The semi-final pairings in the Laois JFC ‘A’ are now known following this afternoon’s quarter-finals around the county.
Annanough will play Ballyroan-Abbey in one semi-final following wins over Kilcavan and The Harps respectively while there will be a local derby in the other with St Joseph’s and Barrowhouse set to do battle.
They were victors over Killeshin and Portlaoise respectively.
We have details on the games below.
Annanough 5-12 Kilcavan 1-12
Four goals from Damien McCaul helped Annanough book their place in the semi-finals of this year’s junior football championship as they got the better of Kilcavan in Vicarstown this afternoon.
The home side got off to a dream start with three goals in the opening ten minutes with Elliott Scully getting the first and McCaul getting two in quick succession. At the first water break they were 3-2 to 0-2 ahead.
And McCaul completed his hat-trick in the second quarter as he also pointed as did Scully and centre-forward Killian Horgan. At half time Annanough were 4-6 to 0-5 ahead and in seemingly in control.
Horgan clipped over another nice point early in the second half but slowly Kilcavan got a strong grip on the game and points from Derek O’Connell, Darragh McEvoy and Jason Maher (45) had it back to 4-7 to 0-10 at the second water break.
A brilliant Evan Hunt goal closed the gap further and Hunt and Dean O’Brien also pointed but Annanough finished strong and McCaul’s fourth goal as well as two points from him, Scully and one from sub James Miller saw them complete the job and book a semi-final meeting with Ballyroan in two weeks time.
SCORERS – Annanough: Damien McCaul 4-4 (0-2 frees), Elliott Scully 1-4, Killian Horgan 0-3 (two frees), James Miller 0-1. Kilcavan: Jason Maher 0-4 (two frees, one ’45), Evan Hunt 1-0, Cian Ryle 0-2, Derek O’Connell 0-1, Robbie Hunt 0-1, Sean Mangan 0-1, Darragh McEvoy 0-1, Ronan Gorry 0-1, Dean O’Brien 0-1
ANNANOUGH: Conor Hanly; Cathal Kelliher, Rory Stapleton, Ronan Stapleton; Marty Stapleton, Conor Donlon, Simon Shortall; Jack Fennelly, Fergal Scully; Seamus Stapleton, Killian Horgan, Ciaran Hennessy; Damien McCaul, Elliott Scully, Daire Stapleton. Subs: Davey Booth for D Stapleton, James Miller for S Stapleton, Donal Miller for Horgan
KILCAVAN: Declan White; Barry Conroy, Eddie Conroy, Gavin Molloy; Paul Bolton, Mick Bermingham, Robbie Hunt; Sean Mangan, Gearoid Treacy; Cian Ryle, Evan Hunt, Ronan Gorry; Darragh McEvoy, Rory O’Connell, Jason Maher. Subs: Dean O’Brien for R Hunt, Derek O’Connell for R O’Connell, Declan Conroy for McEvoy
Barrowhouse 3-15 Portlaoise 0-17
Barrowhouse are through to the semi-finals of the Laois JFC after a seven-point win over Portlaoise at a windswept Rathleague on Saturday afternoon.
The victors had wind advantage in the first half and used it to build up a healthy half-time lead, and they managed to hold off whatever Portlaoise threw at them in the second half. They had some really impressive performers on the day, with Fergal Murphy kicking 0-8 (with four from play), but the best player on the field was their corner-forward James Baldwin.
He finished the game with 2-1, his first goal a ‘Goal of the Season’ contender, and also directly set up 1-6 for his team mates as Portlaoise just couldn’t contain him. Loughlin Kelleher in midfield was an impressive performer for Barrowhouse on the day.
Fergal Murphy had gotten them on the road to victory with a fine long range free in the second minute, after Baldwin had drawn a foul, and that got them game up and running.
Andy Dowling drew Portlaoise level before Cormac Dunne (mark) and Loughlin Kelleher traded scores. Dunne scored again for Portlaoise moments later only for Murphy to cancel it out, and that preceded the first goal.
James Baldwin was advancing on goal only to have the ball knocked from his hands, but his quick thinking and soccer-style pass to Lee Day was met with a soccer-style shot from the corner-forward, who beat Richard Downey.
Portlaoise responded well with two fine point from Shane Smith, and by the time of the first water break they were only one behind, 1-3 to 0-5.
Barrowhouse really kicked things up a notch after that though as Baldwin set Fergal Murphy up for two points and Murphy then added a superb individual effort. Baldwin was involved again moments later when he set Kelleher up for another score before some good play resulted in fifth point in a row for Barrowhouse, as TJ Burke applied the finish.
With their tails up they kept pressing forward and were soon rewarded. Some really good passing and team play saw them work the ball to James Baldwin on the right side of the penalty area, who made no mistake with an outrageous goal which rocketed into the far top corner.
Fergal Murphy added another free moments later and that finished off the scoring for the half, as Barrowhouse went to the huddle 2-9 to 0-5 to the good.
If Portlaoise could take any solace it was that they had a strong wind advantage to come, but Barrowhouse served notice they would not be wilting in the conditions as Baldwin pointed early in the second half.
Sub Scott Lawless and Lee Day then traded points before Portlaoise rattled off three on the trot from Jonathon Rafter, Brian McCormack and Cormac Dunne to give themselves a glimmer of hope. It was soon extinguished however, by Barrowhouse. Some clever play in their full-forward line resulted in Lee Day getting another point, and then he turned provider to set James Baldwin up for his second goal, as they now lead by 12 after 42 minutes.
Portlaoise, to their credit, kept trying to chip away at their lead and Cormac Dunne picked off some good scores, as did Scott Lawless, but the Barrowhouse defence never looked like coughing up a goal.
They soaked up plenty of Portlaoise pressure and even though the hosts got within seven late in the game, it wasn’t nearly close enough to really look like getting something from the game.
Barrowhouse march on now and will take some stopping, as they are playing a nice brand of football and have plenty of firepower from midfield forward.
SCORERS – Barrowhouse: Fergal Murphy 0-8 (0-4 frees), James Baldwin 2-1, Lee Day 1-2, Loughlin Kelleher 0-2, Martin Murphy 0-1, TJ Burke 0-1. Portlaoise: Cormac Dunne 0-7 (0-4 frees, 0-1 mark), Shane Smith 0-3, Scott Lawless 0-2, Brian McCormack, Andy Dowling, Jonathon Rafter, Malachy McNulty, Oisin Fitzpatrick 0-1 each.
BARROWHOUSE: Darragh Phelan; James Brennan, Tom Page, Denis Brophy; Tom McDonald, Alex Robinson, Padraig Whelan; Martin Murphy, Loughlin Kelleher; TJ Burke, Fergal Murphy, Alex Kenny; Lee Day, Sean Langton, James Baldwin. Subs: Michael Langton for S Langton (55), Lorcan Page for Brophy (63), Eoin Cobbe for Kenny (65)
PORTLAOISE: Richard Downey; Brian Seale, Aidan McGovern, Gary Whelan; Oisin Fitzpatrick, Malachy McNutly, Colin Finn; Craig Scully, Shane Smith; Jonathon Rafter, Andy Dowling, Chris Lynch; John Delaney, Martin Staunton, Cormac Dunne. Subs: Brian ‘Beano’ McCormack for Staunton (halt-time), Scott Lawless for Dowling (35), Gavin Skehan for Seale (46), Liam McGovern for Delaney (50), Mikey Nerney for Finn (61).
Referee: JJ Kirby (The Heath)
Ballyroan-Abbey 2-9 The Harps 2-3
Ballyroan-Abbey began what could be a very good week for the club with a six point victory over The Harps.
With their Seniors hoping to reach the semi finals on Sunday, the Juniors showed them how today with a fine display.
Level at half time against The Harps, they outclassed them in the second period to win comfortably in the end.
Ballyroan-Abbey, playing at home, made a brilliant start as they amassed 1-4 without reply in the opening 13 minutes.
Jamie Whelan and Odhran Delaney got them underway with points before the latter intercepted a Harps free and saw his shot hit the post only for Lawson Obulor to finish the ball to the net.
Jamie Whelan and Obulor added points before The Harps burst into the game with a goal.
James Duggan collected the ball in midfield and ran from there all the way to the goal before shooting low into the corner.
Sub Rian Edwards added a point to leave them 1-4 to 1-1 behind at the first water break.
The Harps continued to pile on the pressure and struck for a second goal when Daniel Comerford popped the ball off to Aaron Grady who scored.
Daniel Comerford briefly gave The Harps the lead but a late Evan McEvoy score ensured we went in level at half time – 2-2 to 1-5.
Daniel Comerford gave The Harps the lead once more at the start of the second half but incredibly – they failed to score again.
Obulor drew Ballyroan-Abbey level in the 41st minute and then was heavily involved in the match winning goal that Jamie Whelan finished off.
James McWey curled over two more points and all of a sudden Ballyroan-Abbey led 2-8 to 2-3 at the second water break.
McWey was the only scorer in the final quarter as Ballyroan-Abbey went through with six points to spare.
SCORERS – Ballyroan-Abbey: Lawson Obulor 1-2, James McWey 0-4 (two frees), Jamie Whelan 1-1, Odhran Delaney 0-1, Evan McEvoy 0-1 The Harps: James Duggan 1-0, Aaron Grady 1-0, Daniel Comerford 0-2 (one free), Rian Edwards 0-1
BALLYROAN-ABBEY: Colm Lalor; Ned Fitzpatrick, Fionan Mahony, Michael Brennan; Evan McEvoy, Ruairi Dunne, Sam Quinn; James McWey, Liam Delaney; Alan McWey, Jamie Whelan, Stephen Thompson; Ben McDonald, Lawson Obulor, Odhran Delaney. Subs: Fionn Scully
THE HARPS: Paul Shortall; Thomas Walsh, Cathal Phelan, John Ferruga; David Doheny, Pauric Dunne, Damien Murphy; Pat Walshe, Cathal Murphy; Aaron Grady, Podge Delaney, James Duggan; Niall Brophy, Daniel Comerford, Conor Doheny. Subs: Rian Edwards
Referee: Seamus Mulhare (The Heath)
St Joseph’s 1-10 Killeshin 1-5
St Joseph’s, who won this grade most recently in 2017 and spent two seasons at intermediate, were five-point winners over Killeshin this afternoon in a hard-fought clash in Kellyville.
They now go forward to play neighbours Barrowhouse in the semi-final in two weeks time.
ST JOSEPH’S: Ray Kealy; David Farrell, Donal Ramsbottom, Ciaran Condron; Tomas Byrne, Willie McDonald, James Fleming; James Smith, Eoin Cahill; Adam Delaney, Dan Dunne, Niall Brennan; David Brennan, Cathal Fleming, Peter Kealy. Subs: Murtagh Condron for J Fleming, Joe Morrin for D Brennan, Dan Nelligan for Kealy
KILLESHIN: Shane Coakley; Darragh McDonald, Keelan Galligan, Kevin Brennan; Leeson Hughes, Barry Ryan, Lee Dunne; Gavin Brennan, Ger Kelly; David Mahon, Kaelum Hand, Niall Brennan; Brian Lowry, Cathal Brennan, Alan Brennan. Subs: Liam Doran, Eoin Fitzpatrick, David McDonald, Stephen Moran, Nathan Brennan
Referee: Clifford Ward (Portarlington)