Portarlington 0-8 O’Dempsey’s 0-4
Laois Shopping Centre SFC Quarter-final
Portarlington are back into the Laois SFC semi-finals following a battling win over neighbours O’Dempsey’s in MW Hire O’Moore Park this afternoon.
In conditions you wouldn’t put the dog out in, Port made the brighter start with wind advantage and once they got ahead early on they never trailed.
In a real war of attrition, Port had the slight edge in most of the individual battles.
And after their win over Portlaoise in the last round, they welcomed back Ronan Coffey and Colm Murphy from injury.
O’Dempsey’s for their part were without the suspended Robbir Kehoe and would play most of the second half with 14 men after Bryan Nugent was sent off on two yellow cards.
Colm Murphy got two points in the opening quarter, one from a free, while his brother David got two more.
A fine Conor Meredith effort from play on the stroke of the first water break left it 0-4 to 0-1 and though another Murphy free pushed four up, Matthew Finlay responded with a free of his own and it was 0-5 to 0-2 at half time.
But despite Port having to do without the sin-binned Stuart Mulpeter, a fine Adam Ryan point at the start of the second half was crucial as O’Dempsey’s struggled to make any use of the wind.
Peter O’Leary did come up from centre-back to point from play but Nugent’s dismissal made O’Dempsey’s task all the more difficult.
Colm Murphy (free) and Mark Barry swapped points but despite the close nature of the scoreline, Port never looked really threatened even if O’Dempsey’s were outraged that a Mark Barry effort was signalled wide.
Sub Stephen O’Neill pushed Port four clear and there was no way back from there.
They go forward to a second semi-final in a row. O’Dempsey’s season is over.
SCORERS: Portarlington: Colm Murphy 0-4 (three frees), David Murphy 0-2, Adam Ryan 0-1, Stephen O’Neill 0-1. O’Dempsey’s: Mark Barry 0-1, Matthew Finlay 0-1 (free), Peter O’Leary 0-1, Conor Meredith 0-1
PORTARLINGTON: Scott Osborne; Cathal Bennett, Robbie Pigott, Alex Mohan; Stuart Mulpeter, Jason Moore, Adam Ryan; Keith Bracken, Eoin McCann; Ronan Coffey, Sean Byrne, Rioghan Murphy; Jake Foster, David Murphy, Colm Murphy. Subs: Colin Slevin for Bracken (injured – 12), Stephen O’Neill for R Murphy (51)
O’DEMPSEY’S: Podge Bannon; Cormac O’Hara, Shane Nerney, Tom Kelly; Fionn Holland; Barry Howlin, Brian Nugent; Conor Meredith, Matthew Finlay, Johnny Kelly; Michael Finlay, Mark Barry, Dan McCormack. Subs: Tom Behan for T Kelly (injured – 32), Derek Dunne for Micheal Finlay (40), Robbie McNeill for Howlin (injured – 54), Daithi Howlin for McCormack (59)
REFEREE: Seamus Mulhare (The Heath)
SEE ALSO – Find all the LaoisToday sports coverage here