Portarlington’s unblemished start to the league campaign continued at McCann Park on Friday evening with a ruthless performance that left an under-strength Park-Ratheniska side licking their wounds after an hour of almost one-way traffic.
The visitors shouldn’t be too concerned however because Port have dismantled almost every side they have come up against in their eight wins to date. They have scored an average of twenty points per game conceding less than seven at the other end and right from the start it was clear that this was going down the down the same route.
Adam Ryan put Port in front three minutes in before a sweeping Ratheniska move saw Darragh Nolan point in style at the other end straight away. That was the last time the sides would be on terms however as Port stepped into gear and by the time the visitors scored again, a full forty minutes later, Port had built up a twenty point advantage.
Portarlington picked off scores from all over the park and Park-Ratheniska struggled to contain their bustling attack. All bar one of the Port men from midfield on scored in the first half, with Kevin McGrath nabbing the only goal of the opening period that helped the hosts to a nine point lead at the break.
There was no let up for Ratheniska after the interval as Port continued to rack up the scores. The result was in no doubt at that stage which made the Port men’s hunger and determination to win every ball all the more impressive. That intensity told on the scoreboard as points from David Murphy, Kevin McGrath, Adam Ryan and the impressive Jason Moore all added to the Port lead before a fine move was finished by Kevin McGrath for his second goal of the game.
Park-Ratheniska to their credit continued to battle but the gulf in class was clear. Darryl Foy came off the bench midway through the second half and scored a goal with one of his first touches to extend the visitors misery before they finally added to their solitary early score through a Mark Delaney free.
Kevin McGrath was the top scorer on the night and just before his withdrawal with ten minutes to go he chipped in with his final point, followed quickly by another from Darryl Foy. Mark Delaney converted his second free of the night for the away side and they finished their scoring with two minutes left when Paddy Kelly charged down the left wing and chipped over a fine score, only their second from play.
Fittingly it was the home side that brought the curtain down on this impressive performance as Johnny Fulham whipped over a point in the dying seconds and the final whistle would have been a most welcome sound for the ragged Park-Ratheniska men. They will put this one behind them in the knowledge that they probably won’t face a tougher prospect in this year’s league. Port meanwhile look unstoppable.
Scorers: Portarlington – Kevin McGrath 2-5, Darryl Foy 1-1, Brian Cleary 0-3 (0-1f), Johnny Fullam, Adam Ryan and David Murphy 0-2 each, Jason Moore 0-1. Park-Ratheniska – Mark Delaney 0-2 (0-2f), Darragh Nolan and Paddy Kelly 0-1 each.
PORTARLINGTON: Gary Lanigan; Padraig Dwyer, Peter Coffey, Eoin Lyons; Stefan Hoey, Stuart Mulpeter, Haydon Wheldon; Cathal Ryan, Adam Ryan; David Murphy, James O’Neill, Kevin McGrath; Johnny Fulham, Jason Moore, Brian Cleary. Subs: Darryl Foy for O’Neill (41 mins), Conor Coleman for Weldon (41 mins), Gary Fitzmaurice for Moore (52 mins), Ed Wheldon for McGrath (52 mins).
PARK-RATHENISKA: Brian Ramsbottom; Paddy Kelly, David Larkin, Martin Kelly; Shane O’Connor, Cathal Óg Green, Benny Green; John Sugrue, Benny Conroy; Tommy White, Paul Brennan, Eoin Davey; Darragh Nolan, Mark Delaney, Aaron Young. Subs: John Devery for White (30 mins), Denis Brennan for Davey (42 mins), Adam Baldwin for Conroy (42 mins), Brian Kelly for Ramsbottom (52 mins)