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Meredith’s goal proves the turning point as O’Dempseys see off Portarlington and all of tonight’s ACFL division 1A results

Rory Bracken O'Dempsey's

There were eight teams out in action in division 1A tonight with O’Dempseys, Portlaoise, St Joseph’s and Griaguecullen.

See below for a report on the O’Dempseys v Portarlington game and a roundup of results for the following three games.

O’Dempseys 1-11 Portarlington 1-10
ACFL Division 1A

Tonight saw O’Dempseys just edge out a victory over neighbours Portarlington after a goal from Conor Meredith tipped the scales in their favour in this round seven encounter.

O’Dempseys are now second in the league behind Portlaoise, with six wins out of seven games.

Portarlington lead for the majority of the game until a Conor Meredith penalty in the second half sent the visitors soaring into the lead.

The Port men went ahead through Adam Ryan before Matthew Finlay stepped converting two from two on frees.

Centre-forward Stephen O’Neill stepped up with a point from play before another Finlay, Michéal, added two to make it four points to three to the visitors.

Port took over and secured 1-3 within four minutes through a Jake Foster goal and point while Adam Ryan raised the white flag before Matthew Finlay struck back with a free and a point from play.

A Ronan Coffey free signalled the ended of the first half with Portarlington staying three ahead – 1-6 to six points.

Michéal Finlay got O’Dempseys out of the starting blocks first, registering two points, before Matthew kicked a free to level the game.

Meredith’s penalty then sent O’Dempseys 1-8 to 1-7 ahead after 47 minutes.

Colin Slevin and Meredith traded scores in the 44th minute while Darragh Galvin saw his effort go over the crossbar to make it 1-9 to the home side.

Two frees for the Port men were not enough to claw back the deficit as Conor Meredith and Eoin Finlay tacked on two further points to edge out a one point victory in McCann Park tonight.

SCORERS – O’Dempseys: Conor Meredith 1-2, Matthew Finlay 0-5 (0-4 frees), Michéal Finlay 0-3, Eoin Finlay 0-1 Portarlington: Jake Foster 1-1, Ronan Coffey 0-3 (0-2 frees), Adam Ryan 0-2, Colin Slevin 0-2, Stephen O’Neill 0-1, Darragh Galvin 0-1, Stephen Lyons 0-1

O’DEMPSEYS: Eugene Nolan; Cormac O’Hora, Keith Kavanagh, Ciaran McManus; Conor Meredith, Robbie Kehoe, Bryan Meredith; Barry Kelly, Rory Bracken; Johnny Kelly, Eoin Finlay, Barry Howlin; Matthew Finlay, Daniel McCormack, Michéal Finlay. Subs: Ciaran McManus for J Kelly

PORTARLINGTON: Jack Whelan; Dean Foster, Diarmuid Whelan, Alex Mohan; Cathal Bennett, Jason Moore, Graham Wheldon; Eoin McCann, Adam Ryan; Colin Slevin, Stephen O’Neill, Ronan Coffey; Jake Foster, Johnny Fulham, Darragh Galvin. Subs: Sean Michael Corcoran for J Foster (24 minutes – black card) Conor McCarthy for G Wheldon , Stephen Lyons for D Galvin (54 minutes)

In the other Division 1A games this evening, Portlaoise maintained their 100% record with a 2-15 to 1-10 win over The Heath.

The result leaves Portlaoise on 14 points after seven games and the the midway stage of the league.

They are two clear of O’Dempsey’s, whose only loss so far was to Portlaoise, while there is a six-point gap then back to Graiguecullen, St Joseph’s and Ballyroan-Abbey.

St Joseph’s picked up a much-needed win with a thanks to a 1-11 to 0-12 triumph over Ballyroan-Abbey.

They were 0-8 to 0-6 up at the break and a Jason Campion goal was crucial in the second half.

In the other Division 1A clash, Graiguecullen were 0-11 to 0-8 winners over Arles-Kilcruise.

Graigue were 0-6 to 0-4 up at the break and pushed on to win in the last 10 minutes following the sending off of Brendan Conway on two yellow card. There was only a point in it at the time of the dismissal.

Graigue move to third place on the back of the win while Arles-Kilcruise have just one point after seven games and remain rooted to the bottom of the table.

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