The Portlaoise footballers have had many great days in the Leinster club championship over the years – but today they broke new ground when they needed a penalty shootout to beat Wicklow champions St Pat’s in Aughrim.
The sides were level after extra time – St Pat’s 2-8 Portlaoise 1-11 – and GAA rules now allow for a penalty shootout to ensure a winner on the day.
Craig Rogers, Graham Brody, Ronan McEvoy, Ricky Maher and Conor Boyle all scored their penalties while St Pat’s missed the first of their five kicks.
It all meant Portlaoise won the shootout 5-4 and the scenes of celebration were similar to a big soccer game with the Portlaoise players running from the middle of the field to congratulate Craig Rogers who had scored the winning kick.
The drama was streamed live on our Facebook page with thousands of people tuning in to watch the action unfold.
Portlaoise trailed for long stages of the game after the home side struck for an early goal – and Portlaoise only forced extra time when midfielder Kieran Lillis scored an injury time equaliser.
Lillis again popped up with a crucial score in extra time – a goal in the second period that briefly put Portlaoise ahead. But Matthew Traynor levelled again for Pat’s and so penalties were needed.
Portlaoise now advance to the semi-final against Eire Og of Carlow in two weeks time while Dublin champions Ballyboden St Enda’s will play Westmeath’s Garycastle in the other semi-final.