Graiguecullen hold off Portlaoise comeback to claim Junior Football title

Graiguecullen held off a spirited second-half comeback to grab the Junior A football in an entertaining final in O’Moore Park on Saturday night.

Graiguecullen held off a spirited second-half comeback to grab the Junior A football in an entertaining final in O’Moore Park on Saturday night.

Laois Junior Football Championship Final

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Graiguecullen 1-11

Portlaoise 0-12

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Just when Portlaoise had battled their way back on terms Graiguecullen forward Brian O‘Rourke fired a low shot beyond Town keeper Richard Downey to send them on their way to glory.

Portlaoise only held the lead on one occasion throughout the game, and that was very early on when Colm Byrne and Philip Lawless both found the target in the first five minutes to cancel undo Brian O’Rourke’s opening score at the other end.

Graiguecullen pulled ahead however and a James Doogue free to put five points between the sides as the first half neared its conclusion.

There was time however for Portlaoise to fire over two late scores to cut that margin.

After the break a straightforward free was converted by Colm Byrne for Portlaoise and he proved equally as accurate from play two minutes later to leave just a single point between the sides.

Scott Lawless then levelled matters in the 36th minute and the smart money at that stage would probably have been on Portlaoise.

It was nip and tuck from there but there was daylight between the sides when Brian O’Rourke fired the game’s only goal to leave Portlaoise in all sorts of bother.

Portlaoise battled hard but couldn’t find the crucial goal they needed as Graiguecullen held on for the win.

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See this week’s Leinster Express for full report. Now on sale on Tuesdays.