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Remember the Game: When the rain got the better of Portlaoise and Clara in 2009

Aidan Fennelly on the attack for Portlaoise against Colm Kelly Clara in the torrential rain at O'Moore Park during their Leinster Club SFC clash on Sunday. Picture: Alf Harvey.

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The Portlaoise footballers take on Carlow champions Eire Og this evening in the Leinster Club SFC semi-final, their latest provincial championship action after almost a decade and a half of complete dominance in Laois.

This year marks the tenth anniversary of their last Leinster club title success – though they can point to a handful of near misses and final defeats since.

This weekend 10 years ago the weather got the better of them and their Offaly opponents Clara when monsoon-like rain forced their semi-final in O’Moore Park to be abandoned.

Portlaoise were trailing 1-5 to 0-7 early in the second half when Meath referee Joe Curley opted to call it off.

Few could argue that it wasn’t the correct decision as the conditions were unplayable with water lying in numerous areas of the pitch.

For Portlaoise it was a bit of a let off and they came back the following week – this time in thick fog with the teams switching to Laois and Offaly jerseys following a clash the previous Sunday – and Portlaoise did enough to get over the line.

Portlaoise would then go on to win the Leinster title a week later again, beating Westmeath champions Garrycastle in the final in Tullamore before losing the All Ireland semi-final to Kilmurry-Ibrickane from Clare in February.

These photos from Alf Harvey show the extent of the horrific conditions that day.

Let’s hope there won’t be anything similar this evening.

The Portlaoise team that day was: Michael Nolan; Eoin Bland, Kevin Fitzpatrick, Malachy McNulty; Brian Mulligan, Cahir Healy, Kieran Lillis; Adrian Kelly, Brian McCormack; Craig Rogers, Aidan Fennelly, Brian Glynn; Paul Cahillane, Barry Fitzgerald, Peter McNulty

John Reynolds, Clara takes on Kieran Lillis, Portlaoise in the Leinster Club SFC at O’Moore Park.
Picture: Alf Harvey.
Portlaoise midfielder Adrian Kelly battles with Stephen Deehan and Scott Brady, Clara in the Leinster Club SFC at O’Moore Park.
Picture: Alf Harvey.
Players leave the field at half time in the abandoned game between Portlaoise and Clara in the Leinster Club SFC at O’Moore Park.
Picture: Alf Harvey.
Half time and a few die hard fans shelter under the scoreboard between Portlaoise and Clara in the Leinster Club SFC at O’Moore Park.
Picture: Alf Harvey.
Scott Brady, Clara contests this ball with Kieran Lillis, Portlaoise in the torrential rain at O’Moore Park during their Leinster Club SFC clash on Sunday.
Picture: Alf Harvey.
Aidan Fennelly on the attack for Portlaoise against Colm Kelly Clara in the torrential rain at O’Moore Park during their Leinster Club SFC clash on Sunday.
Picture: Alf Harvey.
Referee Joe Curley shakes hands with Portlaoise manager John Mulligan and Clara manager Pat Flanagan after calling off the game in the Leinster Club SFC at O’Moore Park.
Picture: Alf Harvey.
The crowd leave as the match is called off due to weather conditions between Portlaoise and Clara in the Leinster Club SFC at O’Moore Park.
Picture: Alf Harvey.
Portlaoise sharpshooter Paul Cahillane drives this penalty wide against Clara in the Leinster Club SFC at O’Moore Park.
Picture: Alf Harvey.

Portlaoise management watch on as the second half is about to get underway against Clara in the Leinster Club SFC at O’Moore Park.
Picture: Alf Harvey.
Brian Mulligan passes Portlaoise against Clara in the Leinster Club SFC at O’Moore Park.
Picture: Alf Harvey.
Referee Joe Curley consults with his umpires before calling off the game between Portlaoise and Clara in the Leinster Club SFC at O’Moore Park.
Picture: Alf Harvey.

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