Lacklustre CBS made to pay as Naas claim title
Portlaoise CBS relinquished their grip on the South Leinster SFC ‘B’ title last Friday afternoon, as Naas CBS made them pay the price for a lacklustre performance.
South Leinster SFC ‘B’ Final
Portlaoise CBS 2-7
Naas CBS 1-16
After showing some real fighting spirit to take their semi-final against Colaiste Iosagain to extra time, before going on to win by a point, that same edge was unfortunately lacking in the final. They showed some promise for spells of the first half, but couldn’t respond when they needed to later in the game.
Any time Portlaoise looked like making inroads into the Naas lead in the second half, Naas came right back down the field and worked a couple of scores in response. There could be no denying the better team won on the day, but the real disappointment for Portlaoise will have been knowing that they were capable of so much more.
They never really played to the strengths they showed in earlier rounds, with the distribution of ball into their forward line the biggest disappointment. It was perhaps best highlighted by the spread of their scores, with the forwards only hitting 1-3 between them, with 1-4 coming from midfield back.
The warning signs came early for them too, with Naas taking the lead inside the first minute after a mix up in the Portlaoise defence resulted in their full-forward John O’Brien being fouled 20 yards out. The impressive Chris Julian popped over the resulting free, but it would not be his last contribution of the half.
O’Brien then added a point of his own two minutes later, as Portlaoise took their time to settle. Their first score finally came in the seventh minute, with a nice team move involving Evin Keane, Mark Dunne and Dean Cullen setting up Ciaran McEvoy, who popped the ball over the bar. Keane then added a free when Robert Dowling was fouled 21 yards out, as Portlaoise finally started to show some of their potential.
Both teams then traded points in the space of a minute, with David Boothman for Naas and Robbie Dowling for Portlaoise finding the target. Then came Portlaoise’s best spell, as they took the lead for the first time when Ciaran McEvoy pointed once again, this time a fine effort under pressure.
A minute later, Portlaoise were on the attack again, but this time with more devastating impact. Corner-forward Mark Dunne played a one-two with Evin Keane as he cut in from the right wing, before then placing a precise shot past Liam Power for a well-worked goal.
Testament to their winning credentials, Naas cancelled out Portlaoise’s new four point lead in three minutes. It started with a fisted point from John Hill, before, in a move similar to Portlaoise’s for their goal, they worked the ball in from the right wing to set up Chris Julian, who slotted past Joe Walshe. Naas then went on to add four more points before half time, with Portlaoise managing just one in reply, from Dean Cullen, as Portlaoise trailed 1-8 to 1-5 at the break.
Portlaoise needed to come out strongly at the start of the second half, but it was Naas who did most of the early running. They created the first of the meaningful chances in the second half, and Portlaoise needed a last-ditch save on the line from Ciaran O’Brien to deny a certain goal. John O’Brien did gave Naas the first score of the half with a free, although Evin Keane quickly cancelled that out with a free for Portlaoise.
Portlaoise needed to kick on from there but it was Naas who would score next, with a brace of points to lead by five. It was left to corner-back Ciaran O’Brien to show the urgency lacking from some of his team mates further out the field, as he made a storming run up the right wing from deep in his own defence to the Naas 45 yard line. He picked out Evin Keane, who in turn set up Robbie Dowling for a well-worked point.
Sensing their lead under threat, Naas responded by scoring three unanswered points to open up a seven point lead, and with just five minutes now left the game was all but over. Ciaran O’Brien did manage to score a second goal for Portlaoise late in the game, but it was too little, too late by then.
SCORERS – Naas CBS: Chris Julian 1-5 (0-2 frees), John O’Brien 0-4 (0-2 frees), Dean McHolmes 0-2, John Hill, Eoghan Bateman, Ailin McDermot, David Boothman, David Watson 0-1 each; Portlaoise CBS: Ciaran O’Brien, Mark Dunne 1-0 each, Ciaran McEvoy, Robbie Dowling, Evin Keane (frees) 0-2 each, Dean Cullen 0-1 each
PORTLAOISE CBS: Joe Walshe (The Heath); Ciaran O’Brien (The Heath), Chris Lynch (Portlaoise), Oisín Nolan (Park-Ratheniska); Ciaran Flynn (Portlaoise), Jimmy Dunne (Portlaoise), Eoin Phelan (Portlaoise); Ciaran McEvoy (Portlaoise), Robbie Dowling (The Heath); Conor Whelehan (Timahoe), Dean Cullen (Portlaoise), Joe Lacey (Stradbally); Mark Dunne (Portlaoise), Conor Ryan (Portlaoise), Evin Keane (Portlaoise). Subs: Daniel Delaney (Portlaoise) for Nolan (39 mins), DJ O’Connell (Park-Ratheniska) for Whelehan (51 mins), Martin Norton (The Heath) for Ryan (59 mins)
NAAS CBS: Liam Power; Adam Fitzsimons, Shane Dunne, Jonathon Heavey; John Hill, Niall Connolly, Eoghan Bateman; Ailin McDermot, Rory McDermot; Dean McHolmes, David Boothman, David Watson; Chris Julian, John O’Brien, Killian Fitzpatrick. Subs: Fiachra Piggott for Fitzsimons (46 mins), Daniel Devlin for Fitzpatrick (51 mins), Conor McCarthy for Julian (59 mins), Michael Stewart Byrne for Watson (60 mins)
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Weather for Portlaoise
Friday 24 May 2013
Temperature: 5 C to 14 C
Wind Speed: 20 mph
Wind direction: North
Temperature: 9 C to 16 C
Wind Speed: 15 mph
Wind direction: South