Portlaoise continued their quest to retain the MSL Major Division title with this win over local rivals Abbeyleix in Rossleighan last Saturday. The score does not do justice to Abbeyleix as they were pushing Portlaoise all the way up to 15 minutes to go, with the scores tied at 2-1.
Abbeyleix started off very well and in the space of five minutes Colum Dunne broke through twice and went close on both occasions. After 15 minutes Colum Dunne again broke through from midfield and slotted home to put Abbeyleix ahead 1-0. Portlaoise responded with two swift attacks and Aaron Wright was through twice, but the keeper made two great saves to deny the striker. On 20 minutes a great run from Kaelyn Thompson ended with the Abbeyleix keeper making a fine save to keep the score at 1-0.
On 20 minutes Portlaoise made it 1-1 after a fine run and cross by Aaron Wright allowed Oran Murphy to head home from close range. Oran Murphy then made it 2-1 on 25 minutes with a brilliant turn and lob from 20 yards to make it 2-1 at the break
Abbeyleix came out in the second half and dominated the game for the first 15 minutes and only for two brilliant saves from Sean McCormack to deny Colum Dunne, Portlaoise may not have stayed ahead.
A great move involving Niall Doran and Craig Reddin put Ronan McEvoy in on goals only to put his shot just over the bar. From a Abbeyleix corner Araon Wright ran the length of the field to slide the ball through to Niall Doran, who fired home to put Portlaoise 3-1 up after 55 minutes.
Then a Portlaoise corner from Oran Murphy was headed home by Aaron Wright to make it 4-1 after 57 minutes.Oran Murphy completed his hat-trick on 60 minutes sliding the ball home after a brilliant work from Joe Nevin and Ronan McEvoy to make it 5-1. Ruairi Lewis then ran through the Abbeyleix defence to fire home to make it 6-1 and complete the scoring on 67 minutes.
This was a very close match up until 15 minutes from time as the score stood at 2-1 and Abbeyleix had chances to make it 2-2, but the Portlaoise team scored four goals in the last 15 minutes to gain this victory..
Best for Portlaoise were Kaelyn Thompson and Sean McCormack who were outstanding, Brian Sheehy, Ciaran Rowney, Conor Lacken, Oisin Kiernan Fionn Scully, Aaron Feane, Ross Brennan and those already mentioned.
Colum Dunne, Diarmid Conway and James Keyes stood out for a good Abbeyleix squad who produced a fine team performance and only ran out of steam in the latter stages.
Portlaoise Squad: Sean McCormack, Fionn Scully, Niall Doran, Conor Lacken, Ciaran Rowney, Brian Sheehy, Ruairi Lewis, Ross Brennan, Kaelyn Thompson, Oran Murphy, Joe Nevin, Aaron Wright, Ronan McEvoy, Oisin Kiernan, Craig Reddin, Aaron Feane.