Portlaoise had an emphatic win against a poor Clane side in the first round Hosie cup game at Togher on Thursday night. What will be the most pleasing for Nick Mc Guire and Paddy McEvoy will be the performance of the young back-line who gave an excellent display of handling.
Alan O’Connell got the score going after three minutes with a well taken try following good work from Richard Nicholls, Conor McGuire converted. After 10 minutes big Will Sherlock powered over after the Portlaoise pack turned over a ball.
On 14 minutes Eoin Stack made a great break up the middle and fed Grellan Delaney who scored
under the posts. Another good backs move led to Richard Nicholls try on 22 minutes. Winger Ian Galbraith got his name on the score-sheet with a well worked try on 38 minutes.
The second half saw no reprieve for the Clane team as the big Portlaoise pack dominated in the tight
and the loose. Captain Richie Bond scored a good forwards try on 44 minutes when he touched down under the posts following a good forwards drive.
Mark Sherlock played well throughout and showed great fitness levels. He broke through the Clane
defence to feed Conor McGuire, who scored under the posts on 53minutes. At this stage Portlaoise emptied the bench and to their and to credit the subs who entered the fray didn’t weaken the side in any regard.
Prop Eanna Delaney scored an excellent under-hand try on 64 minutes. Sub Barry Doyle fed Grellan Delaney for another try on 68 minutes. Ronan Bishop, another second half substitute, got on the scoresheet on 75 minutes with a try in the corner.
Portlaoise will know that sterner tests await but will be heartened with the display and it augers well for the season ahead.