Home Sport GAA Portarlington see off 14-man Ballyroan-Abbey for the second year running

Portarlington see off 14-man Ballyroan-Abbey for the second year running

The Portarlington team who lost to Ballylinan in Stradbally tonight
The Portarlington team

Brought to you in association with Cllr Tom Mulhall

Portarlington 1-11 Ballyroan-Abbey 0-12
Laois Shopping Centre SFC Round 1

Portarlington defeated 14-man Ballyroan-Abbey in the senior championship for the second year running this evening.

There was 19 points between the teams when they met in Round 2 last year and while this Round 1 clash was far closer, the outcome was the same.

Ballyroan-Abbey led by three points at the break but a second half Portarlington goal and the dismissal of Ballyroan’s Martin Scully proved crucial in the end – despite the fact that Ballyroan led by a point with five minutes to play.

Paddy O’Sullivan got the game’s first score after two minutes but it would be a full 21 minutes before they would score again.

In that time, Ballyroan-Abbey got firmly on top. MJ Tierney levelled things up from play before Diarmuid Whelan gave them the lead with a free.

The same player then turned provider for John Rogers who fired over from close range to move Ballyroan two clear.

And the gap was four by the midpoint of the half with a brace of MJ Tierney frees.

The first half became very disjointed with a number of stoppages for injuries. But Portarlington finally scored again after 23 minutes via Johnny Fulham.

Ballyroan hit straight back via MJ Tierney following a strong run by John Rogers. Paddy O’Sullivan and Diarmuid Whelan traded points before Ballyroan almost had a goal.

Padraig McMahon ran onto a long ball and unleashed a thunderbolt which cannoned off the crossbar and went over.

But Portarlington ended the half on a high thanks to two David Murphy points – however, they still trailed 0-8 to 0-5 at half time.

The men in maroon picked up from where they left off on the resumption of play as Jordan Fitzpatrick pointed following some nice build-up play by Colin Slevin and Ronan Coffey.

Padraig McMahon pointed but the sides were level after 33 minutes. Jason Ward’s shot dropped short but David Murphy did enough to force the ball over the line from close range following a scramble between himself, keeper Andrew Bonham and Gavin Tynan.

And for the first time since the second minute, Portarlington took the lead after 39 minutes via David Murphy.

And a minute later, Ballyroan-Abbey were down to 14 men. Wing back Martin Scully, who picked up a first half booking for a tackle on Paddy O’Sullivan, received his second and then a red after referee Joe Brennan adjudged him to have fouled Steven Lyons.

Jason Ward moved Port two clear as we entered the final quarter with their first free of the evening.

But Ballyroan-Abbey refused to go away as frees from MJ Tierney and Diarmuid Whelan had us level again as we headed for the closing ten minutes.

Portarlington lost Colin Slevin to a nasty looking shoulder injury and incredibly, the 14-men of Ballyroan found themselves in front thanks to Diarmuid Whelan.

David Murphy hit straight back though and then Jason Ward majestically pinged the ball over the bar off the outside of his foot to put Port one up with four minutes to go.

Graham Weldon moved Portarlington two ahead as three minutes of injury time were signalled.

Ballyroan went in search of the goal they needed to get the win but the best they could manage was a Padraig McMahon shot that came off the upright and went wide.

SCORERS – Portarlington: Paddy O’Sullivan 0-2, Johnny Fulham 0-1, David Murphy 1-4, Jordan Fitzpatrick 0-1, Jason Ward 0-2 (one free), Graham Weldon 0-1 Ballyroan-Abbey: MJ Tierney 0-5 (three frees), John Rogers 0-1, Diarmuid Whelan 0-4 (three frees), Padraig McMahon 0-2

PORTARLINGTON: Scott Osbourne; Dean Foster, Diarmuid Bennett, Alex Mohan; Graham Weldon, Adam Ryan, Colin Slevin; Cathal Ryan, Paddy O’Sullivan; Jordan Fitzpatrick, Stephen Lyons, Johnny Fulham; Ronan Coffey, David Murphy, Jason Ward. Subs: Curtis Lyons for S Lyons (45m), Sean Byrne for Slevin (52m, inj)

BALLYROAN-ABBEY: Andrew Bonham; Cian Moffit, Gavin Tynan, Ruairi Dunne; Jamie Whelan, Aaron Carroll, Martin Scully; Shaun Murphy, Mick Brennan; John Rogers, Diarmuid Whelan; MJ Tierney, Scott Conroy, Mark McDonald. Subs: Trevor Phelan for Rogers (52m)

REFEREE: Joe Brennan (Crettyard)

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.