Home Sport GAA Much improved Mountmellick power past Portlaoise to reach IFC semi final

Much improved Mountmellick power past Portlaoise to reach IFC semi final

Mountmellick senior footballers

Mountmellick 2-15 Portlaoise 1-4
Laois IFC Quarter Final

Mountmellick are through to the semi finals of the Laois Intermediate championship following a comfortable 14 point win over Portlaoise in Annanough this evening.

Portlaoise were without Ross Brennan, Andrew Swayne and Craig Rogers from their defeat to Crettyard. The trio must be in contention to play senior on Sunday and this team really struggled without them.

Mountmellick were below par against Annanough the last day but after a number of changes, they were much improved here with midfielder David Kelly catching the eye again with a tally of 1-2.

The game itself was over by the first water break as Mountmellick raced into a commanding lead.

Niall Mullen, John Noonan, Colm Coss and Shane Dowling all pointed before the excellent David Kelly rifled in a goal after a sweeping move.

Portlaoise had plenty of chances in the first half but their shooting was wayward and a Ben Brennan point in that period would turn out to be their only score of the half.

David Kelly made it 1-6 to 0-1 at the water break and although Portlaoise briefly dominated possession after that, they failed to score and Mountmellick pushed on again.

John Noonan and Niall Mullen both raised white flags before the latter left Colm Coss with a simple tap in for the game’s second goal to leave it 2-8 to 0-1 at half time.

That was game over but the second half began in a flurry as from nowhere, both teams were reduced to 14 men.

Portlaoise’s Murray Rogers and Mountmellick’s Ethan Lawlor became involved in a boxing match in front of linesman Johnnie Brennan which eventually resulted in referee Thomas Kennedy brandishing a red card each.

Mountmellick lost centre back Mark Dowling to a black card shortly after to make it 13 versus 14 but that had little impact on the scoreboard.

Johnathan Rafter ended Portlaoise’s scoring drought with two frees but Colm Coss, David Kelly and Bernard Rochford responded in kind to make it 2-12 to 0-3 at the second water break.

Portlaoise did keep going in fairness and Chris Lynch scored a goal while sub David Finn grabbed a point but that was never going to be enough.

Mountmellick join The Rock as winners of the quarter finals and they will be drawn to play either Clonaslee or Crettyard in the semi finals.

SCORERS – Mountmellick: Niall Mullen 0-5 (four frees), Colm Coss 1-3, David Kelly 1-2, John Noonan 0-2, John Connolly, Bernard Rochford and Shane Dowling 0-1 each Portlaoise: Chris Lynch 1-0, Johnathan Rafter 0-2 (all frees), Ben Brennan and David Finn 0-1 each

MOUNTMELLICK: Eoghan Keogh; Cian Thompson, Gearoid Hanrahan, Oisin Morris; Darren McDermott, Mark Dowling, Redmond McEvoy; David Kelly, Cian McCann; Bernard Rochford, Colm Coss, Darren Fitzpatrick; John Noonan, Niall Mullen, Shane Dowling. Subs: Ethan Lawlor for Fitzpatrick (8, inj), Stephen Lynch for Rochford, Darragh Hanlon for Coss, Curtis Lee for Noonan (all 47), John Connolly for Kelly (53, inj)

PORTLAOISE: Michael O’Connell; Eoin Carey, Chris Lynch, Dean Lynch; Jack O’Connell, Colin Finn, Murray Rogers; Ben Brennan, Kevin Swayne; Niall Carey, Ben Conroy, Aaron Rafter; Johnathan Rafter, Mikey Nerney, Jamie Kennan. Subs: David Finn for C Finn (33), James Nerney for D Lynch (42, inj)

Referee: Thomas Kennedy (Killeshin)

SEE ALSO – New life for old school in Clonaslee as local builder and former Laois hurler transforms landmark building