Emo 1-10 Graiguecullen 1-14
Laois Shopping Centre SFC Round 3
One point in the final 20 minutes of the game cost Emo dearly as Graiguecullen came from behind to reach the quarter finals of the Laois senior football championship this afternoon in O’Moore Park.
There was never a whole lot between these teams but Graiguecullen finished much the stronger to win by four points in the end.
Emo led 1-9 to 1-8 with twenty minutes to play but Graiguecullen kept plugging away with Mark Timmons particularly impressive in midfield where he fired over three points.
The first half swung one way and then the other throughout the course of the 30 minutes – and it ended with Emo in the lead by a point.
Emo started really well and got the game’s first three points via James Hillard, Darren Strong and Paul Lawlor.
It took Graigue nine minutes to open their account but they would find themselves ahead by the midpoint of the half.
Two points from Mark Timmons and a free from Jamie Parr had them level before Ross Hennessy, who moments earlier was unlucky to see a deft flick come back off the post, did rattle the net after Mark Timmons’ initial shot had been blocked on the line by Paddy Dunne.
Emo responded well to that set back with points from Strong, Padraig Kirwan and Paul Lawlor but Jamie Parr kept Graigue two ahead with lovely frees to leave it 1-5 to 0-6 after 26 minutes.
However, Emo finished the half excellently. A super pass by Finbarr Crowley picked out Stephen Norton on the edge of the parallelogram and he cut inside before firing a shot low to the corner of Danny Bolger’s net.
Emo extended their lead to two thanks to Darren Strong but Brian Byrne left one in it at half time with the final play – Emo leading 1-7 to 1-6.
Parr levelled matters a minute into the new half and then Ross Hennessy gave Graigue the lead three minutes later.
But Emo weren’t going away and Jack Owens tied the game once more with 40 minutes on the clock before then winning a free which Darren Strong converted to leave them 1-9 to 1-8 ahead.
However, Mark Timmons’ third of the afternoon moved Graiguecullen level again as we entered the final quarter of the game.
Brian Byrne lodged Graiguecullen back ahead with a close range free and then Luke Alysbury’s fisted effort made it 1-11 to 1-9 after 51 minutes.
Veteran Danny Doogue came off the bench to put three between them and he then kicked a second free to leave Graiguecullen 1-13 to 1-9 in front with two minutes of normal time to play.
Emo had gone 18 minutes without a score but Darren Strong ended that drought as we entered three minutes of injury time.
But Graiguecullen saw it out from there to advance to the quarter finals as keeper Danny Bolger landed the game’s final point.
SCORERS – Emo: Paul Lawlor 0-2 (two frees), Stephen Norton 1-0, Darren Strong 0-5 (one 45, three frees), Jack Owens 0-1, James Hillard 0-1, Padraig Kirwan 0-1 Graiguecullen: Jamie Parr 0-4 (four frees), Ross Hennessy 1-1, Mark Timmons 0-3, Brian Byrne 0-2 (one free), Luke Alsybury 0-1, Danny Doogue 0-2 (two frees), Danny Bolger 0-1 (one free)
EMO: Niall Gorman; Shane Murphy, Brian Gorman, Paddy Dunne; James O’Rourke, Liam Crowley, Eibhan Joyce; Darren Strong, James Hillard; Stephen Norton, Nigel Murphy, Finbarr Crowley; Jack Owens, Paul Lawlor, Padraig Kirwan. Subs: Jack Setright for Joyce (42), David Gorman for Hillard (55), Rorie Meredith for P Lawlor (58)
GRAIGUECULLEN: Danny Bolger; Trevor Collins, Ross Alcock, Martin Doyle; Luke Alsybury, Chris Hurley, Danny Alsybury; Shane O’Neill, Mark Timmons; Aaron Forbes, Ian Fleming, Jamie Sheehan; Ross Hennessy, Jamie Parr, Brian Byrne. Subs: Danny Doogue for Hurley (42, black card), Ambrose Doran for Parr and Eoin Alsybury for D Alsybury (both 45), James Doogue for O’Neill (57, inj)
Referee: Maurice Deegan (Stradbally)