Courtwood)

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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.