Portlaoise must go again as Lawlor lands late Emo free to earn replay
Finding a date for a replay is a problem as the winners are due to play Palatine in the provincial campaign next Sunday
Emo forced a free and Mick Lawlor brought the Clan tally to 2-5 and heralded the end of a thriller.
Portlaoise 0-15 Emo 2-9
A point from a 30-metre free three minutes into injury time ensured a first drawn match in a Laois football final in 14 years.
The pre-match talk made no mention of a draw, as the champions Portlaoise were unbackable favourites to complete a record nine titles in a row.
Emo were in search of only their second championship since 1972 and when 42-year-old Mick Lawlor crashed home a pair of goals just after the resumption a shock looked as if it was on the cards.
Emo had played second fiddle in the opening half but four Paul Lawlor frees ensured they only trailed by three points 0-5 to 0-8, Paul Cahillane and Craig Rogers each managing to kick two points and good efforts from Brian McCormack, Brian Smyth, Brian Mulligan and Gareth Dillon kept the champions on course for victory.
After the early second-half burst of goals Paul Lawlor, Evin Costelloe posted points and the challengers led 2-8 to 0-9 after 40 minutes of the encounter but a great point by team captain Kieran Lillis kickstarted a Portlaoise revival and a brace by Australian Rules player Zach Touhy had the team level with a minute remaining before another substitute Brian Glynn edged the champions back in front and it looked like number nine was on its way.
However, Emo forced a free and Mick Lawlor brought the Clan tally to 2-5 and heralded the end of a thriller.
Finding a date for a replay is a headache as the winners are due to play Palatine in the Provincial campaign on Sunday next.
PORTLAOISE: Graham Brody; D Seale, J Delaney, C Finn; P Cotter (0-1), K Lillis (capt) (0-1), B Mulligan (0-1); C Boyle (0-1), C Healy; G Dillon (0-1), C Rogers (0-2), C Dunphy; B McCormack (0-1), P Cahillane (0-3), B Smyth (0-1); Subs: R Maher for C Dunphy (39 mins), E Whelan for B Mulligan (48 mins), Z Touhy (0-2) for P Cotter (46 mins), B Glynn (0-1) for C Finn (56 mins). EMO: P Kirwan; S Murphy, S Carney, P Dunne; D Strong, N Wheeler, R Ryan; E Costelloe (0-2), Mark Carney (capt); D Gorman, N Murphy(0-1), B Gorman; G Brophy, M Lawlor (2-0), P Lawlor (0-6). Subs: F Crowley for D Gorman (50 mins), C Lawlor for B Gorman (55 mins). Referee: D Moore (St Josephs).