Home Sport GAA Strong second half sees Crettyard defeat Portlaoise and reach semi finals

Strong second half sees Crettyard defeat Portlaoise and reach semi finals

Cormac Murphy and Evan O Carroll

Crettyard 6-12 Portlaoise 1-11
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Crettyard went goal crazy in the second half in Ratheniska tonight as they netted six goals to down Portlaoise and reach the semi finals of intermediate football championship tonight.

This game was in the melting pot at the break as Crettyard led by a point but Evan O’Carroll raised two green flags and Cormac Murphy scored a sensational hat-trick to give Crettyard a 16 point win.

Crettyard got off to a quick start with points from Cormac Murphy and Lee Salter. But Portlaoise battled their way back into the game with three with in a row from Craig Rogers to go ahead.

Crettyard began to dominate again and had three goal chances saved by goalkeeper Michael O’Connell in the opening period which kept Portlaoise in the game. The half continued to be close on the scoreboard as both teams exchanged points throughout.

Portlaoise played a low defensive block in order to combat Evan O’Carroll and they frustrated Crettyard at times which allowed them to turnover the ball and break quickly. As a result Portlaoise took the lead with another brace from Craig Rogers.

O’Carroll then stepped up just before the water break to level the game – 0-5 apice. Crettyard became more clinical in front of goal which gave them a two point lead via Salter and O’Carroll.

Yet again Portlaoise came back into the game with points from brothers Aaron and Jonathan Rafter but O’Carroll kicked another to leave one point separating the sides at the break – 0-8 to 0-7.

Crettyard wrapped up the game within the first ten minutes of the second half with a goal from Salter and a brace from Cormac Murphy.

Evan O’Carroll dispossessed Jack O’Connell deep in his own half and played the ball to Salter and he smashed it into the corner of the net. Once the first goal went in Portlaoise were forced to push more men forward which benefited Crettyard as they exposed the spaces excellently to score their goals.

And Murphy soon added his first goal of the game. A long ball was played into Evan O’Carroll and he was left one on one with Chris Lynch who fouled him as he ran by and referee Des Cooney awarded a penalty. Murphy calmly stepped up dispatched the ball into the net.

Murphy’s second goal was the best of the game. He picked up the ball on the 45 and ran past the Portlaoise defence, evading multiple challenges to then find the back of the net.

O’Carroll and Cristoir Maher pointed to extend their lead before Ben Conroy and Rogers replied with points – 3-10 to 0-9.

O’Carroll netted their fourth soon after and Crettyard added their fifth goal of the game through Patrick Brennan.

He completed a brilliant team move which was worked through the hands down the middle of Portlaoise’s defence. Murphy then completed his hat-trick as he drove past the Portlaoise defenders and smashed the ball into the net.

O’Carroll and Kevin Swayne exchanged points as the clocked ticked down before Jamie Keenan got a consolation goal for Portlaoise with the last kick of the game.

Crettyard join Clonaslee in the semi finals and now will wait four weeks to play that round.

Portlaoise are not out though and they will face Mountmellick in the quarter final in two week’s time.

SCORERS – Crettyard: Cormac Murphy 3-2, Evan O’Carroll 1-6 (three frees), Lee Salter 1-3, Patrick Brennan 1-0, Cristoir Maher 0-1 Portlaoise: Craig Rogers 0-5 (three frees), Jamie Keenan 1-0, Aaron Rafter 0-2, Jonathan Rafter 0-1, Ben Conroy 0-1, Kevin Swayne

CRETTYARD: Darren Kelly, Brian O’Sullivan, Ciara Hosey, Eoin Delaney; Cormac Phelan, James Brennan, Patrick O’Relly; Cormac Murphy, Niall Purcell; Ciaran Burke, Patrick Brennan, Micheal Nash; Brian Brennan, Lee Salter, Evan O’Carroll. Subs:Sean O’Shea for O’Sullivan (HT), Cristoir Maher for B. Brennan (41), John Murphy for Hosey (51), James Kelly for P. Brennan (55).

PORTLAOISE: Michael O’Connell, Jack O’Connell, Chris Lynch, Dean Lynch; Murray Rogers, Colin Finn, Niall Carey; Andrew Swayne, Ross Brennan; Ben Conroy, Ben Brennan, Kevin Swayne; Aaron Rafter, John Rafter, Craig Rogers. Subs: Mikey Nerney for Brennan (51), Jamie Keenan for J. Rafter (51), Eoin Carey for (51).

Referee: Des Cooney (St Joseph’s)

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