Home Sport GAA Forbes to the fore as Graiguecullen topple O’Dempsey’s

Forbes to the fore as Graiguecullen topple O’Dempsey’s

Aaron Forbes was dynamite for Graiguecullen this evening

Brought to you in association with Cllr Tom Mulhall

Graiguecullen 2-11 O’Dempsey’s 0-13
Laois Shopping Centre SFC Round 1

A first half brace of goals from Graiguecullen full forward Aaron Forbes proved crucial as they defeated Division 1A champions O’Dempsey’s this evening.

Padraig Clancy’s men led by five points at half time and although O’Dempsey’s came back at them in the second half, they could never get any closer than two.

Micheal Finlay opened the scoring in this one for O’Dempsey’s but a minute later the ball was in their net for the first time.

A long ball by Dean Malone was perfectly flighted and Aaron Forbes jumped up above Shane Nerney to fist it into the corner of the net.

The sides then traded points from here to the midpoint of the half with Conor Meredith and Matthew Finlay seeing efforts cancelled out by Forbes and Luke Alsybury.

Matthew Finlay cut the deficit to a point with a brace of frees after 20 minutes but Graigue kicked on again.

Jamie Parr landed a free before Forbes, who was giving the O’Dempsey’s defenders an awful time of things, won another high ball, swiveled, and planted it in the corner of the net.

Mark Timmons then popped up with two points from full back and all of a sudden Graiguecullen led by seven.

O’Dempsey’s finished the half well with a brace from championship debutant Mark Barry but they trailed by 2-6 to 0-7 at half time.

The second half began with Brian Byrne and Matthew Finlay trading points.

O’Dempsey’s introduced Rory Bracken and Brian Nugent at half time and they helped them begin to turn the tide as points from Micheal Finlay and Peter O’Leary left three between them with 20 minutes to play.

Graiguecullen wasted a glorious goal chance then as Trevor Collins chose to shoot with Ross Hennessy and Aaron Forbes free either side of him – and sent the ball wide.

Matthew Finlay cut the margin to two but the excellent Mark Timmons restored their three point lead with his third from full back as we entered the final quarter.

Jamie Parr extended it with a monster point before Graiguecullen were thankful to their keeper Danny Bolger who made a tremendous save to deny Micheal Finlay at point blank range.

Mark Barry cut the gap again with his third point of the evening but keeper Danny Bolger slotted his second free to put four in it as we entered injury time.

Down the other end, Bolger was called into action again as he denied Barry Kelly.

Matthew Finlay left three in it again as four minutes of injury time were signalled but Brian Byrne made the victory safe with a late breakaway point.

SCORERS – Graiguecullen: Aaron Forbes 2-1, Luke Alsybury 0-1, Jamie Parr 0-2 (one free), Danny Bolger 0-2 (two frees), Mark Timmons 0-3, Brian Byrne 0-2 O’Dempsey’s: Micheal Finlay 0-2, Matthew Finlay 0-6 (three frees), Conor Meredith 0-1, Mark Barry 0-3 (one free), Peter O’Leary 0-1

GRAIGUECULLEN: Danny Bolger; Bobby Doyle, Mark Timmons, Martin Doyle; Luke Alsybury, Jimmy Bolton, Trevor Collins; Shane O’Neill, Paul Mulready; Dean Malone, Jamie Parr, Jamie Sheehan; Aaron Forbes, Brian Byrne, Ross Hennessy. Subs: Lee Timmons for Malone (53m), Tunde Ogunfowora for Hennessy (58m), Alan Coleman for Mulready (61m)

O’DEMPSEY’S: Podge Bannon; Tommy Kehoe, Peter O’Leary, Shane Nerney; Eoin Cunningham, Robbie Kehoe, Cormac O’Hora; Dan McCormack, Barry Kelly; Liam Whelehan, Micheal Finlay, Matthew Finlay; Mark Barry, Conor Meredith, Eoin Finlay. Subs: Rory Bracken for Whelehan, and Brian Nugent for Cunningham (both ht)

REFEREE: Eamon Strong (Emo)

SEE ALSO – Is this Laois man the oldest ever club championship debutant?

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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.