Home Sport GAA Whelan fires Ballyroan-Abbey to Division 1B glory

Whelan fires Ballyroan-Abbey to Division 1B glory

Brought to you in association with Joe Mallon Motors Portlaoise 

Ballyroan-Abbey 1-10 Arles-Kilcruise 0-9
ACFL Division 1B Final

Laois U-20 star Diarmuid Whelan’s haul of 1-3 was the difference as Ballyroan-Abbey claimed the Division 1B title in O’Moore Park this evening.

The forward scored a brilliant first half goal and a host of classy points as his side won by four in the end.

This was a game of low scores and many wides with the first point arriving after five minutes via Diarmuid Whelan.

Ross Munnelly responded for Kilcruise before Fran Egan kicked them ahead for the first time after ten minutes.

Jamie Whelan levelled matters at the midpoint of the half before Kilcruise had two goal chances which yielded only a point.

The first fell to PJ Lawlor after some good work by Egan but his flick over the advancing Paudie McDonald landed over the bar.

Minutes later then a Stephen Miller high ball found Dermot Nolan on the edge of the square but his shot just went wide.

Ballyroan-Abbey finished the half well though. Shaun Murphy tied the game before the best passage of play saw Diarmuid Whelan blast away from the Kilcruise cover and unleash a thunderbolt which nestled in the corner of the net.

Kilcruise were rattled but the ended the half well as a Ross Munnelly free left it 1-3 to 0-4 to Ballyroan at the break.

Ballyroan-Abbey extended their lead on the resumption of play when Padge Conway was dispossessed inside his own half by Diarmuid Whelan who slotted it over.

The same player then kicked a lovely score from in front of the stand to move Ballyroan four ahead.

Ross Munnelly responded with a free but Scott Conroy wiped that out before Munnelly scored again, this time from play, to leave three in it with a quarter of the game to go.

Kilcruise then almost had a goal when Fran Egan found substitute Kevin O’Neill who’s shot was smothered by Ruairi Dunne.

Padraig McMahon restored Ballyroan’s three point lead but Munnelly’s sixth point left two between them with ten minutes to play.

Martin Scully restored the three point lead before Kilcruise were given a golden opportunity to draw level.

Ross Munnelly was upended in the box and referee Joe Brennan awarded a penalty. Munnelly sent keeper Paudie McDonald the wrong way but dragged his shot wide of the post.

David Conway cut the deficit to a goal again but Padraig McMahon left four in it as we headed for injury time.

SCORERS – Ballyroan-Abbey: Diarmuid Whelan 1-3 (one free), Shaun Murphy 0-2, Jamie Whelan 0-1, Scott Conroy 0-1, Padraig McMahon 0-1, Martin Scully 0-1 Arles-Kilcruise: Ross Munnelly 0-6 (two frees), PJ Lawlor 0-1, Fran Egan 0-1, David Conway 0-1 (one free)

Ballyroan-Abbey: Paudi McDonald; Cian Moffitt, Gavin Tynan, Ruairi Dunne; Jamie Carroll, Aaron Carroll, Martin Scully; Shaun McEvoy, Michael Brennan; John Rogers, Padraig McMahon, Diarmuid Whelan; Liam Delaney, Scott Conroy, Mark McDonald. Subs: Aaron McEvoy for Delaney (46m), Stephen Thompson for Scully (63m)

Arles-Kilcruise: Colm Munnelly; Cialann Mulhall, Ciaran Lawlor, Padge Conway; JP Conway, Mikey Wall, Mark Wall; Fran Egan, Stephen Miller; David Conway, Brendan Conway, PJ Lawlor; Ross Munnelly, Caomhan Brennan, Dermot Nolan. subs: Kevin O’Neill for B Conway (46m), Jason McLaughlin for Nolan (55m)

Referee: Joe Brennan (Crettyard)

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

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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.