Home Gaelic Football Club Football O’Flaherty on form as St Joseph’s see off Ballyroan-Abbey to claim top...

O’Flaherty on form as St Joseph’s see off Ballyroan-Abbey to claim top four Division 1A place

Ballyroan-Abbey 1-11 St. Joseph’s 1-17
ACFL Division 1A Round 7

St Joseph’s secured their place in the top four of Division 1A with a huge win away to Ballyroan-Abbey this evening.

It is a result that means all remaining games in the Division are now non-consequential as places have been confirmed.

Emo and Portlaoise are set to clash tomorrow while Ballyroan are to face Courtwood in a re-arranged game on Tuesday but all four of those teams will be fighting relegation regardless of the results.

This was the most important tie of the round as a Ballyroan-Abbey victory would have meant they’d go into their final game needing victory to advance in the winners section, but with the visitors picking up the two points the winners section is now finalised, St. Joseph’s will join Graiguecullen, Portarlington and O’Dempsey’s as they do battle for the league title.

St. Joseph’s dominated the opening quarter of the game and found themselves five points to one ahead after the 15 minutes, with Ballyroan-Abbey hardly able to make it out of their own half as St. Joseph’s dominated the middle of the park and won kickout after kickout.

Eoghan O’Flaherty was impressive for the visitors and he kicked three points early on, with Brian Daly and Michael Keogh adding one each.

Davin McEvoy had a marvellous game for Ballyroan-Abbey, picking up 1-3 in the first half alone.

He scored an early free and added another on 18 minutes, and Mark Cahill added a point from play.

The hosts took the lead moments later when Marty Scully pinged a perfect pass to McEvoy who coolly slotted the ball into the net.

St. Joseph’s battled back strongly and replied with four unanswered points, one each for Matthew Campion, Cormac Murphy, Oisin Hooney and Michael Dempsey.

McEvoy popped up again just on the stroke of half-time with a point for Ballyroan-Abbey after a delightful flick of the ball into his hands from the ground, but his side trailed by two at the break.

Padraig Clancy’s charges were fired up straight from the get-go for the second half and scored three points in as many minutes to regain the lead once more.

Conor McWey charged down the field from the throw in and pointed then Brian Whelan scored straight from the kickout before McEvoy completed the trio with a good score from play.

Eoghan O’Flaherty responded with a point for St. Joseph’s before moments later missing a guilt edged chance at goal.

He atoned for the miss somewhat with a successful free just a minute later and Brian Daly followed with his second.

Ballyroan-Abbey were applying serious pressure on the St. Joseph’s defence and goals, but the visitors showed some serious defensive skills and that paid off when Brian Daly broke with the ball before finding Oisin Hooney who buried it in the net for a goal.

O’Flaherty followed up with a free and the visitors led by six. Davin McEvoy tried to drag Ballyroan-Abbey back into the game as he scored a further three points, including a peach from the left wing and sub Odhran Delaney also chipped in with a good score.

They couldn’t claw back the deficit though as O’Flaherty kept the scoreboard ticking over for his side with another two frees and Brian Daly finished the game with an excellent point from range.

SCORERS: BALLYROAN-ABBEY: Davin McEvoy 1-7 (3 frees), Mark Cahill, Conor McWey, Brian Whelan and Odhran Delaney 0-1 each ST. JOSEPH’S: Eoghan O’Flaherty 0-8 (6 frees), Oisin Hooney 1-1, Brian Daly 0-3, Michael Keogh 0-2, Matthew Campion, Cormac Murphy, Michael Dempsey 0-1 each

BALLYROAN-ABBEY: Paudie McDonald; Mark Cahill, Aaron Carroll, Danny Brennan; Colm Walsh, Conor McWey, Conaire Gee; Shaun Murphy, Marty Scully; Enda McWey, Davin McEvoy, Shaun Fitzpatrick;Padraig McMahon, Diarmuid Whelan, Brian Whelan. Subs: Eamon Fitzpatrick for Brennan (HT), Cathal Doyle for Murphy (42), Odhran Delaney for B Whelan and Evan McEvoy for Walsh (both 45)

ST JOSEPH’S: Aaron Cooney; Tom Dunne, Adam Campion, Jamie Kelly; Josh Lacey, Jack Lacey, Cormac Murphy; Michael Dempsey, Sean Brennan; Michael Keogh, Eoghan O’Flaherty, Daniel Hickey; Matthew Campion, Brian Daly, Oisin Hooney. SUBS: Dean Brophy for Keogh (52) and Eoin Cahill for Murphy (58)

REFEREE: Hugh Coghlan (Portlaoise)

O’Dempsey’s 2-17 Courtwood 2-13
ACFL Division 1A

Neighbours O’Dempsey’s and Courtwood played out an entertaining game at the Old Pound this evening as O’Dempsey’s finished strongly to confirm their place in the top four and end Courtwood’s slim qualification hopes.

O’Dempsey’s led 1-9 to 1-7 at the break and though Courtwood were a point up with about ten minutes to go – 2-13 to 2-12 – O’Dempsey’s kicked the last five points.

Despite the loss of captain Matthew Finlay to injury, they made a burst for the finish line with Barry Kelly kicking three late points and Tom Kelly and Daithi Howlin getting one apiece.

SCORERS – O’Dempsey’s: Matthew Finlay 0-5, Tom Kelly 1-1, Fionn Holland 1-0, Barry Kelly 0-3, Eoin Finlay 0-3, Daithi Howlin 0-2, Stephen Lennon 0-1, Derek Dunne 0-1, Sam Molloy 0-1. Courtwood: Niall Dunne 0-4, David O’Connell 1-0, Luke Doran 1-0, Niall Donoher 0-2, Cian Doyle 0-2, Dylan Keane 0-2, Sam Krebs 0-1, Alan Kinsella 0-1, Michael Doyle 0-1,

O’DEMPSEY’S: Padraig Bannon; Eoghan Fitzpatrick, Cormac O’Hora, Stephen Lennon; Jack Lennon, Johnny Kelly, Ben Coen; Fionn Holland, Barry Kelly; Sam Molloy, Daithi Howlin, Derek Dunne; Matthew Finlay, Eoin Finlay, Tom Kelly. Subs: Ciaran McManus for Dunne, Bryan Nugent for M Finlay, John Cahill for Molloy

COURTWOOD: Aidan Cullen; Jake Doyle, Rob Flynn, Adam O’Halloran; David O’Connell, Niall Donoher, Colm Wilson; Collins Ugochukwu, Niall Dunne; Cian Doyle, Alan Kinsella, David Duffy; Dylan Keane, Luke Doran, Michael Doyle. Sub: Sam Krebs for Alan Kinsella (inj 5 mins).

REFEREE: Padraig Dunne (Colt)

Graiguecullen 1-16 Portarlington 2-12
ACFL Division 1A

A narrow win for Graiguecullen over Portarlington this evening means that Kevin Doogue’s side finish top of Division 1A after the first phase of games.

After losing their first game to St Joseph’s, they have now won six on the trot.

A Jake Foster goal helped Port to a 1-6 to 0-8 lead at the break and it was nip and tuck throughout the second half.

Colm Murphy accounted for most of Port’s scores in the opening half with Foster and Sean Michael Corcoran on target in the second half too.

Conor Kelly, who finished with 1-8, got an early goal for the home side on the restart and though Sean Michael Corcoran goaled for Port, Graigue had just enough to see it out with Jack Byrne finishing with 0-3, Aaron Forbes and Aaron Dorgan 0-2 apiece and one point from Ross Hennessy.

GRAIGUECULLEN: Patrick Scully; Eoin Alsybury, Bobby Doyle, Sean McGrath; Martin Doyle, Luke Alsybury, Danny Alsybury; Aaron Dorgan, Jamie Sheehan; Aaron Forbes, Ross Hennessy, Shane O’Neill; Jamie Murphy, Conor Kelly, Jack Byrne. Subs: Craig Doyle for Scully, Mikey Horohan for E Alsybury, John O’Shea for Sheehan

PORTARLINGTON: Sean Mooney; Conor McCarthy, Hayden Weldon, Padraig Coffey; Stuart Mulpeter, Jason Moore, Colin Slevin; Sean Michael Corcoran, Eoin McCann; Rioghan Murphy, Ronan Coffey, Jonathan Fulham; Jake Foster, Colm Murphy, Jordan Fitzpatrick

REFEREE: Maurice Deegan (Stradbally)

SEE ALSO – Check out all our coverage of the Laois minor hurlers here

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