Portlaoise 5-12 Emmet Óg Killoe 0-11
Having lost out to Dublin opposition in the last three years Portlaoise footballers will face Ballyboden St Enda's for the first time despite this being their 74th game in the competition. O'Moore Park in Portlaoise was the venue and despite torrential rain in recent days conditions were exceptional and for most of the opening half the visitors gave as good as they got.
Portlaoise had never lost to Longford opposition but when Killoe ran into an early 0-4 to 0-2 lead their supporters were in a confident mood. Killoe lined out with Irish International Rules player Michael Quinn at the heart of their defence having played in Croke Park on Saturday night.
If Saturday was a good day for the Longford man certainly he and his comrades will have nightmares over some of the goals conceded. Early points by Dan Mimnagh and Sean McCormack indicated Declan Rowley's men were determined to become the first team from the county to reach a Provincial final.
Portlaoise responded with points by Paul Cahillane and Brian Smyth but two further points by Denis McGoldrick and Daniel Mimnagh edged the visitors two in front after 10 minutes.
Then without warning Portlaoise struck for two goals, the first a pass by Cahillane to Craig Rogers and he gave the goalkeeper no chance. Four minutes later a ball reached Brian McCormack and he blasted low and hard beyond the keeper.
Killoe were shaken but hit back for five points from Paddy Kieran, Denis McGoldrick and Seán McCormack but Cahillane added a late brace to leave the nine-in-a-row Laois champions in front by 2-6 to 0-7 at the break.
If the Longford champions felt they were still in with a chance then they were in for a rude awakening. Portlaoise simply showed no mercy and before the new half was five minutes old Paul Cahillane had hammered home two killer goals.
Eight minutes from the end Ciarán McEvoy struck for goal number five and it was the first time the Laois champions recorded five in this championship since they beat Castletown of Wexford in 1976.
The final is next Sunday in Tullamore
PORTLAOISE: G Brody; D Seale, C Healy, J Delaney; E Whelan, K Lillis, B Mulligan (0-1); C Boyle, D Cullen; G Dillon, B Smith, C Dunphy; B McCormack (1-2), P Cahillane (2-6, 0-3 frees), C Rogers (1-3, 0-2 frees). Subs: R Maher for Maher for Whelan (45 mins), C McEvoy (1-0) for Cullen (52 mins), K Fitzpatrick for Smith (54 mins), D Holland for Rogers (bc, 57 mins), C Finn for McCormack (61 mins).
EMMET ÓG: C Burns; L Hughes, P McCormack, D Keogh; S Dowd, M Quinn, C Farrelly; J McCormack, S Kiernan; D McGoldrick (0-2), D Mimnagh (0-2), P Kiernan (0-1); M Hughes (0-1), P Thompson, S McCormack
(0-5, three). Subs: R McGoldrick for Thompson (h-t), Larry Moran for D McGoldrick (43 mins), E Clarke for Kiernan (43 mins), Shane Clarke for L Hughes (52 mins), R Keogh for J McCormack (58 mins). Referee: Niall Ward (Westmeath).