The Laois GAA Divisional football competition continued this evening with games in Mountmellick and Stradbally.
The two sides wwho lost their opening round games – West Northwest and North East – clashed in Mountmellick and Siun Lennon reports on that game.
Meanwhile, East Central and South East put their 100% records on the line as they met in Stradbally where Alan Hartnett was present.
Check out how they both got on:
South East 0-22 East Central 2-11
Divisional Football Competition Round 2
The South East have made it two wins on the bounce and qualified for the cup final in the process following a five point win this evening.
Paul Kingston was the star of the show as he kicked eleven points for the South East in a win that saw them come from behind to kick the final six scores of the game.
The East Central were left ruing a number of poor wides and missed goal chances – and they will have to defeat the North East next weekend to make the final.
South East got off to a great start and fired over the first four pints of the game via Evan Lowry, David Conway and Michael Nash.
East Central we’re errant with their shooting and kicked a lot of poor wides before James Kelly got their first score after eight minutes.
That seemed to settle them though and a minute later they had the ball in the net when a great ball from Colm Begley found Diarmuid Whelan who rounded his man to score.
From here, the lead changed hands several times but the South East finished the half the stronger.
Stephen Attride, Paul Kingston and Michael Nash got the last three points of the half to leave them ahead by 0-11 to 1-7 at the break.
The East Central were the ones who made the better start to the second half though as a swift move involving Diarmuid Whelan and Michael Keogh resulted in Mikie Dempsey scoring a goal from close range.
Justin Lalor and Dempsey added further points but Paul Kingston replied for South East with a brace to cut the gap to one.
They soon got back level and the sides swapped points before a Colm Begley score after 49 minutes left East Central in front.
But the defining moment of the game came ten minutes from the end. Some great work from Michael Keogh resulted in the ball coming to Seamus Lacey as he bared down on goal but South East keeper Darragh Phelan pulled off a brilliant save.
The South East went down the other end and equalised through David Conway and held their opponents scoreless for the remainder of the game.
Conway, Evan O’Carroll, Evan Lowry, Paul Kingston and Brian Byrne all raised white flags as they saw out the win.
SCORERS – East Central: Diarmuid Whelan 1-3, Colm Begley 0-4, Mikie Dempsey 1-1, James Kelly 0-1, Justin Lalor 0-1, Podge Dunne 0-1 South East: Paul Kingston 0-11, David Conway 0-4, Evan Lowry 0-2, Michael Nash 0-2, Stephen Attride 0-1, Evan O’Carroll 0-1, Brian Byrne 0-1
EAST CENTRAL: Derek Beale (Stradbally); Kevin Byrne (Ballylinan), Liam Knowles (Stradbally), Damien O’Connor (Timahoe); Justin Lalor (Stradbally), Eoin Buggie (Stradbally), James Kelly (St Joseph’s); Colm Begley (Stradbally), Shaun Murphy (Ballyroan-Abbey); Mikie Dempsey (St Joseph’s), Brian Daly (St Joseph’s), Podge Dunne (Park-Ratheniska); Ruairi O’Connor (Timahoe), Michael Keogh (St Joseph’s), Diarmuid Whelan (Ballyroan-Abbey) Subs: Aaron Carroll (Ballyroan-Abbey) for Kelly, Adam Campion (St Joseph’s) for O’Connor, Richie Hitchcock (Park-Ratheniska) for Byrne, Jack Deegan (Stradbally) for Murphy, Seamus Lacey (Ballylinan) for Daly
SOUTH EAST: Darragh Phelan (Barrowhouse); James Baldwin (Barrowhouse), David McDermott (Killeshin), Joe Mulhare (Arles-Killeen); Kevin Ryan (Killeshin), Stephen Attride (Killeshin), Shane Bolger (Killeshin); Aaron Forbes (Graiguecullen), Kevin Meaney (Arles-Kilcruise); Brian Byrne (Graiguecullen), David Conway (Arles-Kilcruise), Sean O’Shea (Arles-Killeen); Evan Lowry (Killeshin), Paul Kingston (Arles-Killeen), Michael Nash (Crettyard). Subs: Evan O’Carroll (Crettyard) for O’Shea and Emmet Malone (Barrowhouse) got Forbes (both ht), Ross Munnelly (Arles-Kilcruise) for Lowry, Aaron Forbes (Graiguecullen) for Munnelly, Andrew Baldwin (Barrowhouse) for Ryan, Martin Doyle (Graiguecullen) for Mulhare, Joe Mulhare (Arles-Killeen) for Baldwin
North East 2-21 West Northwest 1-11
Divisional Football Competition Round 2
A closely contested battle for periods of the first half and the start of the second half but the North East side ramped up their performance through scores from Colm Murphy and Evin Keane to leave no doubt as who deservedly still has a chance for that Cup Final spot.
If it wasn’t for Eoghan Keogh’s spectacular shot stopping, the deficit could have been even greater for the West Northwest side, who will now have to settle for the shield final.
The formidable Murphy got the scoring off to a start for Paul Lawlor’s North East side, while James Moore stepped up on the frees, slotting two over to put West Northwest on the board.
Keogh’s shot stopping from point-blank range was put to the test early on, before Evin Keane registered his name on the scoresheet with a point after 20 minutes.
Robbie Dowling sent in plenty of expert balls into his forward line, with one such effort Murphy to make it five points for the North East team. Paddy O’Sullivan played immensely in the backs, with an appetite to stride out the field.
Mountmellick man Colm Coss earned a free which Moore converted before Finbarr Corwley shot a magnificent point from the wing, marking his first of four in the first-half.
Rosenallis man Joey Shelly was also making no mistakes on scoring – adding two points before the Portarlington duo of O’Sullivan and Murphy tacked on another for the North East.
West North-West found it had to break through the North East defence, with Paul Lawlor’s side using a sweeper for the half. A long-range Coss free found Mountmellick Gaels teammate James Mullaney, who soloed in from the wing to the centre to make it 0-7 to 0-8.
Emo men Evan Costello and Crowley tacked on points to give the North East a four point advantage of 0-12 to 0-8 at half-time.
West-Northwest got the scoring off to a start in the second-half, with Shelly adding a point and then a goal to draw the sides level.
Murphy fisted over a point but Moore stepped up again on the frees to level it again after 36 minutes.
However, this would be the last of Shane Conlon’s side’s scoring for 10 minutes while the North East did their damage.
Shane Murphy, Crowley and Colm Murphy all contributed to eight point increase within that time frame, Evin Keane put away their second goal after numerous saves from Keogh while Murphy, Darren Strong and Keane added points to make it 2-20 to 1-10 after 50 minutes.
Keane struck once more and a Robert Tyrell point wasn’t enough to climb the mountain of a scoring difference the North East had built. The game ended 2-21 to 1-11.
SCORERS – North East: Colm Murphy 1-8 (0-2 frees), Evin Keane 1-5, Finbarr Crowley 0-5, Evan Costello 0-1, Shane Murphy 0-1, Darren Strong 0-1 West Northwest: James Moore 0-6 (0-3 frees), Joey Shelley 1-3, James Mullaney 0-1, Rob Tyrrell 0-1
NORTH EAST: Scott Osborne (Portarlington); Alan Whelan (The Heath), Diarmuid Bennett (Portarlington), Mark Dowling (The Heath); Sean Byrne (Portarlington), Paddy O’Sullivan (Portarlington), Shane Murphy (Emo); Robbie Dowling (The Heath), Rory Bracken (O’Dempsey’s); Nigel Murphy (Emo), Evan Costello (Emo), Brian Ging (The Heath); Evin Keane (The Heath), Jack Owens (Emo), Colm Murphy (Portarlington). Subs: Graham Weldon (Portarlington) for Brian Ging (20 minutes), Finbarr Crowley (Emo) for Bracken (21 minutes), Brian Ging for N Murphy (27 minutes), Elliott Scully (Annanough) for Jack Owens (half-time) Niall Gorman (Emo) for S Osborne (half-time), Paddy Dunne (Emo) for Alan Whelan, (half-time) Darren Strong (Emo) for R Dowling, (half-time), Jack Owens for P O’Sullivan (48 minutes) R Dowling for B Ging (48 minutes)
WEST NORTH WEST: Eoghan Keogh (Mountmellick); Marcus Redmond (Rosenallis), Ruaidhri C Fennell (Rosenallis), Darren Fitzpatrick (Mountmellick); Conor Flynn (The Rock), Eoin George (Mountmellick), Fiachra C Fennell (Rosenallis); Rob Tyrrell (Camross), Gearoid Hanrahan (Mountmellick); James Moore (Ballyfin), Colm Coss (Mountmellick), James Mullaney (Castletown); Aaron Dowling (The Rock), Joey Shelly (Rosenallis), Cathal C Fennell (Rosenallis). Subs: Alan Whelan, Brian Ging