St. Joseph’s-Barrowhouse 2-10 Portlaoise 1-5
2015 Laois Shopping Centre U21 FC ‘A’ Final
St Joseph’s-Barrowhouse saw off Portlaoise to claim the U-21 ‘A’ title three years ago in Ratheniska.
The amalgamated side, who had to wait a month to play this game after defeating Rosenallis in the semi final, showed signs of rustiness in the beginning but went into a lead they never relinquished midway through the first half.
Captain and man of the match Mick Keogh was immense as he scored 1-5 from play – exactly half of his side’s total.
For Portlaoise, the defeat brought the end of a year full of highs and lows.
Just a week previous, a number of their players were on the U-21 hurling team that defeated Abbeyleix to claim glory.
While a week before that, they had suffered Leinster club final heartbreak against Dublin champions Ballyboden St Enda’s.
Jack Brown got the scoring underway but St Joseph’s Barrowhouse responded quickly with a poachers goal from Michael Keogh after Brian Daly’s long range shot caused havoc when it dropped short.
Portlaoise settled again though with points from Brown and Conor Dunphy to level the game after ten minutes.
But St Joseph’s-Barrowhouse outscored Portlaoise by five points to one in the time that remained and took a 1-5 to 0-4 lead at the break.
Brian Daly, Keogh and Adam Campion extended St Joseph’s-Barrowhouse’s lead on the resumption of play but a Chris Finn goal gave Portlaoise hope.
However, they managed just one more point in the remainder of the game while a Peter Kealy goal made the game safe for the victors before the end.
St Joseph’s Barrowhouse would retain their title twelve months later in the same venue as they defeated Sarsfields Gaels.
However, there would be no three-in-a-row as Portarlington claimed their first title in 24 years 12 months ago.
SCORERS – St Joseph’s-Barrowhouse: Mick Keogh 1-5, Peter Kealy 1-1, Brian Daly 0-3 (two frees), Adam Campion 0-1 Portlaoise: Jack Brown 0-3 (one free), Chris Finn 1-0, Conor Dunphy and John Kavanagh 0-1 each
ST. JOSEPH’S-BARROWHOUSE: Aaron Cooney; Cian Maher, Adam Campion, James Baldwin; James Kelly, Aidan Brennan, Donal Ramsbottom; James Smith, Brian Daly; Danny Hickey, Peter Kealy, Andrew Baldwin; Dylan Doyle, Mick Keogh, Ciaran Ramsbottom. Subs: Conor Knowles, Denis Brophy, Noel Leech, Gearoid Lacey
PORTLAOISE: Chris Lynch; Padraig O’Neill, Frank Flanagan, Dean Lynch; Chris Finn, Eoghan Feane, Cian Taylor; James Nerney, Ciaran McEvoy; Shane Smith, Conor Dunphy, Aaron Rafter; John Kavanagh, Jack Brown, Benny Carroll. Subs: Donnacha O’Reilly, Dean Cullen, Lee Davis, Shane Whelan
Referee: Eddie Kinsella (Courtwood)