Portlaoise AFC U-19s clinched the Division 1 league title following a hard fought victory in Kilbeggan on Thursday night in their last game of the season.
The season went down to the wire as fellow Laois side Clonaslee United pushed them all the way and ended up in second.
Portlaoise started this match well as Ronan McEvoy, Jack Langton, Alan Roberts and Jason Woods all went close to scoring in the first 20 minutes of the game but fine goalkeeping by Kilbeggan’s Cormac Harnan kept them at bay.
Portlaoise then finally scored on 25 minutes when, after good work on the left by Jack Langton, his pinpoint cross was volley home by Ronan McEvoy.
Then, on 36 minutes, the two combined again and Langton sent McEvoy through and he chipped the keeper to make it 2-0 and that’s how it finished at the break.
Kilbeggan began the 2nd half in style and went close on two occasions from Peter Whelan and Conor Daly but Adam Scully in the Portlaoise made two good saves.
They then scored on 60 minutes when, from a corner, Conor Ferry headed home to make it 2-1 and it was game on again.
Jack Langton, David Nolan and Ronan McEvoy went close before Jason Woods scored on 70 minutes after another brilliant assist from Jack Langton to make it 3-1.
Josh Malone then scored a goal for Kilbeggan on the 80th minute but Portlaoise held on and it finished 3-2 – meaning they clinched the league title among jubilant scenes at the final whistle.
Best for for Portlaoise were Oisin Kiernan, Alan Roberts, Pauric Cahill, Andrew Swayne, Eoghan Brennan, Ronan McEvoy, Jason Woods and man-of-match Jack Langton who set up all 3 goals for the champions.
They will now go on to the U-19 cup where they are in the quarter final stage against Mullingar.
Portlaoise: Adam Scully, Eoin Carey, Oisin Kiernan, Pauric Cahill, Alan Roberts, Eoghan Brennan, Jack Langton, Andrew Swayne, Ronan McEvoy, Jason Woods, David Nolan. Subs: Jason Maher, Liam Frazier, Ronan Corr, Ruairi Burke, Mickey Nurney, Jack O’Reilly, Aaron Feane, Conor McKenna, Cillian Reddin.
Management Team:Glen Scully and John (Birdie) Langton.