Portlaoise had an impressive victory last Saturday afternoon over Portumna Town in the Leisure Centre and now join Tullamore Town at the top of the MSL Major Division table.
Portumna started the brighter and were 2-0 ahead on 10 minutes when their centre forward first scored from a free kick on the edge of the box and then after a mistake in the Town defence, he raced through to score his second.
After the early onslaught, Portlaoise came to life and began to get a foothold in midfield. They opened their account on 15 minutes when Craig Reddin sent Aaron Wright away on the left and he fired past the ‘keeper to make it 2-1.Niall Doran levelled matters on 20 minutes when he scored from the spot after a handball in the box.
Portlaoise took the lead on 25 minutes when, from a Ross Brennan kick out, Charlie O Brien flcked the ball into Jack Langton and he volleyed past the keeper in style.
Portumna made it 3-3 on the half hour mark when a mistake in the Portlaoise midfield allowed the Portumna striker a clear run on goals and he made no mistake with a brilliant strike from just inside the box.
Portlaoise had the final say in an end to end first-half when good control by Ronan McEvoy sent Charlie O’Brien clear. He sent Aaron Wright through on goals with a well placed pass and Wright volleyed high into the net to leave the score at the break 4-3 to the Town.
The first goal of the second-half was always going to be crucial and it was Portlaoise who struck on 50 minutes. A brilliant run up the left by Charlie O’Brien opened up the Portumna defence and he delivered a pin-point cross for Joe Nevin to volley home from just inside the box.
On 60 minutes Aaron Wright completed his hat-trick when he latched on to a long through ball by Fionn Scully before racing through to finish in style and make it 6-3 to the Town. Wright then made it 7-3 on 65 minutes after good work on the right by Ronan McEvoy and Liam Fraiser set him up . Wright made no mistake with a low shot into the net. Ronan McEvoy then made it 8-3 on 75 minutes racing past two defenders in the box before sending a low shot past the keeper and in to the bottom right hand corner.
Charlie O’Brien completed the scoring just on the final whistle when he volleyed home from the edge of the box with a rocket of a shot to leave the final score 9-3 to Portlaoise.
Best for the Town on the day were Ross Brennan, Niall Doran, Ruairi Lewis, Aaron Feane, Craig Reddin, Ronan McEvoy and Aaron Wright who just shaded Jason Maher and Charlie O’Brien for the man of the match award.
Portlaoise went into this match without three of their squad members. Sean McCormack and Ger Ryan are on the injured list and Ciaran Rowney who has decided to take a break from soccer and concentrate on other interests and all in the club wish him the best in the future as Ciaran has been with the club since he was seven years of age.
Portlaoise Squad: Ross Brennan, Niall Doran, Jason Maher, Brian Sheehy (Capt), Charlie O Brien, Joe Nevin, Ruairi Lewis, Craig Reddin, Aaron Wright, Jack Langton, Ronan McEvoy, Aaron Feane, Fionn Scully, Liam Fraiser.