The Harps spring surprise against Portlaoise in JFC

The Laois Junior ‘A’ Football Championship kicked-off on Wednesday evening with no less than five matches taking place, with Ballylinan, Barrowhouse, Courtwood, St Joseph’s and The Harps picking up wins on an action-packed evening of football.

Ballylinan opened their campaign with a facile eleven point victory over Ballyroan Abbey in Timahoe, on a scoreline of 0-17 to 0-6.

Sharpshooter, Emmet Doyle, led the charge for Ballylinan with five points on the day as his side built on a six point half-time lead.

Jack Hickey followed in close second with four points to his name, with two coming either side of half time, while Mark Hovenden, Cathal Dunne and James Redmond all picked up braces on the day.

Ballyroan Abbey looked to Christy Lalor for scores with the forward slotting two points in the duration, while Conor Bergin did likewise, with Ger Fennelly and Gerry Scully completing Ballyroan’s tally of six points on Wednesday evening.

Elsewhere in the Championship, Ratheniska played host to the clash of Barrowhouse and Slieve Bloom-Castletown, with the former coming out on top.

Having held a commanding 1-6 to 0-3 half time lead, Barrowhouse held strong in the second half to claim the result - despite only scoring a single goal in the closing thrity minutes. Aaron Mackey and James Baldwin were on hand to slot home the goals, while the points were spread among Eanna Burke, James Brennan, Brian Daly and Emmet Malone as Barrowhouse progress to the next round.

One of the most competitive fixtures of the round saw Courtwood square up to Portarlington, with Courtwood emerging with the result on a scoreline of 2-11 to 1-7.

Emo provided the scene for this Courtwood victory, with Laois Minor Danny Luttrell thriving in the game with a final tally of 2-4 to his name.

Despite trailing by a single point at half-time by four points to five, Courtwood looked to Laois Senior football star, Niall Donoher, to grind out the result with the agile forward notching four points to the scoreboard, while Paddy Wilson and substitute Kevin Flynn both lifting the white flag too.

Jake Foster and Joe Sweeney led the scoring charts for Portarlington with three points apiece, while Stephen Mulhall got the final touch for their goal in what was the last action in the game as Courtwood’s second half performance pulled them into the next round.

The Heath welcomed the clash of neighbours Portlaoise and The Harps in what was a well-contested game throughout, with The Harps overturning a two point half-time deficit to progress to the next round with five points to spare.

James Campion finished up with seven points at the final whistle, with five of those coming from placed balls, while Bernard Geraghty bagged 1-1 on route to this Harps victory.

Paul Shortall claimed their second goal and Pat Walshe raised the white flag as The Harps came out on top on a scoreline of 2-10 to 1-8.




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