Portarlington GAA Club

Founded 1893

Co. Laois

Seniors Edge O'Dempseys In Thriller

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O'Dempseys 1-12 Portarlington 0-16

Our senior footballers narrowly edged out O'Dempseys last night, in what was the game of the championship to date.

Port vs O'Dempseys games have rarely disappointed over the years, and last night was no different.

With both teams coming into this game on the back of comprehensive first round wins, the outcome was never going to be a foregone conclusion, and add to that the local derby factor, and the stakes were even higher.

The two sides took the first 5 minutes to get the measure of each other, but it was O'Dempseys who eventually broke the deadlock in the 6th minute with a Matthew Finlay point.

Port put their first point on the board through Colm Murphy, and with the score a point in O'Dempseys favour in the 11th minute, the referee awarded a penalty to the Old Pound outfit which was dispatched by Eoin Finlay.

More scoring from O'Dempseys following the penalty saw them 5 points clear at one stage, but Port dug in and popped over the next 3 points without reply from Colm Murphy and Rioghan Murphy.

A Barry Howlin point was then countered by 3 more in succession from Paddy O'Sullivan, Colm Murphy and Jake Foster, putting Port ahead for the first time in the game, but O'Dempseys were not rolling over and again countered and went ahead.

But points again from Foster & O'Sullivan brought the game level going into the dressing room for half time.

The second half started just as the first had ended, with Port tagging on two unanswered points to go ahead, but typical of this engaging game, O'Dempseys came back with 3 unanswered points of their own to tie things up, and the pendulum looked to be swinging in their favour yet again.

But Port as they have done so often in recent years, dug deep to find an extra gear.

The introduction of experience in the form of David Murphy off the bench proved vital as he was instrumental in the build up to the winning score, expertly glided over from the boot of Jake Foster in the dying minutes of the game.

O'Dempseys were not down yet though and came back up the field looking to send the game into extra time, but some clever and dogged defending from Port was enough to repel the blue and yellow wave and see us through to the final whistle.

Local derbys can be cagey affairs at times, with neither side wanting to lose face, but this was a game that will be remembered for a long time to come for its intensity, honesty and entertainment.

Credit to both teams for a fantastic game.

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