Home Sport GAA Portarlington on form to see off Kilcavan in opening round of junior...

Portarlington on form to see off Kilcavan in opening round of junior football championship

Portarlington 1-17 Kilcavan 3-7
Laois Shopping Centre JFC ‘A’ Round 1

Portarlington have their first win in this year’s Laois JFC ‘A’ after they put in a splendid performance against a resilient Kilcavan side.

Portarlington adopted a strong running game with Steven Lyons and Adam Kirwan making bursting runs from the half-back line.

Kilcavan ended the game with 13 men after Robert Hunt and Oliver Dixon were sent off in the second-half.

Kilcavan got off to a bright start and went two points up after five minutes as Evan Hunt pointed from play while Darragh McEvoy slotted over a free.

Ciaran Ward got Portarlington’s first score shortly after as he kicked the ball between the posts.

Kilcavan were almost in for goal only for the woodwork to deny Mark Grennan from a tight angle.

Portarlington tacked on three scores without reply as Evan Lyons pointed twice, one of them a sumptuous score off the outside of his left boot. Jordan Fitzpatrick slotted over another point from play for the home side.

Kilcavan were then awarded a penalty after a foul on Cormac O’Brien in the square. Evan Hunt stepped up and dispatched it low to the keeper’s right.

Portarlington would yet again score three unanswered points before half-time. David Condron opened his rally for the evening while Evan Lyons scored his third point of the game once again using the outside of his left boot.

Jordan Fitzpatrick pointed his second of the game as Portarlington went in ahead by two points at the break.

Evan Lyons scored his fourth point after the resumption before Kilcavan would get it for their second goal.

Mark Grennan ran at the Portarlington defence before he unleashed a rasping effort that went in off the post to leave Sean Mooney with no chance in the Portarlington goal.

Young Ceilum Coughlan-Maher pointed for the first time in the match before he was denied a goal after a point-blank save by Stephen Hunt.

Sean Michael Corcoran tapped over a free before Kilcavan would once again get in for goal.

Firstly, substitute Derek O’Connell pointed before O’Connell himself set up Grennan for his second goal of the game to put Kilcavan ahead by two points coming up to the water break.

Portarlington always showed character after conceding the goals as they kicked on again and scored four points without any reply.

Coughlan Maher got his second point of the game while Ciaran Ward pointed his second free of the game. Then came one of the game’s big decisions as Robert Hunt was sent off for striking the head of Graham Weldon.

Sean Michael Corcoran took his tally to two points as he pointed his second free. Evan Lyons slotted over his fifth point of the game with another outside of the boot effort.

Derek O’Connell kept the scoreboard ticking for Kilcavan as they struggled to cope being a man down. Portarlington would then get in for a crucial goal that put them four points up as well as a man up.

A superb run by half-back Adam Kirwan allowed him to set up Ciaran Ward to drill the ball into the bottom corner and put the game beyond Kilcavan.

Kilcavan showed their resilience however as McEvoy kicked two frees over the bar. Ciaran Ward made it a three-point game with a free of his own.

Oliver Dixon received his marching orders soon after as he got his second yellow card of the game. O’Connell once again made it a two-point game with a score from play.

Kilcavan tried to sustain attacks but were struggling with the loss of Dixon and Hunt. Portarlington fired over another two scores as Graham Weldon and substitute Andrew Evans both raised white flags.

Portarlington winning out by four points in the end. The loss of Dixon and Hunt proved decisive in the end as Portarlington always had the extra men in defence and attack.

Portarlington’s win leaves them in a strong position to take a quarter-final spot in the three-team group. Both teams have games still to come against The Heath.

Elsewhere, in the junior grade this evening, Portlaoise had a big 4-14 to 1-14 win over Ballyroan-Abbey.

SCORERS – Portarlington: Ciaran Ward 1-3 (0-3 frees), Evan Lyons 0-5, Jordan Fitzpatrick, Sean Michael Corcoran (two frees) and Ceilum Coughlan Maher 0-2 each, Graham Weldon, Andrew Evans and David Condron 0-1 each. Kilcavan: Mark Grennan 2-0, Evan Hunt 1-1 (1-0 penalty), Derek O’Connell and Darragh McEvoy (all frees) 0-3 each

PORTARLINGTON: Sean Mooney; Michael Bennett, Padraig Coffey, Christopher Higgins; Steven Lyons, Darragh Galvin, Adam Kirwan; Hayden Weldon, Sean Michael Corcoran; Ceilum Coughlan Maher, Graham Weldon, Evan Lyons; David Condron, Jordan
Fitzpatrick, Ciaran Ward. Subs: Andrew Evans for Coughlan Maher (57)

KILCAVAN: Stephen Hunt; Gavin Molloy, Edward Conroy, Conor White; Robert Hunt, Oliver Dixon, Ronan Gorry; Barry Mangan, Gearoid Tracey; Evan Hunt, Mark Grennan, Darragh McEvoy; Cormac O’Brien, Rory O’Connell, Michael Bermingham. Subs: Derek O’Connell for R O’Connell (32), Paul Bolton for O’Brien (37), Manus Dunne for S Hunt (60 inj)

REFEREE: Brendan Hickey (Graiguecullen)

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