A seven point haul from Chris Conway helped Arles-Kilcruise to topple table-toppers Portarlington last Wednesday night in Arles.
The former Laois players was in prime form, with five of his seven points coming from play as a young Portarlington side were unable to shackle him. He could have inflicted even more damage, but was forced off with an injury before the end.
The writing was on the wall for Portarlington from the very early stages, as Kilcruise struck for a goal after just 14 seconds. Colm Munnelly applied the finish after a pass from Michael Wall, and Arles were up and running.
David Murphy got Port’s first score in the third minute, but Arles took control of the game after that. Stephen Miller pointed from 25 yards before Conway hit four points on the trot to push Kilcruise into a comannding 1-6 to 0-1 lead, as Portarlington struggled to get anything going in attack.
Eoin Gleeson offered a brief respite with a free from the left wing, but Conway was back in the scoring routine soon after, as he hit two points from play in the space of a minute.
Port at least finished the half strongly, as Stephen O’Neill and Eoin Gleeson found the target to leave it 1-8 to 0-4 at the interval.
Port continued that good form on the restart, as Gleeson stroked over two frees to reduce the gap to five points. That was as good as it got, however.
Three points on the trot restored Kilcruise’s supremacy, and the final nail in the coffin came when a goalkeeping error allowed Colm Munnelly to fire to an empty net, as Arles pulled well clear in the end.
SCORERS - Arles-Kilcruise: Chris Conway 0-7 (0-2 frees), Colm Munnelly 2-0, Brendan Conway 0-2, Alan McLoughlin, Stephen Miller, Francis Egan (free), Dylan Waters, Anthony McElroy 0-1 each. Portarlington: Eoin Gleeson 0-4 (0-3 frees), Stephen O’Neill 0-2, Brian Cleary, Adam Ryan, Cathal Ryan, David Murphy 0-1 each.
ARLES-KILCRUISE: Jimmy McDonald; Mick O’Shea, Sean Meaney, Jason McLoughlin; JP Conway, Rory Stynes, Darren Byrne; Alan McLoughlin, Stephen Miller; Francis Egan, Brendan Conway, Colm Munnelly; Dylan Waters, Michael Wall, Chris Conway. Subs: Anthony McElroy for Byrne (37 mins), Dermot Nolan for C Conway (49 mins, injured), Paudge Conway for JP Conway (57 mins), Darren Byrne for Egan (60 mins, BC)
PORTARLINGTON: Brian McAuley; Gary Fitzmaurice, Padraig Dwyer, Evan Lyons; Heydon Weldon, Brian Cleary, Adam Ryan; Cathal Ryan, Jonathon Fullam; Eoin Gleeson, David Murphy, Stephen O’Neill; Stephen Lyons, Chris Ryan, Eddie Weldon. Subs: Conor Coleman for E Weldon (41 mins)
Referee: Maurice Deegan (Stradbally)