Portarlington 0-16 Ballyroan-Abbey 2-10
Laois Shopping Centre SFC Round 2
An Adam Ryan point in the seventh minute of stoppage time ensured Portarlington and Ballyroan Abbey will meet again, after this absorbing Laois SFC Round 2 clash in O’Moore Park.
Both teams finished with 14 players and there were some brilliant scores and controversial calls throughout the game, keeping those in a rain-soaked O’Moore Park on the edge of their seats from start to finish.
After a tentative opening few minutes, Portarlington finally registered the first score through Colin Slevin. It was a brilliant score too, as he threaded a shot between the posts off his left foot, from the left wing.
Colm Murphy then doubled their lead before Jake Foster showed quick feet in the ninth minute to make room 21 yards out and kick their third.
Ballyroan Abbey were making little headway against the Port defence, but finally got their opening score when Padraig McMahon bundled his way through in the ninth minute to point.
It didn’t knock Portarlington out of their stride though, and Jason Moore notched their fourth point with a good score from 35 yards. Port were in control at this stage, but Ballyroan Abbey got back into the game in a fortuitous manner.
MJ Tierney’s lofted ball into the area looked to be causing little threat with no Ballyroan Abbey team mate in the penalty area. Unfortunately for Portarlington, goalkeeper Scott Osborne misjudged the flight of the ball, and it sailed over his head and into the net.
Port reacted well initially, as they quickly re-took the lead through Jake Foster. The goal had really given Ballyroan Abbey a boost, however, and they capitalised on it.
Tierney curled over a free to draw them level, and then Diarmuid Whelan put them ahead for the first time with a good score from play. Padraig McMahon then made it three in a row with a point off his right foot, and his team were two ahead with 20 minutes on the clock.
Both teams struggle for scores after that, and we had to wait until first half stoppage time for the next point. It came from the impressive Jake Foster, his third of the half, as Portarlington got back to within one, 1-4 to 0-6.
That would be the last score of the half, but unfortunately not the last notable incident, as Portarlington goalkeeper Scott Osborne suffered a heavy knock after accidentally colliding with one of his own players on the stroke of half time.
Jack Whelan replaced Osborne at the break and was quickly called into action, as he had to race off his line to deny Marty Scully a goal. By then, Colin Slevin had already drawn Portarlington level, but Ballyroan Abbey wrestled back control of the game.
They went on a run of three points without reply, starting with a 45 from MJ Tierney. Ciaran Carroll got the second and then a Diarmuid Whelan free just crept over the bar to give them their biggest lead of the day, three points.
Portarlington were struggling now but quickly snapped out of it. Paddy O’Sullivan charged forward to kick two points in the space of a minute, and with momentum on their side, Colm Murphy and Jake Foster followed up to see them re-take the lead at 0-11 to 1-7.
O’Sullivan then got his third of the half for Port before the impressive Jake Foster got his fifth of the game, all from play, as they went three ahead.
Ballyroan Abbey then thought they had hauled themselves level with Cathal Doyle got his hand to a high ball into the square and the ball was scrambled away by the Port defence. Neither umpire indicated a score but the Ballyroan Abbey players were apoplectic, referee Mick Tarpey having to consult with both umpires before insisting there had been no score.
MJ Tierney and Colm Murphy traded frees after that to leave three between them as normal time elapsed, and John Rodgers then kicked a brilliant score for Ballyroan Abbey as they remained within striking distance.
Then, with a minute of normal time left, Diarmuid Whelan managed to slip away from his marker and he powered a shot at goal. Jack Whelan saved superbly, but the ball fell to an unmarked Padraig McMahon, who tapped to an empty net.
That looked like it would snatch the win for Ballyroan Abbey, but there was more drama ahead. A number of black cards, one of which resulted in MJ Tierney being shown a red, slowed down the game. But it also ensured an extra few minutes for Port, and in the seventh minute of stoppage time Adam Ryan kicked the equaliser, sending this game to a replay.
SCORERS – Portarlington: Colm Murphy 0-4 (0-2 frees), Jake Foster 0-5, Paddy O’Sullivan 0-3 Colin Slevin 0-2, Jason Moore 0-1, Adam Ryan 0-1. Ballyroan-Abbey: MJ Tierney 1-3 (0-2 frees, 0-1 45), Padraig McMahon 1-2, Diarmuid Whelan 0-3 (0-2 frees), John Rodgers 0-1, Ciaran Carroll 0-1.
PORTARLINGTON: Scott Osborne; Dean Foster, Keith Bracken, Cathal Bennett; Robert Pigott, Jason Moore, Patrick O’Sullivan; Sean Byrne, Eoin McCann; Ronan Coffey, Stephen O’Neill, Colin Slevin; Jake Foster, David Murphy, Colm Murphy. Subs: Jack Whelan for Osborne (half time, inj), Adam Ryan for McCann (48 mins), Jonny Fullam for Coffey (55 mins)
BALLYROAN-ABBEY: Andrew Bonham; Gavin Tynan, Cian Moffitt, Ciaran Byrne; Aaron Carroll, Martin Scully, Mark Cahill; Shaun Murphy, Cathal Doyle; Ciaran Carroll, Scott Conroy, Jamie Whelan; Diarmuid Whelan, Padraig McMahon, MJ Tierney. Subs: Stephen Thompson for C Carroll (46 mins), Michael Brennan for Murphy (50 mins), John Rodgers for Moffitt (52 mins), Ruairi Dunne for Byrne (64 mins)
REFEREE: Mick Tarpey (Kilcavan)
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