Portarlington GAA Club

Founded 1893

Co. Laois

Seniors Advance To Semi After Ballyroan Battle

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At the business end of the championship in September, nothing is guaranteed, as the inclement weather proved yesterday morning.

But what was always guaranteed was that Port would expect a tough, no nonsense challenge from Ballyroan-Abbey, who had earlier in the summer, turned us over in McCann Park in the League campaign.

A damp unsettled day in Portlaoise was not the kind of conditions either team would have been hoping for, but to their credit, they both still produced a fine game of football.

Colm Murphy put Port ahead early on in the game with a point, and following a near goal chance from Ballyroan-Abbey, Adam Ryan chipped over another nicely floated point to put Port up 2 points to nil after 7 mins.

Credit to Ballyroan, they stunted Port's attempts in the final third of the pitch and limited us to just 4 points on the board with the next two coming from Colm Murphy & Jake Foster as the clock approached the half way point of the first half.

Ballyroan kept themselves in touch with 2 points of their own and were growing in confidence as the half wore on.

Then, on the stroke of half time, with Port looking like entering the break three points ahead, Ballyroan hit the back of the net to bring the game level going into the dressing room.

A move that involved Ballyroan & Laois stalwart Padraig McMahon, saw a parried ball fall into the path of a waiting Connaire Gee, who neatly tapped it home.

The score at half time - Port 0-06 - 1-03 Ballyroan Abbey.

The second half brought with it not only the introduction of veteran Jason Moore, but also more intensity from both teams than had been seen in the first half.

After both sides traded points inside the first ten minutes, a revitalised Port finally hit the net through a confident Rioghan Murphy run, which saw him calmly slot the ball past a well beaten Paudi McDonald in the Ballyroan -Abbey goals.

5 minutes later, Port rattled the net again, after a clinical hand passing move up the field, was finished off by Jake Foster to put the reigning champions 6 points to the good entering the final 15 mins of the contest, and now looking like they would pull away even further.

But again, credit to Ballyroan, they never took a backwards step & kept chipping over the scores that kept them firmly in touch, even after a sublime Paddy O'Sullivan point from the unlikeliest of angles, looked to be giving Port a comfortable lead in the dying minutes.

Two late pointed frees for Ballyroan were not enough as referee Hugh Coughlan blew the whistle for the final time in this enthralling contest and Port advanced to a semi final against old rivals Portlaoise in two weeks time.

With close neighbours Courtwood & O' Dempseys on the other side of the card, the conclusion of this years championship will no doubt not be without drama!

Final Score In O'Moore Park : Portarlington 2-09 - 1-11 Ballyroan-Abbey

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