Portlaoise dethrone Moorefield
AIB Leinster Club SFC Quarter-Final
PORTLAOISE (LAOIS) 1-14 MOOREFIELD (KILDARE) 1-11
By Conor McKenna at St Conleth's Park
Portlaoise booked their place in the semi-finals of the Leinster Championship, after a three point victory over reigning champions Moorefield.
Portlaoise played an attractive brand of football throughout the game and will relish the challenge of facing Kilmacud Crokes in the semi-final.
Moorefield struggled massively with their own kick-out in the opening half, with the Portlaoise midfield completely dominant and it paid dividends for the victors who held a seven point lead at the interval.
Portlaoise built up an early lead and it stood to them come full time, with the scoreboard reading 1-4 to 0-2 in favour of the visitors, with 20 minutes on the clock, after a goal from Craig Rogers.
A long ball in was not dealt by the Moorefield defence and the ball made it’s way to Rogers who tapped into the net from close range.
Portlaoise pushed on before the interval to hold a 1-8 to 0-4 lead at half time which was fully deserved, as Moorefield did not perform in the opening half.
Veteran star Ronan Sweeney added the opening score of the second half before Moorefield found the back of the net, after a very rare mistake from All-Star nominee Graham Brody who parried a high ball from Eddie Heavey, which enabled Niall Hurley Lynch to find the net with a close-range finish.
Portlaoise responded superbly to the concession of the goal, with three successive points, including two from team captain Paul Cahillane to hold a six point advantage.
Moorefield reduced the deficit to three points with five minutes left to play, with Eanna O’Connor excelling, but a fisted effort from Gareth Dillon settled Portlaoise.
Eanna O’Connor added a free in stoppage time and Moorefield almost had the goal they craved to level procedures, but Brody atoned for his earlier error by producing a decent save to deny the Kildare champions.
Scorers for Portlaoise: Paul Cahillane 0-7 (3fs), Craig Rogers 1-2 (1f), Brian McCormack 0-2, Kieran Lillis, Ricky Maher and Gareth Dillon 0-1 each.
Scorers for Moorefield: Niall Hurley Lynch 1-1, Eanna O’Connor 0-4 (1f), Adam Tyrrell (2fs), Ronan Sweeney and Eddie Heavey 0-2 each.
PORTLAOISE: Graham Brody; Frank Flanagan, David Seale, Chris Finn; Colin Finn, Cahir Healy, David Hollan; Ciaran McEvoy, Kieran Lillis; Gareth Dillon, Conor Boyle, Craig Rogers; Paul Cahillane, Brian McCormack, Ricky Maher.
Subs: Brian Glynn for Craig Rogers (45), Scott Lawless for Ricky Maher (50).
MOOREFIELD: Thomas Corley; Liam Callaghan, Liam Healy, Mark Dempsey; Kevin Murnaghan, Anthony Durney, James Murray; Daryl Flynn, Aaron Masterson; Cian O’Connor, Ronan Sweeney, Eanna O’Connor; Eddie Heavey, Adam Tyrrell, Niall Hurley Lynch.
Subs: Ian Meehan for Daryl Flynn (30 + 1), Ian McDonnell for Thomas Corley (h-t), Sean Healy for Kevin Murnaghan (38), Jason Phillips for Cian O’Connor (57), Mark McDermott for Eddie Heavey (59), Aaron Mullins for Niall Hurley Lynch (60 + 2).
REFEREE: Barry Tierney (Dublin).