This week was host to the final group stages of the JFC ‘A’, with this round deciding who would qualify from the four groups and commence into the next round and get that one step closer to the championship final.
It would all kick-off on Thursday night in a battle between Ballyroan Abbey and Mountmellick. Ballyroan Abbey went into the game having the bonus of home advantage, and also coming off the back of a narrow one point win against The Rock, while Mountmellick had the more difficult challenge of trying to shrug their twelve point defeat to Graiguecullen off their shoulders. In the end it was the home side coming out the better of a physical game with a score line of 2-9 to 0-5.
Elsewhere, Portlaoise had the difficult challenge of making the trip to Division 3 league winners Barrowhouse. Both teams came in to the match following a win and both were hoping to make it a double. In a very close encounter, it was Portlaoise who came out on top by a single point, with the score reading 1-10 to 1-9. Scott Lawless did his bit for his team and was solid throughout to help give his team victory. It was Dean Cullen, however, who was grabbing the headlines after he kicked the winning score in the last minute of the game to give his team the honours of finishing top of the group with a three out of three winning streak.
In the same group, struggling Portarlington were host to Rosenallis. The home side were yet to win a match, but were trying to end on a high. There would be no joy for Portarlington unfortunately, a substantial array of scores and a good performances both defensively and offensively gave the team victory on a one-sided score line of 4-14 to 0-3.
In Group D, the last round between Kilcavan and Ballylinan would turn out to probably be the most anticipated match during the whole week of junior matches. This group was still anybodys for the taking. With Kilcavan and O’Dempsey’s both on one win, the top of the table was still open for Ballyinan to grab victory here and also put themselves in contention.
But from the first whistle, there was always going to be one winner, and it was Kilcavan who came out the better with a ten point margin of victory to give them the honours of finishing top.