Portlaoise 1-11 Skyrne (Meath) 2-4
Leinster Senior Club Football Championship Final 2004
The Portlaoise footballers begin their latest Leinster campaign away to Moorefield on Sunday and for our Remember The Game this week, we take a look at one of their seven victories.
Back in 2004, the Town had gone 17 years without tasting provincial success but on a damp December day, they ended their long wait against Meath champions Skyrne.
They had the legendary Trevor Giles in their ranks but Portlaoise proved too strong and won by four points in the end in Newbridge – the same venue they will play in this weekend.
But what an incredible Portlaoise team this was – and some of the players are still integral parts of the current crop.
Brian McCormack, Cahir Healy and Craig Rogers are mainstays with the Town 14 years on and the trio would go on to add another Leinster title in 2009.
Tommy Conroy’s men went into the game without 2003 Leinster winning Laois captain Ian Fitzgerald but all of the other players raised their game considerably.
They were also without free taker Barry Fitzgerald through injury but were on the front foot from the off and led by 0-8 to 0-1 at half time.
Skyrne hit back with two early second half points but when Portlaoise replied via Parkinson and then got a great goal from Martin Delaney, the game looked over.
The Meath men scored two goals in the closing period and cut the gap to three points with five minutes to go.
But then Trevor Giles missed what looked to be a routine free and Portlaoise hit back with a Bruno McCormack point to steady the ship and see out the win.
The game ended with the players on the podium singing the ‘Portlaoise Queen’ led by Kevin Fitzpatrick’s uncle Mick.
Portlaoise will be hoping to get the win on Sunday against Moorefield and hopefully go on a run which will see them conquer Leinster for an eight time.
SCORERS – PORTLAOISE: Brian McCormack 0-4, Martin Delaney 1-1, Peter McNulty 0-3, Colm Parkinson 0-2, Kevin Fitzpatrick 0-1 SKYRNE: Trevor Giles 1-1, Ken O’Connell 1-0, Kevin Mulvaney, Paul O’Donnell and Mick O’Dowd 0-1 each
PORTLAOISE: Michael Nolan; Tommy Fitzgerald, Colm Byrne, Eoin Bland; Brian Mulligan, Cahir Healy, Aidan Fennelly; Enda Coleman, Martin Delaney; Brian McCormack, Michael Fennelly, Kevin Fitzpatrick; Peter McNulty, Colm Parkinson, Craig Rogers. Subs: Tommy Mulligan for B Mulligan
SKYRNE: Feilum O’Rourke; David Rogan, David Donnelly, Andrew Curry; Martin Mulvaney, John Quinn, Nicky Hamill; Trevor Giles, Brian Smyth; James Gibbons, Kevin Mulvaney, Paul O’Donnell; Alan Carty, Mick O’Dowd, Jamie Jordan. Subs: Aidan Tuite for Gibbons, Ken O’Connell for Carty, Brian Smith for K Mulvaney
Referee: Syl Doyle (Wexford)