The Rock 3-16 Portlaoise 0-4
Laois IFC Relegation Final
The Rock maintained their Intermediate status with ease in Portarlington this afternoon as their relegation final with Portlaoise was never a credible contest.
Despite the vast difference between the sides Portlaoise had the first chance of the game. They held possession and Ben Conroy popped the ball across to Ross Brennan but his shot was well saved by Conor Allen.
The Rock responded with a long ball that found Stephen McDonald but his fisted effort over the bar hit the post and was eventually scrambled into the net by Shane O’Connell.
This got The Rock going and they fired over three points in as many minutes as they dominated Portlaoise’s kick out.
Ross Brennan and Ben Conroy were Portlaoise’s shining light in midfield but they always seemed out numbered and The Rock were never exposed.
O’Connell and McDonald kept the scoreboard ticking over to leave the score at 1-5 to no score at the first water break.
Portlaoise finally got off the mark as Scott Lawless slotted over a fine point on the 20th minute.
However Portlaoise struggled to pass their own 65 with any consistency and The Rock kept the scores coming.
Sean O’Neill’s pace made a difference when the passes slowed in The Rock attack and he set up O’Connell on the loop who slotted yet another point over the bar.
The game was put to bed as a contest in the second minute of the new half as Sean O’Neill tore through the centre of the Portlaoise defence and he put Aaron Dowling through on goal.
Dowling made no mistake and he slotted the ball home to put The Rock up by 14.
Ben Conroy popped up for Portlaoise with arguably the score of the day in the 33rd minute.
The Rock’s athleticism outmatched Portlaoise’s all over the field and this resulted in corner back Niall Dunne slotting over a fine point after the overlap was created.
McDonald got his fifth point of the day, this time off his weaker right foot, as The Rock led 2-13 to 0-3 at the second half water break.
Shane O’Connell grabbed his second goal on the 24th minute after he pinged his own rebound into the top corner.
The Rock used their five subs and they were keen to impress. Jack Pedro and David Murphy (2) slotted over great points before full-time.
The Rock ultimately ran out easy 21 point winners as Portlaoise’s second team fall to Junior A after a very poor game of football.
SCORERS – The Rock: Shane O’Connell 2-5, Stephen McDonald 0-5 (one mark), Aaron Dowling 1-0, David Murphy 0-2, Sean O’Neill, Wesley Bergin, Niall Dunne and Jack Pedro 0-1 each. Portlaoise: Ben Conroy 0-2, Mikey Nerney 0-1, Scott Lawless 0-1
THE ROCK: Conor Allen; Niall Dunne, Kieran Conroy, Ben Storey; Victor Oladupa, Conor Flynn, Anavil Storey; Fionn Kirwan, Sean O’Neill; Wesley Bergin, Aaron Dowling, Evan Dempsey; Stephen McDonald, Stephen Conroy, Shane O’Connell. Subs: Jack Pedro for Dempsey (39), Ben Carroll for Kirwan (39), Diarmuid Joyce (39), David Murphy for McDonald (45), Cormac Joyce for Dowling (45)
PORTLAOISE: Eoin Keenan; Fint Walsh, Aidan McGovern, Gary Whelan; Gavin Fitzpatrick, Sam Birrane, Jack O’Connell; Ross Brennan, Ben Conroy; Jack Tobin, Dara Ramsbottom, Adam Forrestal; Alan Daly, Scott Lawless, Mikey Nerney. Subs: Peter Naughton for O’Connell (injured – 27), Stephen Keegan for Brennan (injured – 36)
REFEREE: Des Cooney (St Joseph’s)