Ballyroan-Abbey 1-13 Emo 2-10
Laois Shopping Centre Senior Football Championship Round 1
Nigel Murphy’s last gasp goal salvaged a draw for Emo in a dramatic encounter against Ballyroan-Abbey tonight.
The game looked over and done with in the third minute of injury time but Emo came forward and Finbarr Crowley laid off the ball to Nigel Murphy who cut inside and cracked a shot into the corner of the net.
Ballyroan-Abbey had come from five points down with 20 minutes to go to lead by three as joint manager Padraig McMahon scoring 1-4 to push them ahead.
But the game ended in a draw and the sides will now have to do battle once more.
This game had a crazy start as Emo could’ve scored three goals in the first five minutes.
They got the first one inside a minute when Nigel Murphy’s effort dropped short but was allowed to bounce where Andrew Bonham punched it away only for the ball to fall perfectly to Murphy, who had followed his shot in, and he cracked a half volley into the net.
Jack Owens tormented Ballyroan with his direct running and he set up further chances for Darren Strong and Murphy but both forced excellent saves from Bonham.
Ballyroan-Abbey then had a goal chance when Marty Scully and MJ Tierney combined to set up Cian Moffitt but this time Emo keeper Niall Gorman came to the rescue with a fine save.
Emo added points through Paul Lawlor (2) and Owens to take a 1-3 to no score lead at the midpoint of the half.
Ballyroan looked a little stunned but they finally registered their first score through Diarmuid Whelan and that settled them as they went on to land three more in a row.
Whelan and Shaun Murphy kicked screamers while joint-manager Padraig McMahon landed another from an outrageous angle as the rain began to pour down in O’Moore Park.
And the gap was down to the minimum after 26 minutes when corner back Mark Cahill stormed forward and laid the ball off to McMahon who curled Ballyroan’s fifth point in a row over the bar.
Emo hadn’t scored since the 13th minute but Darren Strong ended that baron spell and then Shane Murphy popped up with another as we entered injury time.
Rorie Meredith added another but Padraig McMahon’s point brought the half to an end as Emo led 1-6 to 0-6 at the break.
Emo started the first half well and they repeated the trick in the second as Jack Owens won a free which Paul Lawlor converted.
MJ Tierney responded with his first of the evening but Paul Lawlor’s fourth left four between the teams again after 36 minutes.
Jack Owens extended the lead further but the teams would be level for the first time after 41 minutes.
Scott Conroy played a ball with his left foot that dissected the entire Emo defence and Padraig McMahon came flying in at the back post to fist it to the net.
McMahon then took his tally to 1-4 before MJ Tierney levelled things up at 1-9 apiece with a lovely effort off his trusty left boot.
The architect of the Ballyroan goal Scott Conroy then put Ballyroan in front for the first time but Emo’s Stephen Norton finally lifted the siege to tie the game once more.
It was real tit-for-tat stuff now as Diarmuid Whelan curled Ballyroan-Abbey back ahead from an acute angle before landing his fourth point to leave it 1-12 to 1-10 with ten to play.
Emo then had the first goal chance of the half when Finbarr Crowley broke forward and picked out Nigel Murphy who unleashed a fierce shot that landed in the side-netting.
And then Ballyroan had another goal chance when Scott Conroy played in MJ Tierney who rounded Eibhin Joyce but keeper Niall Gorman once again pulled off a great save – this time with his feet.
Neither side scored again until Diarmuid Whelan looked to have put the game beyond Emo with his fourth point in the second minute of injury with his fourth point.
But up stepped Murphy to level the game and ensure we will have to do it all over again.
SCORERS – BALLYROAN-ABBEY: Diarmuid Whelan 0-5, Shaun Murphy 0-1, Padraig McMahon 1-4, MJ Tierney 0-2 (one free), Scott Conroy 0-1 EMO: Nigel Murphy 2-0, Paul Lawlor 0-4 (two frees), Jack Owens 0-2 (one free), Darren Strong 0-1, Shane Murphy 0-1, Rorie Meredith 0-1, Stephen Norton 0-1
BALLYROAN-ABBEY: Andrew Bonham; Mark Cahill, Gavin Tynan, Aaron Carroll; Jamie Whelan, Marty Scully, Cian Moffitt; Michael Brennan, Shaun Murphy; Ruairi Dunne, Scott Conroy, MJ Tierney; Ciaran Carroll, Diarmuid Whelan, Padraig McMahon. Subs: John Rogers for Carroll (51), Cathal Doyle for Murphy (55), Mark McDonald for Tierney (59)
EMO: Niall Gorman; Paddy Dunne, James O’Rourke, Liam Crowley; Finbarr Crowley, Brian Gorman, Eibhin Joyce; James Hillard, Darren Strong; Stephen Norton, Nigel Murphy, Jack Owens; Rorie Meredith, Paul Lawlor, Shane Murphy. Subs: Chris Gleeson for Meredith (60)
Referee: Des Cooney (St Joseph’s)