The penultimate round of the top tier of football in Laois took place tonight and the race to reach promotion and beat the drop will go down to the final week.
St Joseph’s have already qualified for league final and who will join them is now a shoot out between two neighbours.
O’Dempsey’s and Portarlington both won tonight and defending champions O’Dempsey’s are ahead by a point.
Meanwhile, following tonight’s defeat to Portlaoise, Graiguecullen will be relegated next week if Stradbally defeat The Heath.
Portarlington 1-18 The Heath 2-14
Portarlington edged an exciting affair in McCann Park this evening as Ronan Coffey and Jason Ward kicked late points.
The Heath provided stiff opponents for Portarlington and actually led for most of the game.
Evin Keane was in fine form again and his goal gave them a 1-7 to 0-9 lead at half time.
Portarlington had David Murphy, Ronan Coffey, Jason Ward and Adam Ryan on the scoreboard in the second half but a second Evin Keane goal pushed The Heath on again as we entered the final ten minutes.
But Portarlington refused to go away and when David Murphy charged forward, Adam Ryan came off his shoulder and curled a low shot into the corner of the net.
The Heath responded through Brian Ging and then an almighty scramble in front of the goal saw sub keeper Scott Osbourne pull off a fine save from Robbie Dowling.
Dylan Kavanagh kicked the equaliser as we entered injury time but Coffey and Ward went down the other end kicked two more.
Andrew Booth landed the game’s final score but time ran out for The Heath and their chances of reaching the league final are over.
PORTARLINGTON: Gary Lanigan; Alex Mohane, Diarmuid Bennett, Eoin Kennedy; Colin Slevin, Cathal Ryan, Haydon Weldon; Adam Ryan, Paddy O’Sullivan; David Murphy, Stevem Lyons, Graham Weldon; Jason Ward, David Condron, Ronan Coffey. Subs: Scott Osbourne for Lanigan, Curtis Lyons for H Weldon, Adam Kirwan for Kennedy, Evan Clancy for S Lyons
THE HEATH: Jimmy Nerney; James Conroy, Alan Whelan, Neil Keane; Gary Roe-Smith, James Phelan, Dylan Kavanagh; Shane Forde, Robbie Dowling; PJ Daly, Brian Ging, Robbie Ging; Shane Booth, Andrew Booth, Evin Keane. Subs: Colin Nestor for S Booth, Mark Dunne for R Ging
O’Dempsey’s 4-14 St Joseph’s 1-12
The clash of last year’s finalists resulted in O’Dempsey’s running out 11 point winners this evening.
Matthew Finlay was top scorer on the night as he kicked 1-4 of their total.
There were also goals for Eugene Nolan, Daniel McCormack and Conor Meredith on the way to victory.
O’Dempsey’s just need to better Portarlington’s result next week to be assured of a place in the final.
Portlaoise 1-19 Graiguecullen 0-9
Elsewhere, Portlaoise ended any chance that they might be relegated by defeating Graiguecullen by 13 points.
It is a result which means that the Barrowsiders status in the Division is not secure and they must wait until next week.
They are finished now and if Stradbally defeat The Heath next week, they will leapfrog Graiguecullen and leave them in second last.