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League final place secured for O’Dempsey’s and a round-up of all tonight’s football games

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O’Dempsey’s kept their hunt for a third successive ACFL Division 1A league title alive as they claimed their tenth win from 11 games to seal a final place with three games to spare.

There were also wins for Ballyroan-Abbey and St Joseph’s in the Division while the tie between Portlaoise and Portarlington was abandoned following a serious injury.

In Division 1B, Emo delayed Ballylinan’s promotion party but their neighbours Courtwood took a big step towards it with their second win over Stradbally.

Check out a round up on all the games below:

ACFL DIVISION 1A

Ballyroan-Abbey 1-9 The Heath 0-9 

A Shaun Murphy goal would prove the difference between these two sides as The Heath travelled to Ballyroan for this round 11 meeting.

Ballyroan-Abbey only kicked two points in the second half but their six point lead built up before half time was enough to see them take home their fourth win of the league tonight.

The home side started the scoring as Scott Conroy set up James Whelan to raise the white flag. Chris Bergin levelled it with the first of his three converted frees and Evin Keane pushed The Heath one in front.

Enda McWey stepped forward on frees for Ballyroan-Abbey, converting two before Scott Conroy launched an attack following a kickout from The Heath to make it 1-3 to two points.

Another McWey free meant that after 35 minutes the opening half finished 1-7 to 0-4 in favour of Ballyroan-Abbey.

Two frees from McWey would be all that Ballyroan-Abbey would see ail over the crossbar in the second half but even as Shane Forde, Daithi Carroll, Keane and Bergin launched in their efforts it wasn’t enough to overturn the lead as Ballyroan-Abbey finished three-point victors tonight.

SCORERS – Ballyroan-Abbey: Shaun Murphy 1-0, Enda McWey 0-5 (0-5 frees), Aaron Carroll 0-2, James Whelan 0-1, Padraig McMahon 0-1 The Heath: Chris Bergin 0-4 (0-3 frees), Evin Keane 0-3, Shane Forde 0-1, Daithi Carroll 0-1

BALLYROAN-ABBEY: Andrew Bonham; Mark Cahill, Gavin Tynan, Aaron Carroll; James Whelan, Mark McDonald, Aaron McEvoy; Shaun Murphy, Michael Brennan; Ciaran Carroll, Scott Conroy, Dylan Cuddy; Enda McWey, Padraig McMahon, Ruairi Dunne. Subs: Cian Moffitt fot M McDonald, Cathal Doyle for M Brennan, Stephen Thompson for D Cuddy

THE HEATH: Joe Walshe; Gary Smith, Ciaran Booth, James Conroy; Conor Fitzpatrick, James Phelan, Mark Dowling; Shane Forde, Daithi Carroll; Robbie Ging, Evin Keane, Robbie Dowling; Brian Ging, Andrew Booth, Chris Bergin. Subs: Seamus O’Connor for C Fitzpatrick (injured), Alan Whelan for A Booth (injured)

Referee: Joe Brennan

St Joseph’s 1-16 Graiguecullen 2-12

It was Conor Kealy who sealed the deal and two points for St Joseph’s tonight as they tussled with Graiguecullen in Tony Byrne Park.

St Joseph’s went three points ahead at the interval on nine points to six and further increased their lead after the break. A Kealy goal early in the second half sent the home side soaring ahead as they looked poised for victory.

However a penalty for Graiguecullen launched in by Mark Doogue would send the game hurtling into a draw and Griaguecullen just a kick away for victory.

But Kealy would come to the rescue for the home team with a late point to save the day and give St Joseph’s their fifth win of the ACFL tonight.

O’Dempsey’s 2-9 Arles-Kilcruise 1-8

O’Dempsey’s have booked their Division 1 league final place as goals from Daithi Howlin and Eoin Finlay helped them to a 2-9 to 1-8 win over Arles-Kilcruise this evening.

O’Dempsey’s led 1-6 to 0-4 at half time and while the sides were level 1-8 apiece with ten minutes remaining, Eoin Finlay struck for O’Dempsey’s second goal in injury time and that ensured a hard-earned four-point win.

It means O’Dempsey’s – county finalists last year – are sure of their place in the league final as they bid to do three-in-a-row in the competition.

They are on 20 points after 11 games, their only loss coming against Portlaoise early on. Portlaoise are second on 14, but with St Joseph’s and Graigue on 12 each it means O’Dempsey’s can’t be denied a top two finish even with three games remaining.

SCORERS – O’Dempsey’s: Eoin Finlay 1-2, Daithi Howlin 1-0, Michael Finlay 0-3, Barry Kelly 0-2, Rory Bracken 0-1, Stephen O’Leary 0-1. Arles-Kilcruise: Chris Conway 1-1, Dylan Walters 0-2, Kevin Meaney 0-1, David Conway 0-1, Francis Egan 0-1, Brendan Conway 0-1, Jason McLoughlin 0-1

O’DEMPSEY’S: Podge Bannon; Chris McCormack, Cormac O’Hora, Ciaran McManus; Bryan Meredith, Robbie Kehoe, Liam Whelehan; Barry Kelly, Rory Bracken; Johnny Kelly, Eoin Finlay, Peter O’Leary; Stephen O’Leary, Michael Finlay, Daithi Howlin. Subs: Jack Lennon for O’Leary, Darren Finlay for Howlin

ARLES-KILCRUISE: Chris Lawlor; Sean Meaney, Stephen Miller; Paudge Conway; JP Conway, Colm Munnelly, Cialann Mulhall; Kevin Meaney, Francis Egan; Chris O’Donovan, Brendan Conway, David Conway; Jason McLoughlin, Dylan Walters, Chris Conway

Portlaoise 1-1 Portarlington 1-1
Abandoned after nine minutes

Elsewhere, the clash between Portlaoise and Portarlington in McCann Park in Portarlington was postponed after just nine minutes due to a head injury picked up by Port’s Steven Lyons.

He required an ambulance to hospital in Portlaoise with referee Seamus Mulhare opting to abandon the game for the player’s welfare.

The sides were level 1-1 each at the time.

PORTLAOISE: Michael Nolan; Chris Finn, David Seale, Beano McCormack; Paddy Downey, Brian Mulligan, Colin Finn; Damon Larkin, Shane Smyth; Ronan McEvoy, Craig Rogers, Aaron Rafter; Ricky Maher, Kevin Fitzpatrick, Bruno McCormack

PORTARLINGTON: Jack Whelan; Dean Foster, Hayden Weldon, Conor McCarthy; Steven Lyons, Sean Byrne, Graham Weldon; Eoin McCann, Sean Michael Corcoran; Stephen O’Neill, Jonathan Fulham; Jake Foster, David Murphy, Chris Booth

ACFL DIVISION 1B

Two games took place in Division 1B tonight as the tie between Arles-Killeen and Killeshin was postponed due to a bereavement.

Courtwood could take one further step towards back-to-back promotions with a second successive win over Stradbally and they duly did so.

A Benny Lawlor goal for the Little Town sent the sides in level at the break, 1-4 to 0-7, and the teams were still deadlocked after 51 minutes with the score at 1-8 to 0-11.

However, inspired by the exploits of Danny Luttrell, Courtwood reeled off the last three points to remain five points clear of Emo who are in second place with three games to play.

Emo have four games remaining and they became the first side this season to enjoy victory against table topping Ballylinan.

With Gary Walsh now out of the country, Ballylinan’s firepower has been diminished and they only managed four points in the first half.

Emo led 2-9 to 0-4 at the break thanks to Rorie Meredith and Brian Gorman goals and they ran out 2-14 to 1-11 winners in the end.

RESULTS

ACFL Division 1A
Ballyroan-Abbey 1-9 The Heath 0-9
St Joseph’s 1-16 Graiguecullen 2-12
O’Dempsey’s 2-9 Arles-Kilcruise 1-8
Portarlington 1-1 Portlaoise 1-1 (ABANDONED)

ACFL Division 1B
Stradbally 1-8 Courtwood 0-14
Emo 2-14 Ballylinan 1-11

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