There was another busy evening of Laois GAA club action around the county with most of the focus on Division 1A and 1B in the football.
The Heath 2-10 Portarlington 0-11
An early goal from Leon Holland got The Heath off to a great start as they raced into a 1-1 to 0-0 lead early on to set them up for an important win in their bid to avoid relegation from Division 1A.
Portarlington’s first impression on the board came as Johnny Fulham sent in a free and collected the ball off his full forward David Murphy, slotting the ball over the bar upon delivery.
Seán O’Neill sailed over his first effort while a stellar save from Port’s Gary Lanigan kept The Heath at bay from raising the green flag.
Adam Ryan combined efforts with Jake Foster for Foster to convert his first of the evening.
However The Heath upheld their clasp on the evening’s proceedings. Liam Kinsella’s delivery into Andrew Booth saw the full forward blast his shot into the net.
Foster hit back with a point from play and from a free but The Heath registered the final four points of the opening half – with Booth, Evin Keane, David Carroll and Holland converting to give the home side a six point lead at the break – 2-5 to 0-5.
Jake Foster blasted Portarlington out of the starting blocks in the second half, converting a free in the 31st minute.
Dylan Kavanagh launched up the field to help Holland land his third and while David Murphy kicked four second half points for Port, two from placed balls, it wasn’t enough to cut the deficit.
Andrew Booth and Evin Keane kept up the intensity of the home side, lodging over two magnificent points between them, while a last minute Keane free meant The Heath finished five point victors.
They play Graiguecullen next week while Port, who are now in the bottom two places, take on bottom side Arles-Kilcruise in a huge clash.
SCORERS – The Heath: Leon Holland 1-3, Evin Keane 0-5, Andrew Booth 1-2, Daithi Carroll 0-1. Portarlington: Jake Foster 0-5 (0-2 frees), David Murphy 0-4 (0-2 frees), Seán O’Neill 0-1, Johnny Fulham 0-1
THE HEATH: Billy Hennessy; Dylan Kavanagh, Alan Whelan, Neil Keane, Mark Dowling, Conor Booth; James Nerney, Shane Forde; Robert Ging, David Carroll, Liam Kinsella; Leon Holland, Evin Keane, Andrew Booth. Subs: Gareth O’Brien for C Booth, Seamus O’Connor for D Kavanagh
PORTARLINGTON: Gary Langian; Conor McCarthy, Hayden Weldon, Dean Foster; Cathal Bennett, Graham Weldon, M Bennett; Eoin McCann, Adam Ryan; Sean Michael Corcoran, Stephen O’Neill, Johnny Fulham; Jake Foster, D Murphy, C Booth. Subs: David Condron for E McCann (bloodsub), D Condron for A Ryan (injured), Jordan Fitzpatrick for M Bennett (injured), Jason Ward
Arles-Kilcruise 2-9 Ballyroan-Abbey 2-15
Goals from Padraig McMahon and Cian Moffitt helped Ballyroan-Abbey to a six-point win away to Arles-Kilcruise this evening.
It’s a result that almost ensures Ballyroan’s place in Division 1A next season but leaves Arles needing to beat Portarlington next week to have any chance of staying up.
Dylan Walters got Arles’s goal from a penalty in the first half but Ballyroan still led 1-7 to 1-5 at the break and Ballyroan stayed on top throughout second half despite a goal from Chris Conway late on.
BALLYROAN-ABBEY: Andrew Bonham; Cian Moffitt, Gavin Tynan, Mark Cahill; Jamie Whelan, Aaron Carroll, Aaron McEvoy; Shaun Murphy, Mick Brennan; Ciaran Carroll, Scott Conroy, John Rogers; MJ Tierney, Padraig McMahon, Ruairi Dunne. Subs: Robert Wall for Whelan, Paudie McDonald for C Carroll, Mark McDonald for Moffitt, Dylan Cuddy for Cahill
ARLES-KILCRUISE: Ciaran Lawlor; Cialann Mulhall, Sean Meaney, Paudge Conway; JP Conway, Colm Munnelly, Jason McLoughlin; Kevin Meaney, Stephen Miller; Francis Egan, Brendan Conway, Dermot Nolan; Chris Conway, Dylan Walters, David Conway.
Division 1A roundup
With O’Dempsey’s already in the final, they fell to only their second defeat of the season tonight when they lost 1-11 to 1-5 to St Joseph’s.
The win just about keeps St Joseph’s in touch for a final place but they would need to win their two remaining games and hope for Portlaoise to lose all three of theirs.
Portlaoise had a narrow 3-8 to 2-10 win over Graiguecullen.
In Division 1B, Ballylinan, who were already assured of promotion and a final place, got the better of neighbours Arles-Killeen, which means that Killeen now can’t be promoted.
Courtwood moved ever closer to the other final and promotion place with a win over Killeshin while Stradbally as good as made sure of their place in 1B thanks to a high-scoring 3-13 to 2-15 win over Mountmellick.
With St Joseph’s second team conceding the rest of their games and pulling out of the league, they are definitely relegated with one of Killeshin or Mountmellick set to join them.
The two sides meet next Thursday in Killeshin where the winner will take a big step towards staying up.
Laois Shopping Centre ACFL Division 1A Round 12
The Heath 2-10 Portarlington 0-11
O’Dempseys 1-5 St Joseph’s 1-11
Arles/Kilcruise 2-9 Ballyroan Abbey 2-15
Portlaoise 3-8 Graiguecullen 2-10
Laois Shopping Centre ACFL Division 1B Round 12
Mountmellick 2-15 Stradbally 3-13
Ballylinan 3-10 Arles/Killeen 1-13
Courtwood 3-12 Killeshin 1-14
Laois Shopping Centre ACHL Division 1A Round 7
Clonaslee St Manmans 0-14 Rathdowney Errill 1-16