Home Sport GAA O’Dempsey’s claim back-to-back Division 1A league titles

O’Dempsey’s claim back-to-back Division 1A league titles

Matthew Finlay and Cormac O'Hora were in fine form for O'Dempsey's
Matthew Finlay, Shane Nerney and Cormac O'Hora

Brought to you in association with Joe Mallon Motors Portlaoise 

O’Dempsey’s 1-17 St Joseph’s 0-14
ACFL Division 1A Final

O’Dempsey’s were crowned Division 1A champions for the second successive year after seeing off St Joseph’s for the second year running in O’Moore Park this afternoon.

The Killenard men led from virtually the first whistle and a Conor Meredith penalty before half time gave them the cushion they needed to hold on.

O’Dempsey’s played with the breeze in the first half and had the game’s first three points via Micheal Finlay, Matthew Finlay and Mark Barry.

They created several goal chances in the first half the the opening one came from a great Conor Meredith surge where he found Peter O’Leary on the run who’s shot cannoned back off Dan Dunne’s crossbar.

It took St Joseph’s ten minutes to get off the mark via James Kelly and although Brian Daly landed a free, O’Dempsey’s grabbed the next four points to move clear by the midpoint of the half.

Matthew Finlay, Barry Kelly and impressive teenager Mark Barry all raised white flags before the pendulum swung back St Joseph’s way.

They reeled off the next four points via Brian Daly, Matty Campion and Dylan Doyle to draw level for the first time. Their period of dominance wasn’t without incident though as down the other end O’Dempsey’s created another goal chance with this time keeper Dan Dunne denying Conor Meredith.

But O’Dempsey’s finished the half very well. Micheal Finlay and sub Eoin Finlay restored their lead before some quick hands by Mark Barry released Micheal Finlay inside the box where he was taken out by Adam Campion and a penalty was awarded.

Conor Meredith stepped up and slipped the ball beneath Dan Dunne to leave it 1-8 to 0-6 at the break.

O’Dempsey’s began the second half on top again as Mark Barry landed a free but Matty Campion hit straight back from play.

Michael Keogh cut the gap to four before Brian Daly, who had hit two poor wides, made it a three point game.

O’Dempsey’s needed something to lift the siege and they got it via Micheal Finlay before Peter O’Leary and big Dan McCormack gave them a five point lead with a quarter of the game to go.

Brian Daly replied with a free but Conor Meredith waltzed up the field to restore the five point advantage.

Tom Kelly and Eoin Finlay traded points before the former had a great goal chance but blazed over after being set up by Dylan Doyle.

Barry Kelly edged O’Dempsey’s five clear again but James Smith replied. However, Matthew Finlay and Eoin Finlay had the final say as O’Dempsey’s claimed victory.

SCORERS – St Joseph’s: Brian Daly 0-4 (three frees), Dylan Doyle 0-2, James Kelly 0-1, Matty Campion 0-3, Michael Keogh 0-1, Tom Kelly 0-2, James Smith 0-1 O’Dempsey’s: Micheal Finlay 0-2, Matthew Finlay 0-4 (two frees), Mark Barry 0-3 (one free), Eoin Finlay 0-3, Barry Kelly 0-2, Conor Meredith 1-1 (1-0 penalty), Peter O’Leary 0-1, Dan McCormack 0-1

ST JOSEPH’S: Dan Dunne; Tom Dunne, Cathal Fleming, Adam Campion; Donal Ramsbottom, Aidan Brennan, Jack Lacey; Brian Daly, James Kelly; Mikie Dempsey, Michael Keogh, Tom Kelly; Matty Campion, Brendan Hickey, Dylan Doyle. Subs: Enda Butler for Hickey (ht), Dean Brophy for Lacey (45m), James Smith for Dempsey (55m), David Brennan for

O’DEMPSEY’S: Podge Bannon; Richard Whelehan, Peter O’Leary, Tommy Kehoe; Robbie Kehoe, Shane Nerney, Cormac O’Hora; Dan McCormack, Barry Kelly; Mark Barry, Conor Meredith, Matthew Finlay; Liam Whelehan, Micheal Finaly. Eugene Nolan. Subs: Eoin Finlay for Nolan (25m), Eoin Cunningham for R Whelehan (39m), Tom Kelly for L Whelehan (55m), Bryan Meredith for O’Leary (58m)

Referee: Brendan McCann (Portarlington)

SEE ALSO – LIVE BLOG: Follow all the action from the Division 1A and 1B football finals

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Stradbally native Alan Hartnett is a graduate of Knockbeg College who has worked in the local and national media since 2008. Alan has a BA in Economics, Politics and Law and an MA in Journalism from DCU. His happiest moment was when Jody Dillon scored THAT goal in the Laois senior football final in 2016.