Big tests for Portlaoise teams

Portlaoise Town U-14s travel to Ashbourne in Meath next Sunday to play the local team in the last 32 of the SFAI National Cup. They are one of three Portlaoise teams to reach the last 32 with two sides still vying for a place in the last 16.

Ashbourne FC play in the North Dublin Schoolboy League in the Premier Division and are a very talented outfit who are in second position in their League. They are a strong physical team with two great strikers who have scored lots of goal this season in the NDSL.

Over 500 teams entered this competition in September and it is now down to the last 32 with Portlaoise Town U-14s hoping to become the second only Schoolboys team from the Town to reach the last sixteen.

If they do overcome Ashbourne F.C.they will have a home draw in the last 16 and will play either Melview from Longford or Carigaline Utd from Cork. Last year Portlaoise got to the last 32 but lost away to Corinthians of Cork when some dubious decisions went against them in their 4-2 defeat so lets hope they get better luck this time.

This Portlaoise Team started out at U-7s level in 2006 and have been managed since then by Pat McCormack, former Portlaoise Town A Team player, and Pat McEvoy, former Mountmellick United A Team player.

Some players have moved out and some others have moved in since then but of the panel of fifteen now playing, ten were there from the very start on that U7s team.

Portlaoise have a strong and experienced keeper in Sean McCormack and in Fionn Scully, Aaron Feane, Conor Lacken, Ciaran Rowney, Niall Doran and Craig Reddin they have defenders who can bring the ball down and pass it around as well as doing their defensive job for the team.

Ruairi Lewis, Brian Sheehy, Kaelyn Thompson, Ross Brennan and Aaron Wright are midfielders of exceptional talent with pace and good ball skills and also get their share of goals. In Oran Murphy, Joe Nevin and Ronan McEvoy the Town have strikers who know how to score and are a handful for any defence with Murphy having scored 34 goals already this season in League and Cup matches.

Portlaoise are also top of the table in The Midland Schoolboys League U14s Major Division winning 10 from 10 and just need a point from their remaining games to win the title for the 3rd time in four seasons.

Potlaoise schoolboys teams created history this season when three teams from the club reached the last 32 of the SFAI National Cup.

Along with the U-14s reaching the last 32, Portlaoise Town U15s managed by Mick Rogers and Paddy Murphy play on Saturday away in Galway against Renmore.
Portlaoise Town U-13s managed by Anton Hitchcock and Niall Cunningham also reached the last 32 but lost 2-1 to Villa Utd from Waterford last Saturday in Waterford.




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