Portlaoise hold their nerve to reach Leinster Final

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They had to call on all their vast experience and were pushed right to the final whistle but in the end Portlaoise had just enough in reserve to see off the challenge of Longford champions Emmet Og in their Leinster semi-final clash.

Leinster Club SFC semi-final

Portlaoise 1-11

Emmet Óg 2-5


Late points from Barry Fitgerald and Bruno McCormack eventually sealed the deal for the Laois champions in O’Moore Park but they had been pushed all the way to the wire by a young and talented Longford side.

At half-time Portlaoise held the narrowest of leads at 0-6 to 1-2 and they looked to be pulling clear when Brian Smyth was put through by Barry Fitzgerald and fired to the back of the net.

However within ten minutes of the restart they were behind as Emmet Og struck for a second goal to move into the lead for the second time and the pressure was then firmly on Portlaoise.

Portlaoise did level the scores but midway throught the half they were almost hit for a third goal but they were saved by goalkeeper Michael Nolan who made a vital block to deny Mark Hughes.

That proved to be a pivotal moment in the game and points from Barry Fitzgerald and Cahir Healy gave Portlaoise some breathing space.

Emmet Og however would not go away and they had reduced the gap to just one point entering the final minutes.

But Portlaoise had just enough in reserve and points from Fitzgerald and McCormack gave them the comfort of a three point lead that, despite their determined efforts, Emmet Og could not haul back.

Portlaoise will now play Ballymun Kickhams in the Leinster Final after the Dublin champions eased past Kildare side Sarsfields by 1-8 to 0-5.




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