Colm Murphy in flight for Portarlington against Ballyroan Abbey in the Laois SFC. Photo: Alf Harvey
Portarlington booked their place in the quarter-finals of the Laois Senior Football Championship with a comfortable six-point victory over Ballyroan Abbey in their replayed game in O'Moore Park on Tuesday evening.
Portarlington 1 - 16
Ballyroan Abbey 1 - 10
Laois Shopping Centre Senior Football Championship Round 2 Winners - Replay
Portarlington led by five points at the break before pushing on in the second-half, a late flurry of 1-3 from Ballyroan Abbey in the final minutes putting a gloss on the final scoreline after their drawn clash last week.
Ballyroan Abbey went close directly from the throw-in, Padraig McMahon chasing the long ball into the Portarlington square to find himself one-on-one with goalkeeper Jack Whelan - only for the player/manager to poke his shot just wide of the left-hand post.
Portarlington went up the pitch and opened their account through Stephen O'Neill, and David Murphy doubled their lead a minute later as Port took an early lead.
Ballyroan Abbey opened their account a minute later with a Diarmuid Whelan free from close range, but Port hit back with Colin Slevin recycling a point over.
MJ Tierney kicked two frees either side of Jake Foster's first of the day, and then Padraig McMahon tested Jack Whelan from close range after a well-worked move found the man operating at full-forward, but Whelan pushed the ball out for a 45.
Portarlington pushed on to kick the next two with Stephen O'Neill and Foster on target for Martin Murphy's side, before Diarmuid Whelan pulled one back for Ballyroan Abbey. Mark Cahill was black-carded seven minutes before half-time for a trip on Stephen O'Neill, and Foster knocked over the free from close range.
A brace from Colm Murphy and Foster's third free of the half were returned by Tierney and a beautiful point from the outside of Marty Scully's boot to send Ballyroan Abbey in trailing by four points at the break, 0-10 to 0-6.
Potarlington kicked the first two points of the second half, both Colm Murphy frees, before Padraig McMahon closed the gap to five points with 38 minutes played.
Port were dictating the temp in the second half and notched the next four points before Ballyroan Abbey would score again. Three points arrived from the boot of Colm Murphy, and the fourth was from Colin Slevin after Ronan Coffey's excellent crossfield pass.
Diarmuid Whelan pulled one back for Ballyroan Abbey ten minutes from time, but Portarlington weren't finished yet as Colm Murphy jigged his way through the Ballyroan Abbey defence before netting the first goal of the day.
Ballyroan Abbey added 1-3 in the final three minutes of the game. Frees from Whelan and Tierney were complimented by a late consolation goal from Whelan in the second minute of injury-time as Port deservedly ran out six point victors and progress to the quarter-finals.
*See Tuesday's Leinster Express Sport for full coverage
Scorers: Diarmuid Whelan 1-4 (0-3 frees), MJ Tierney 0-4 (0-4 frees), Marty Scully and Padraig McMahon 0-1 each.
Team: Andrew Bonham; Jamie Whelan, Gavin Tynan, Cian Moffitt; Aaron Carroll, Marty Scully, Mark Cahill; Shaun Murphy, Cathal Doyle; Ciaran Carroll, Scott Conroy, Ciaran Byrne; Diarmuid Whelan, Padraig McMahon, MJ Tierney. Subs: Mark McDonald for Cahill (BC, 23 mins), John Rogers for Carroll (HT), Paudie McDonald for J Whelan (41 mins), Michael Brennan for Doyle (49 mins), Stephen Thompson for Brennan (BC, 52 mins).
Scorers: Colm Murphy 1-7 (0-4 frees), Jake Foster 0-3 (0-3 frees), Stephen O’Neill, David Murphy and Colin Slevin 0-2 each
Team: Jack Whelan; Dean Foster, Keith Bracken, Alex Mohan; Cathal Bennett, Jason Moore, Patrick O’Sullivan; Sean Byrne, Robbie Piggott; Stephen O’Neill, Colm Murphy, Ronan Coffey; Jake Foster, David Murphy, Colin Slevin. Subs: Adam Ryan for Slevin (47 mins), Johnny Fulham for D Murphy (53 mins), Daragh Galvin for Coffey (53 mins), Graham Weldon for D Foster (59 mins).
REFEREE: Maurice Deegan (Stradbally)