O’Dempsey’s 0-4 Portarlington 3-17
ACFL Division 1A Group A Round 3
Portarlington marched into the Division 1A semi finals following a comprehensive 22 point victory over neighbours O’Dempsey’s in the Old Pound this evening.
Martin Murphy’s charges were dominant throughout and are hitting some great form ahead of next month’s 2020 championship semi final with Ballyfin.
Portarlington – who managed this victory without half of their Laois contingent as neither Sean Byrne nor Colm Murphy played – will now go forward to face St Joseph’s in the last four of this competition.
Eoin Kearns’ O’Dempsey’s really struggled and only managed one point from play in the entire game – that coming from sub Barry Kelly in the 56th minute.
They will have to pick themselves up quickly though as they face Ballyroan-Abbey in the relegation semi final on Saturday.
These sides last met in the quarter final of the 2020 championship in October where Portarlington edged a dour affair by 0-8 to 0-4 – but there was nothing dour about this from the victor’s point of view.
They began with a Ronan Coffey point and had their first goal after three minutes when Coffey and David Murphy combined to set up Jake Foster.
Foster added two more points before a lovely Adam Ryan point and a free from Foster left it 1-5 to 0-0 at the water break.
Ryan added another on the resumption before Matthew Finlay slotted what would prove to be O’Dempsey’s only score of the first half after 20 minutes.
Portarlington responded with points from Foster, Alex Mohan, Ryan and Stephen O’Neill and could have had more goals too but for the post denying Ryan and O’Dempsey’s keeper Podge Bannon stopping from David Murphy.
But they did get a second goal on the stroke of half time as Keith Bracken set up Adam Ryan who delightfully lobbed the advancing Bannon to leave it 2-9 to 0-1 at half time.
The game was over as a contest at this stage but Portarlington continued to attack in waves.
Their third goal arrived in the first minute of the second half when another flowing handpassing move ended with Paddy O’Sullivan sidestepping keeper Bannon to score.
Ronan Coffey, Stephen O’Neill, Jake Foster and David Murphy all followed that with points to leave Portarlington 3-13 to 0-1 ahead at the second water break.
O’Dempsey’s enjoyed their most productive quarter in the time that remained and almost had a goal when Brian Nugent got in but Scott Osbourne pulled off a fantastic save.
Nugent did subsequently kick two frees before Barry Kelly did get their solitary point from play.
Portarlington still outscored them though as a brace from Murphy and one each from sub Johnny Fulham and the very impressive Foster brought the game to a close.
SCORERS – O’Dempsey’s: Brian Nugent 0-2 (both frees), Matthew Finlay (free) and Barry Kelly 0-1 each Portarlington: Jake Foster 1-6 (two frees), Adam Ryan 1-2, Paddy O’Sullivan 1-0, David Murphy 0-3, Ronan Coffey and Stephen O’Neill 0-2 each, Alex Mohan and Johnny Fulham 0-1 each
O’DEMPSEY’S: Podge Bannon; Tom Kelly, Cormac O’Hora, Paddy McCormack; Robbie Keogh, Bryan Meredith, Shane Nerney; Derek Dunne, Brian Nugent; Fionn Holland, Johnny Kelly, Jack Lennon; Ben Cohen, Mark Barry, Matthew Finlay. Subs: Sam Molloy for Meredith (HT), Barry Kelly for Matthew Finlay (40)
PORTARLINGTON: Scott Osbourne; Cathal Bennett, Diarmuid Bennett, Alex Mohan; Jason Moore, Robbie Piggot, Paddy O’Sullivan; Keith Bracken, Stuart Mulpeter; Rioghan Murphy, Ronan Coffey, Adam Ryan; Jake Foster, David Murphy, Stephen O’Neill. Subs: Colin Slevin for Diarmuid Bennett (38), Jordan Fitzpatrick for Coffey (38), Eoin McCann for Mulpeter (38), Johnny Fulham for Cathal Bennett (44), Sean Michael Corcoran for Bracken (44)
Referee: Tom Kennedy (Killeshin)