Powerful Portlaoise show they mean business
LEINSTER SFC QUARTER-FINAL Portlaoise 3-15 St Patrick's 0-4:Portlaoise, topping the list of winners in the Leinster club SFC, romped to the semi-final of the competition at Aughrim yesterday.
St Patrick’s of Wicklow, who knocked out Carlow’s Éire Óg in the first round with a late extra-time goal, were no match for the seven-times Leinster champions who stamped their authority on this game from the word go.
The Portlaoise men had this resulted wrapped up by half time when they led by 2-6 at the break with the outclassed Wicklow men failing to score in the opening 30 minutes of play.
Wing back Conor Boyle was one of the stand-out players in what looked to be a star-studded Laois outfield; he got the show on the road for his team with the opening point inside 30 seconds and then rifled home their first goal at the end of the first quarter from a trade -mark Portlaoise move started from their own defence.
Full-forward Brian McCormack, centre-forward Barry Fitzgerald and corner-forward Paul Cahillane were causing all sorts of problems for a beleaguered St Patrick’s side, with the second goal chipped to the net on 25 minutes after St Patrick’s defenders twice spilled possession on the edge of the small square.
Trailing by 12 points at the interval, St Patrick’s restarted the second half sprightly with their first point by Austin O’Malley in less than a minute, and then Tommy Kelly rattled the crossbar with a shot.
Unfortunately, from a St Patrick’s viewpoint, that’s as good as it got for the Wicklow champions, who were hit with a third Portlaoise goal by Eoghan Whelan in the 52nd minute as the Laois men ran out decisive winners.
Portlaoise now meet Longford champions Emmet Óg in the provincial semi-final.
PORTLAOISE: M Nolan; T Fitzgerald, B Mulligan, C Healy; K Fitzpatrick, K Lillis, C Boyle (1-2); A Kelly (0-1), H Coughlan; C Rogers (0-1), B Fitzgerald (0-4, two frees), B Glynn (0-2); P Cahillane (0-2), B McCormack (1-2), B Smith. Subs: E Whelan (1-0) for Smith, B Gaynor for Rogers, J Delaney for Fitzgerald, L McGovern for Coughlan, S Nerney (0-1) for Boyle.
ST PATRICK’S:C Byrne; S Murley, P Higgins, R Connolly; P McWalter, C Doyle, D Healy; D McEvoy, R Murphy; M Byrne (0-1), P Earls, T Kelly; D Fitzgerald, A O’Malley (0-3), D O’Sullivan. Subs: S Duffy for Fitzgerald, N Kennedy for Murphy, A James for Doyle, S Alexander for Byrne, M Donoghue for O’Sullivan.
Referee: D Gough(Meath).