Ballyroan-Abbey 1-10 Portarlington 1-16
Laois Shopping Centre SFC Round 2 Replay
It is often the case that replays aren’t as close as the original fixture and that was certainly the case in O’Moore Park this evening.
Portarlington let a lead slip against Ballyroan-Abbey at the weekend but they were in no mood to do the same as they ran out convincing winners to reach the last eight.
Colm Murphy was their main scorer but this was a fine team performance with Paddy O’Sullivan, Robbie Pigott, Cathal Bennett and the returning Alex Mohan all excelling.
In a very lively opening ten minutes, three goal chances were created but none were taken.
The first came after 20 seconds when Marty Scully’s ball released player-manager Padraig McMahon through on goal but his half volley just went wide.
And it would be McMahon again who would have Ballyroan’s second goal chance after 10 minutes when Ciaran Byrne and Scully split the Portarlington defence apart but this time keeper Jack Whelan saved McMahon’s shot.
Portarlington led 0-5 to 0-3 after that opening period but they too could have had a goal when David Murphy got through but this time Ballyroan keeper Andrew Bonham made a great save.
All of Ballyroan’s points in that opening stage came via MJ Tierney and Diarmuid Whelan frees while Jake Foster, Stephen O’Neill, David Murphy and Colin Slevin all pointed for Portarlington.
Stephen O’Neill’s second point moved the gap out to three at the midpoint of the half but Diarmuid Whelan’s second, and Ballyroan-Abbey’s first from play, kept his side in touch after 23 minutes.
Marty Scully and Tierney added further points for Ballyroan-Abbey but Portarlington finished the half strongly to take a four point lead at half time.
Jake Foster, Colm Murphy and David Murphy all found the target as Port headed for the break with a 0-10 to 0-6 lead.
Colm Murphy extended Portarlington’s lead and although Padraig McMahon responded, further points from Colin Slevin and Murphy left Port seven ahead after 40 minutes.
Murphy was really in the groove now and he reeled off three more as Port moved 0-16 to 0-7 ahead as we entered the final quarter of the game.
Ballyroan went almost 20 minutes without a score before Diarmuid Whelan landed a free but Port put the game to bed with their first goal of the championship through the excellent Colm Murphy who weaved his way through the defence to score.
That took the sting completely out of the game and although Ballyroan did tag on some late points as well as a goal from Whelan, the result was never in doubt.
Ballyroan-Abbey will now head for Round 3 where they will face either Ballyfin, Emo, Arles-Killeen or the winner of the replay between Arles-Kilcruise and Ballylinan.
SCORERS – BALLYROAN-ABBEY: Diarmuid Whelan 1-4 (three frees), MJ Tierney 0-4 (four frees), Marty Scully 0-1, Padraig McMahon 0-1 PORTARLINGTON: Colm Murphy 1-7 (four frees), Jake Foster 0-3 (three frees), Stephen O’Neill 0-2, David Murphy 0-2, Colin Slevin 0-2
PORTARLINGTON: Jack Whelan; Dean Foster, Keith Bracken, Alex Mohan; Cathal Bennett, Jason Moore, Patrick O’Sullivan; Sean Byrne, Robbie Piggott; Stephen O’Neill, Colm Murphy, Ronan Coffey; Jake Foster, David Murphy, Colin Slevin. Subs: Adam Ryan for Slevin (47), Johnny Fulham for D Murphy (53), Daragh Galvin for Coffey (53), Graham Weldon for D Foster (59)
BALLYROAN-ABBEY: Andrew Bonham; Jamie Whelan, Gavin Tynan, Cian Moffitt; Aaron Carroll, Marty Scully, Mark Cahill; Shaun Murphy, Cathal Doyle; Ciaran Carroll, Scott Conroy, Ciaran Byrne; Diarmuid Whelan, Padraig McMahon, MJ Tierney. Subs: Mark McDonald for Cahill (24, black card), John Rogers for Carroll (ht), Paudie McDonald for Whelan (41), Michael Brennan for Doyle (48), Stephen Thompson for Brennan (51, black card)
REFEREE: Maurice Deegan (Stradbally)