Portlaoise 2-8 Castletown 0-7
Laois Credit Union SHC Final 2004
Ahead of tonight’s clash between Portlaoise and Castletown in the first round in Group B of the SHC, we look back on Portlaoise’s victory over the same opposition in 2004 when they were crowned Laois SHC champions.
Portlaoise’s win ended Castletown’s hopes of winning six Laois SHC titles in a row. The last time Portlaoise had lifted the Bob O’Keefe Cup was six years previous, just before Castletown went on their winning streak.
Castletown came into the game as red-hot favorites, but a strong and spirited first-half performance from The Town proved to be the catalyst for their victory.
Castletown had lead after 12 minutes but Portlaoise piled on the pressure and Noel Costello fired in a goal to give his side a slender lead at half-time.
Portlaoise led 1-5 to 0-6 at the break and needed another strong performance in the second-half to get them over the line.
Damien Fox, who is the current Portlaoise hurling manager was also over the side then, rallied his troops and they limited Castletown to a single score in the second-half.
Costello ended the game with a tally of 2-3 and showed he was a man for the big occasion.
Portlaoise rectified their loss to Castletown the year previous and won convincingly.
Damien Fox will be hopeful of the same result tonight as the loser of this game could potentially end up in a relegation final.
Scorers- Portlaoise: Noel Costello 2-3 (0-3 frees), Brian McCormack 0-2, Niall Rigney, Tommy Fitzgerald and Eamon Fennelly 0-1 each. Castletown: Patrick Phelan 0-5 (four frees), David Cuddy and James Hooban 0-1 each.
PORTLAOISE John Hanniffy; Cahir Healy, Cyril Duggan, Brian Mulligan; Tommy Mulligan, Diarmuid Costello, Colm Clear; Joe Phelan, Niall Rigney; Brian McCormack, Eamon Fennelly, Owen Browne; Tommy Fitzgerald, Barry Fitzgerald, Noel Costello. Subs: Alan Kingsley for Fennelly (blood sub)
CASTLETOWN: John Lyons; Martin Phelan, Robert Delaney, Tom Phelan; Declan Keenan, Paul Cuddy, Cyril Cuddy; John Palmer, John O’Sullivan; Fionan O’Sullivan, David Cuddy, John Richard Kingston; Patrick Phelan, Padraig Cuddy, James Hooban. Subs Brian Ferns for T Phelan inj (19), Joe Delaney for Palmer (40), Patrick Mullaney for Padraig Cuddy (46), Tadgh Dooley for F O’Sullivan (46) Seamus Lyons for JR Kingston (55).
REFEREE: Anthony Stapleton (Rathdowney)