Portlaoise CBS 0-4 Tullamore 1-4
Top Oil School’s Senior ‘B’ South Leinster Semi Final
Colaiste Choilm Tullamore proved to be too strong for Portlaoise CBS once against as they ended their South Leinster football journey for the second year running.
The Offaly school, who defeated the Laois side in the final of this competition last year, once again had just too much for their opponents in the LOETB Centre of Excellence this afternoon.
In what was a very low scoring game played in freezing conditions with snow and ice sporadically falling from the sky at different stages, a Sean Courtney goal proved the difference in the end.
Portlaoise CBS had their chances though and were left ruing 12 wides as their campaign ended for another season.
After a cagey start, it took ten minutes for the games first score and it was the one that mattered most in the end.
A high ball caused a scramble in front of the Portlaoise goal with the ball eventually coming out to the aforementioned Courtney who blasted it into the net.
Cormac Egan added a point soon after as Tullamore went into a four point lead.
Portlaoise CBS kicked seven wides in the first half and their only score came after 20 minutes from the boot of Ben Brennan.
They actually had the chance to draw level from the next kick-out when James Connolly excellently intercepted it and then tried to chip the retreating keeper Anthony Lambe but his effort just went agonizingly wide.
Tullamore led 1-1 to 0-1 at half time but Portlaoise came out a different side in the second half and they were level by the 40th minute.
Ben Brennan began the revival with a free and they centre forward Darragh Carolan curled one over off his left.
Laois U-20 forward Damon Larkin then levelled the match after a great ball from Conor Goode but unfortunately for Portlaoise they would not score again.
Offaly U-20 forward Jack Bryant regained the lead for Tullamore with a free after 48 minutes – their first score in more than half an hour – and that was the catalyst for a strong finish.
He slotted one from play and the with five minutes to go, goalscorer Sean Courtney added a free to put three between the sides.
Portlaoise CBS needed a goal to force extra time and the closest they game was deep in injury time when substitute Liam Og Brennan raced through the defence only to see his shot blocked and then cleared.
There would be time for no more and Tullamore advance to play either Ardscoil Na Trionoide Athy or Presentation De La Salle Bagnelstown in the final.
SCORERS – Portlaoise CBS: Ben Brennan 0-2 (one free), Darragh Carolan and Damon Larkin 0-1 each Tullamore: Sean Courtney 1-1 (one free), Jack Bryant 0-2, Cormac Egan 0-1
PORTLAOISE CBS: Michael O’Connell (Portlaoise); Simon Fingleton (Park-Ratheniska), Niall Carey (Portlaoise), Josh Mulhall (Park-Ratheniska); Kevin Swayne (Portlaoise), Eddie Critchley (Portlaoise), Brian Fingleton (Park-Ratheniska); Damon Larkin (Portlaoise), Eamonn Delaney (Stradbally); Ben Brennan (Portlaoise), Darragh Carolan (Stradbally), James Connolly (Park-Ratheniska); Conor Goode (Stradbally), Cormac Dunne (Portlaoise), Paddy Hosey (Emo). Subs: Brian Smith (Portlaoise) for Dunne (27), Liam Og Brennan (Portlaoise) for Connolly (50), Conor Booth (The Heath) for Carey (55), Will O’Reilly (Ballyfin) for Delaney (60, inj)
TULLAMORE: Anthony Lambe; Michael Feeney, AAron Flanagan, Diarmuid Walsh; John Furlong, Daniel Fox, Jay Sheeran; Josh Evans, Harry Plunkett; Sean Courtney, Cormac Egan, Emmet Curley; Jack Bryant, Luke Egan, Oisin Keenan-Martin. Subs: Sean Briody for Curley (49), Colm Leonard for Fox (50, inj)