O’Dempsey’s 1-11 Ballyfin 1-14
Laois Shopping Centre SFC Quarter Final
Ballyfin have caused the shock of the championship by dumping 2018 defeated finalists O’Dempsey’s out of the Laois Senior Championship.
Ricky Quillinan, James Finn, James Moore, Sean Moore, Jack Priestley and the rest of their team were simply heroic as they battled their way to a three point victory over the Killenard men.
They never trailed once in the entire 60 minutes and now have their first ever semi final to look forward to in two weeks time.
Ballyfin started the game like a runaway train and kicked four points in the opening four minutes.
Sean Moore, James Finn, James Moore and Louis Duff all registered scores as Killian Fitzpatrick’s side hit the ground running.
However, they were rocked a minute later when Matthew Finlay was fouled en route to goal and Conor Meredith converted the resulting penalty to get O’Dempsey’s back into the game.
The Killenard outfit were level by the tenth minute through Matthew Finlay but Ballyfin refused to simply roll over – and instead, they kicked on.
Ricky Quillinan and Sean Moore regained the lead for Ballyfin – who also had the post and then keeper Robert Foran to thank for keeping out Peter O’Leary and Dan McCormack respectively.
Sean Moore and Jack Priestley kicked Ballyfin three ahead with five minutes of the first half to play but points from Johnny Kelly and Matthew Finlay had the gap down to the minimum as we entered three minutes of injury time.
But Ballyfin finished strong as Jack Priestley and Louis Duff pointed to leave them ahead 0-10 to 1-4 at half time.
O’Dempsey’s began the second half with a fisted Micheal Finlay point and then almost had a goal when Mark Barry broke through but Ballyfin keeper Robert Foran made a brilliant save.
Ballyfin only kicked three wides in all of the first half but they matched that in the first ten minutes of the second as O’Dempsey’s drew level via Matthew Finlay and Conor Meredith.
Sub Barry Howlin then had a goal chance but once again Foran refused to be beaten and Ballyfin went down the other end to end their 15 minute scoring drought via Sean Moore.
Micheal Finlay levelled matters once again soon after but Sean Moore’s fifth point restored Ballyfin’s lead before his sixth made it two points ahead with 12 to play.
Matthew Finlay cut the deficit to one and Ballyfin then messed up a really good two-on-one opportunity when Sean Moore opted to pass the ball to a marked Ricky Quillinan rather than shoot himself and the chance was cleared.
But they did get a goal after 55 minutes. James Moore’s long range free looked to be going wide but Ricky Quillinan got a fist to it and it screwed back across the goal, struck the post, and went in.
O’Dempsey’s hit back with a Mark Barry free but Sean Moore moved the gap out to four points again as we entered two minutes of injury time.
Matthew Finlay cut the gap to three but the goal O’Dempsey’s needed didn’t come and Ballyfin held on to win.
SCORERS – O’Dempsey’s: Conor Meredith 1-1 (1-0 pen), Matthew Finlay 0-5 (two frees), Micheal Finlay 0-2, Mark Barry 0-1 (one free), Johnny Kelly 0-1 Ballyfin: Sean Moore 0-7 (four frees), James Finn 0-1, James Moore 0-1, Louis Duff 0-2, Ricky Quillinan 1-1, Jack Priestley 0-2
O’DEMPSEY’S: Podge Bannon; Cormac O’Hora, Shane Nerney, Tommy Kehoe; Bryan Meredith, Robbie Kehoe, Conor Meredith; Barry Kelly, Rory Bracken; Peter O’Leary, Mark Barry, Johnny Kelly; Matthew Finlay, Dan McCormack, Micheal Finlay. Subs: Barry Howlin for Kelly (38)
BALLYFIN: Robert Foran; George Lanham, David Connolly, Allan Connolly; Max Connolly, Darragh Connolly, Ciaran Fingleton; Ricky Quillinan, James Finn; Nick Cosgrove, James Moore, Dan Molloy; Sean Moore, Louis Duff, Jack Priestley. Subs: Kevin O’Rourke for Duff (37)
Referee: Des Cooney (St Joseph’s)
SEE ALSO – Check out all the Laois SFC coverage here