Ballyroan-Abbey 2-11 St Joseph’s 1-15
Laois Shopping Centre SFC Round 3
St Joseph’s have reached the last eight of the Laois Senior Football Championship following a hard-fought win over St Joseph’s in O’Moore Park this evening.
The game’s turning point came ten minutes from the end when Ballyroan were reduced to 14 men moments after they had just got level.
The game began with Padraig McMahon and Michael Keogh trading points before Ballyroan-Abbey struck for the game’s first goal after three minutes through the aforementioned McMahon.
St Joseph’s responded well to the goal though as a brace from Michael Keogh and one from midfielder Adam Campion levelled matters after 11 minutes.
Momentum then swung back Ballyroan’s way and they opened up a five point lead by the midpoint of the half.
Diarmuid Whelan and Shaun Murphy landed two long rang points before they struck for their second goal.
MJ Tierney’s long range free was failed to be cleared by Joseph’s defenders and the ball fell to Padraig McMahon who scored his second of the day.
In fairness to Joseph’s, they responded well again to conceding that goal as Conor Kealy and Dylan Doyle hit back. Jack Lacey and Diarmuid Whelan then traded efforts before the sides were level after 28 minutes.
Some lovely build up play from Adam Campion and Bernard Wheatley set Conor Kealy through on goal and he rifled a shot into the corner of the net for Joseph’s.
Mark McDonald responded with a point for Ballyroan-Abbey but James Kelly’s late score sent the teams in level 2-5 to 1-8 at the break.
St Joseph’s continued where they left off at the start of the new half as Michael Keogh fired over two points to move them ahead.
Scott Conroy replied for Ballyroan but the gap was two again after 40 minutes thanks to Dylan Doyle – 1-11 to 2-6.
MJ Tierney and James Kelly then traded points before Diarmuid Whelan’s lovely curler from in front of the stand cut the deficit to one with a quarter of the game to play.
St Joseph’s then had a great goal chance when Michael Keogh got through but his shot was blocked off the line by Mark Cahill and Ballyroan went straight down the other end where MJ Tierney levelled the game.
However, a row broke out in the aftermath of that score and when it all calmed down – referee Brendan McCann issued four yellow cards and a red.
Colin Campion and Donal Ramsbottom received yellows for Joseph’s while MJ Tierney and Scott Conroy got the same for Ballyroan – the problem for the latter was that it was his second so he was off and Ballyraon would have to play the final ten minutes with 14 men.
Dylan Doyle instantly put Joseph’s back ahead with his third point and then Michael Keogh’s sixth point put the Kellyville side 1-14 to 2-9 in front with five minutes to go.
Player-manager Padraig McMahon brought his charges back to within a point but sub Brian Daly stretched Joseph’s two ahead again as five minutes of injury time were announced.
MJ Tierney slotted a free in the fourth minute of that and then with the final kick, Ballyroan had the chance to force a replay but Aaron Carroll’s shot went wide and St Joseph’s held on.
SCORERS – St Joseph’s: Michael Keogh 0-6 (two frees), Conor Kealy 1-1, Dylan Doyle 0-3, James Kelly 0-2, Jack Lacey 0-1, Brian Daly 0-1, Adam Campion 0-1; Ballyroan-Abbey: Padraig McMahon 2-2, Diarmuid Whelan 0-3, MJ Tierney 0-3 (one free), Shaun Murphy 0-1, Mark McDonald 0-1, Scott Conroy 0-1
ST JOSEPH’S: Aaron Cooney; Tom Dunne, Aidan Brennan, Donal Ramsbottom; Jack Lacey, James Kelly, Colin Campion; Bernard Wheatley, Adam Campion; Josh Lacey, Dylan Doyle, Mikie Dempsey; Conor Kealy, Noel Garvan, Michael Keogh. Subs: Mattie Campion for Kealy (42), Brian Daly for Garvan (52)
BALLYROAN-ABBEY: Andrew Bonham; Ciaran Byrne, Gavin Tynan, Cian Moffitt; Jamie Whelan, Aaron Carroll, Marty Scully; Mick Brennan, Scott Conroy; Mark McDonald, Shaun Murphy, Mark Cahill; Diarmuid Whelan, Padraig McMahon, MJ Tierney. Subs: Cathal Doyle for M Brennan and Ciaran Carroll for Moffitt (both ht), John Rogers for McDonald (52), Stephen Thompson for Whelan (55)
Referee: Brendan McCann (Portarlington)
SEE ALSO – Check out all our Laois SFC coverage here