Ballyroan-Abbey 1-10 Emo 0-12
Laois Shopping Centre SFC Round 1 Replay
An early goal from Diarmuid Whelan set Ballyroan-Abbey on their way as they just about overcame the challenge of Emo in this evening’s bizarre Round 1 replay in O’Moore Park.
It was a game shrouded in controversy as Finbarr Crowley was sent off in the 55th minute for picking up a second yellow card – one that Emo furiously protested was given to the wrong player. The last action of the game saw Jack Owens miss a free for Emo almost five minutes into injury time to force extra time.
Darren Strong and Shane Murphy were black carded late in the game for Emo too and Michael Tierney was red carded for Ballyroan-Abbey in a separate incident.
In all it was a bizarre game, one that saw Seamus Mulhare dish out three black cards in total, two reds and nine yellows.
Emo, however, missed a mountain of chances in the second half including four scoreable frees and were always chasing the game after that early Whelan goal.
A late Nigel Murphy goal for Emo last week brought this game to a replay but it was Whelan’s early strike that was essentially the difference between the sides.
Michael Tierney had pointed an early free and then Whelan fired past Niall Gorman after Marty Scully had done the dirty work.
Paul Lawlor (free) and Nigel Murphy replied for Emo but Shaun Murphy hit back for Ballyroan-Abbey before Lawlor and Murphy added points to bring the sides level – Lawlor’s third free coming after Cian Moffitt was black carded for a foul on Rorie Meredith.
Ballyroan kicked on however with Scott Conroy and Tierney finding the range.
Ballyroan-Abbey went in at the break leading 1-6 to 0-6.
Tierney and Diarmuid Whelan streched them clear early in the second half but Emo suddenly took over in midfield.
Bit by bit they eat into the lead but Tierney added a couple of points late on to settle Ballyroan.
Crowley’s second yellow with five minutes of normal time – after Scully was taken down in the middle of the field sparked furious Emo protest. They argued that Shane Murphy was the one that should have been carded but it fell on deaf ears.
Strong and Shane Murphy were then black carded later and Tierney got a red – but it all came down to one last chance for Emo to force a replay.
But Jack Owens effort went wide and Mulhare’s final whistle brought an end to the drama – though not before Emo officials and supporters made their feelings known to the officials and county board officers.
Ballyroan-Abbey now go on to play Portarlington in the winners Round 2 section on Saturday; Emo play Stradbally in the losers round on Sunday.
SCORERS – Ballyroan-Abbey: Michael Tierney 0-6 (three frees, one ’45), Diarmuid Whelan 1-2 (0-1 free), Shaun Murphy 0-1, Scott Conroy 0-1. Emo: Paul Lawlor 0-4 (three frees), Nigel Murphy 0-3, Jack Owens 0-2 (both frees), Stephen Norton 0-1, James Hilliard 0-1, Darren Strong 0-1
EMO: Niall Gorman; Paddy Dunne, James O’Rourke, Liam Crowley; Shane Murphy, Brian Gorman, Johnny Booth; Darren Strong, James Hilliard; Stephen Norton, Nigel Murphy, Jack Owens; Rorie Meredith, Paul Lawlor, Finbarr Crowley. Subs: Cian Langford for Meredith (injured – 26), David Gorman for Booth (56), Christopher Gleeson for Strong (black card – 59), Thomas Scully for S Murphy (black card – 60)
BALLYROAN-ABBEY: Andrew Bonham; Cian Moffitt, Gavin Tynan, Aaron Carroll; Jamie Whelan, Michael Brennan, Mark Cahill; Cathal Doyle, Shaun Murphy; Ciaran Carroll, Scott Conroy, Marty Scully; Michael Tierney, Padraig McMahon, Diarmuid Whelan. Subs: Ciaran Byrne for Moffitt (black card – 26), John Rodgers for C Carroll (48), Ruari Dunne for A Carroll (64)
REFEREE: Seamus Mulhare (The Heath)