Portlaoise too strong for Moorefield

Seen-in-a-row Laois champions will now go for eighth Leinster title

Portlaoise players celebrate at the final whistle. Photograph: Lorraine O’Sullivan/Inpho

Portlaoise players celebrate at the final whistle. Photograph: Lorraine O’Sullivan/Inpho


Portlaoise 1-19 Moorefield 0-8: Portlaoise completed a great eight days’ work when they surprised a fancied Moorefield at O’Moore Park. Eight days previously they trailed the Longford champions by eight points before forcing extra-time and coming away with a famous victory. Yesterday their defence conceded just eight points, all but one of them from placed balls.

Moorefield were refreshed after a 15-point mauling of first-time Wexford champions St Martins but once Brian McCormack put his side in front after 40 seconds they were always comfortable, although they trailed by two points at half-time.

Incredibly, after a free-scoring run through the Kildare championship, the visitors’ only score from play came from substitute Kenny Duane after 52 minutes.

After 15 minutes the seven-in-a-row Laois champions led 0-3 to no score, Brian Glynn and Craig Rogers adding to the early score by Laois footballer of the year Brian McCormack.

After a poor start the visitors fired over five unanswered points, three from Ronan Sweeney and a brace from Adam Tyrell, all from placed balls and it looked as if Portlaoise might pay for conceding scoreable frees.

Portlaoise were forced to make two defensive changes – Eoin Whelan and Barry Fitzgerald coming in for Malachy McNulty and Paul Cotter.

A late Paul Cahillane point left the visitors in front 0-6 to 0-4 at the break.

Moorefield introduced David Whyte at the break but were stunned after a bad mistake by their captain Ross Glavin allowed Paul Cahillane to set up Brian McCormack for the game’s only goal six minutes into the second half.

The same player added a point and, although the Kildare side never gave up, there was no denying the Laois champions, now seeking an eighth provincial crown on Sunday week against favourites St Vincents in O’Connor Park in Tullamore.

PORTLAOISE: M Nolan (0-1); M McNulty, P Cotter, B Mulligan; T Fitzgerald, C Healy, D Seale; C Boyle, S Nerney; B Glynn (0-1), K Lillis, P Cahillane (0-2); C Rogers (0-2), B McCormack (1-2), B Smith; Subs: E Whelan for M McNulty (13 mins), B Fitzgerald (0-1) for P Cotter (14 mins), K Fitzpatrick for B Smith (52 mins), A Kelly for S Nerney (50 mins).
MOOREFIELD: T Kinsella; L Callaghan, G Naughton, P O’Flynn; R Houlihan, K Murnaghan, J Lonergan; D Flynn, R Glavin; A Mullins, P Murray, A Tyrell (0-3); N Hurley-Lynch, R Sweeney (0-4), C Kelly; Subs: D Whyte for N Hurley-Lynch (half-time), K Duane (0-1) for P Murray (47 mins), K O’Neill for R Glavin (49 mins), F Hanniffy for L Callaghan (52 mins).
Referee: David Coldrick (Meath)