Portlaoise CBS 3-9 Colaiste Cois Life (Dublin) 0-14
Top Oil Leinster PP School U-16 Football ‘C’ Semi Final
Super subs James Devoy and Aaron Thornton came off the bench and scored a goal each in the final three minutes as Portlaoise CBS came from behind to claim a Leinster final place.
Stradbally’s Devoy, who is only in First Year, was making his first appearance of the season for the South Leinster champions and it was his goal which regained control of the game for the CBS before Thornton finished off Dublin champions Colaiste Cois Life from Lucan a couple of minutes later.
This is a remarkable victory for Portlaoise CBS who went into the game without the likes of Cormac Dunne, DJ White, Ben Dempsey and Kevin Swayne – while their chances were further weakened ten minutes into the second half when Laois minor midfielder Conor Goode was shown a black card.
But Paul Cahillane and Geoff Brennan’s side are made of stern stuff and along with the two subs already mentioned, The Heath’s Jack Reddy and Timahoe’s Daire McDonald also made big impacts when introduced.
The CBS made the perfect start when Conor Goode was dragged down for a penalty in the first minute and captain Josh Mulhall stepped up and smashed the ball into the top corner of the net.
But the Dublin champions were no pushovers and wind assisted, they fired over the next four points via Eoin O hAodha, Oilibhear Birch and Somhairle Mac Conchubhair to take the lead.
Portlaoise CBS keeper Conor Brown also had to be smart in the first half as he was forced into two fine saves to keep the Lucan men at bay.
Two each from Paddy Hosey and Noah Fingleton regained the lead for Portlaoise CBS but a brace from Eoin O hAodha saw the sides level at 1-4 to 0-7 at the midpoint of the half.
Portlaoise CBS almost had another goal through Hosey but his effort came back off the post and another point from him was all they would manage in the remainder of the half.
Somhairle Mac Conchubhair and Eoin O hAodha split the posts for Colaiste Cois Life as they took a 0-9 to 1-5 lead into the interval.
That margin was extended by Oilibhear Birch on the resumption of play but two points from James Connolly and another from Paddy Hosey had the CBS 1-8 to 0-10 ahead after 35 minutes.
Eoin O hAodha levelled it again and although Connolly pushed the CBS back in front with 15 minutes to play, Colasite Cois Life got the next three points to go two ahead as we entered the closing three minutes and it was looking bleak for the CBS.
First Year was on the field at this stage and when Paddy Hosey cut inside to find the youngster in front of goal, he turned onto his left side and shot low into the bottom corner.
From the resulting kick-out, Josh Hogan-O’Brien, who worked tirelessly around midfield with Sam Birrane, Dan Daly and Josh Mulhall throughout, was fouled. James Connolly lobbed the ball in and it broke to sub Aaron Thornton who side-footed it to the net.
Three minutes of injury time followed but the CBS held on and now reach the final stage.
The lads now have a Leinster final to prepare for against the North Leinster champions which is likely to take place later this week.
SCORERS – PORTLAOISE CBS: Paddy Hosey 0-4, James Connolly 0-3 (one free), James Devoy, Aaron Thornton and Josh Mulhall (penalty) 1-0 each, Noah Fingleton 0-2 COLAISTE COIS LIFE: Eoin O hAodha 0-5 (two frees), Oilibhear Birch (three frees) and Somhairle Mac Conchubhair 0-4 each, Alex Bairead 0-1
PORTLAOISE CBS: Conor Brown (Portlaoise); Jamie Preston (Portlaoise), Jack Tobin (Portlaoise), Tommy Keegan (Emo); Marc Ramsbottom (Park-Ratheniska), Simon Fingleton (Park-Ratheniska), Gary Whelan (Portlaoise); Josh Mulhall (Park-Ratheniska), Sam Birrane (Portlaoise); Josh Hogan-O’Brien (Portlaoise), James Connolly (Park-Ratheniska), Dan Daly (The Heath); Noah Fingleton (Park-Ratheniska), Paddy Hosey (Emo), Conor Goode (Stradbally). Subs: Daire McDonald (Timahoe) for Preston (36), Aaron Thornton (The Heath) for Goode (40, black card), Jack Reddy (The Heath) for Whelan (43), James Devoy (Stradbally) for N Fingleton (45)
COLAISTE COIS LIFE: Cathal O Duda; Sean Airneis, Daithi O Maitin, Rossa O Briain; Fionn O Giollain, Jamie O Laimhin, Cillian O Dochartaigh; Deiric O Cathail, Maitiu Mac Giolla Phoil; Dylan Mac Muiri, Somhairle Mac Conchubhair, Oilibhear Birch; Alex O Floinn, Eoin O hAodha, Alex Bairead