Home Sport GAA Second half surge does the trick for Ballyroan-Abbey to reach first SFC...

Second half surge does the trick for Ballyroan-Abbey to reach first SFC semi final since 2006

Ballyroan-Abbey Courtwood

Ballyroan-Abbey 3-11 Courtwood 1-10
Laois SFC Quarter-final

A strong second half performance saw Ballyroan-Abbey turn a half time deficit into a win to reach the SFC semi finals for the first time since 2006.

Padraig Clancy’s men just got the better of Courtwood in a thrilling game in O’Moore Park.

Excellent performances from Brian Whelan, Davin McEvoy, Diarmuid Whelan and Shaun Fitzpatrick led Ballyroan-Abbey to victory in the end.

This game burst into life as Brian Whelan and Danny Luttrell swapped scores before we had a goal in the third minute.

Sean Murphy was the architect as Padraig McMahon applied the finish off his right foot from close range.

Courtwood’s response was good though and they almost had a goal when a swift move saw Niall Dunne get through but he blazed his shot wide.

Points from Matthew Byron and Paul O’Flynn followed but Courtwood trailed 1-1 to 0-3 at the water break.

However, they were ahead a minute after the resumption. Niall Dunne’s shot was foot-blocked by Mark Cahill and a penalty was awarded – which the Dunne converted.

Both sides missed several opportunities after that and although Luttrell scored for Courtwood, three Brian Whelan frees drew Ballyroan-Abbey level as we approached half time.

An Alan Kinsella free left Courtwood 1-5 to 1-4 ahead at half time but it was all change in the third quarter as Ballyroan-Abbey took control.

Davin McEvoy instantly kicked them level and then a searing run from the excellent Shaun Fitzpatrick resulted in a fisted goal for Brian Whelan.

McEvoy, Brian Whelan and Mark Cahill added points and all of a sudden Ballyroan-Abbey led by six.

Courtwood ended the quarter with points from Niall Dunne and Luttrell but Ballyroan-Abbey led 2-8 to 1-7.

Luke Doran and Shaun Fitzpatrick traded points when play resumed as Ballyroan-Abbey maintained their four point lead into the last ten minutes.

Diarmuid Whelan then landed two absolute screamers to put six between the teams with five minutes to go.

Courtwood came again with points but a late goal from Davin McEvoy sealed the win.

SCORERS – Ballyroan-Abbey: Brian Whelan 1-5 (four frees), Padraig McMahon 1-0, Davin McEvoy 1-2, Shaun Fitzpatrick 0-1, Mark Cahill 0-1, Diarmuid Whelan 0-2 Courtwood: Niall Dunne 1-1 (1-0 penalty), Danny Luttrell 0-5 (four frees), Paul O’Flynn 0-1, Matthew Byron 0-2 (two frees) Luke Doran 0-1

BALLYROAN-ABBEY: Paudie McDonald; Mark Cahill, Aaron Carroll, Aaron McEvoy; Conor McWey, Martin Scully, Ciaran Byrne; Diarmuid Whelan, Sean Murphy; Cathal Doyle, Davin McEvoy, Shaun Fitzpatrick; Padraig McMahon, Charlie Whelan, Brian Whelan. Subs: Conaire Gee for Aaron McWey (10, inj), MJ Tierney for C Whelan (45), Colm Walsh for Fitzpatrick and Scott Conroy  for McMahon (both 53), Enda McWey for B Whelan (57)

COURTWOOD: Matthew Byron; Barry Donnelly, Mark O’Halloran, Adam O’Halloran; Sean O’Flynn, Conor Hogan, Cian Doyle; Danny Luttrell, Robert Tyrell; Paul O’Flynn, Collins Ugochukwu, Niall Dunne; Niall Donoher, Alan Kinsella, Luke Doran. Subs: Rob Flynn for Hogan (35), Colm Wilson for P O’Flynn (41), Dylan Keane for Doyle (53)

REFEREE: Brendan McCann (Portarlington)

SEE ALSO – Check out all the weekend LaoisToday GAA coverage here

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Stradbally native Alan Hartnett is a graduate of Knockbeg College who has worked in the local and national media since 2008. Alan has a BA in Economics, Politics and Law and an MA in Journalism from DCU. His happiest moment was when Jody Dillon scored THAT goal in the Laois senior football final in 2016.