Sean Moore celebrates scoring a goal for Ballyfin against Arles-Killeen in the Laois SFC Round 3. Photo: Alf Harvey
Ballyfin and Arles-Killeen played out a hugely entertaining fixture in O'Moore Park this evening, serving up eight goals in total as Ballyfin proved too strong as they finished with ten points to spare to progress to the next stage.
Ballyfin 5 - 17
Arles-Killeen 3 - 13
Laois Shopping Centre Senior Football Championship Round 3
This game got off to a blistering start in O'Moore Park, Arles-Killeen opening the scoring a minute in through Sean O'Shea. They almost had a goal a minute later when Ian Scully's shot at goal was excellently turned-away by Robert Foran in the Ballyfin goals.
Ballyfin opened their account in devastating fashion five minutes in, James Finn playing the ball to Sean Moore who side-footed past Mick Leigh for the opening goal of the game. Darragh Connolly followed with a point as Ballyfin opened up a three point lead.
Arles-Killeen got back on track with a brace of frees from Donie Kingston but Ballyfin, and Sean Moore, got in for their second goal with ten minutes on the clock when he palmed in the rebound after James Finn's initial shot was saved.
Arles-Killeen replied instantly with a goal of their own through Donie Kingston, punishing a mistake in the Ballyfin defence to finish to an empty net. Ballyfin responded with a brace of points from the lively Sean Moore, but Arles-Killeen hit the next three through Donie Kingston (2) and Conor Keightley.
Darragh Connolly and Keightley traded points before Ballyfin fired three on the hop through James Moore (2) and Darragh Connolly to put Ballyfin two ahead five minutes before the break.
Arles-Killeen kicked two more points before the interval, both from Donie Kingston, while Ballyfin got in for their third goal. A stray kick-out was punished by Ballyfin as Sean Moore put it on a plate for Louis Duff to roll to the net to see them lead 3-9 to 1-10 as they entered the dressing rooms.
Arles-Killeen kicked the first point of the second-half through substitute Donie Brennan, but again Ballyfin replied with intent as Jack Priestley was on hand to slot home the rebound after Darragh Connolly's shot was saved. Points followed for Priestley and Louis Duff.
Arles-Killeen hit a purple patch from here as they hit 2-2 without reply. Donie Kingston and Donie Brennan set the ball rolling with points, before Paul Kingston rattled the Ballyfin net. A minute later, his older brother Donie unleashed a stunning finish into the top corner to close the gap to the minimum with a quarter of an hour left to play.
That was to be as close as Arles-Killeen would come though as Ballyfin finished the stronger, holding Killeen scoreless, while kicking 1-6 themselves - Jack Priestley getting in for his second, and Ballyfin's fifth goal of the day a minute from the end.
*See Tuesday's Leinster Express Sport for full coverage
Scorers: Donie Kingston 2-7 (0-4 frees), Paul Kingston 1-2, Conor Keightley 0-2, Sean O’Shea and Donie Brennan (free) 0-1 each.
Team: Mick Leigh; Brian Kennedy, Joe Mulhare, Niall O'Rourke; Enda O'Rourke, Shane Julian, Dermot Julian; John Mahon, Paul Kingston; Sean O'Shea, Donie Kingston, Cathal Moran O'Brien; Conor Keightley, Ian Scully, Brendan O'Shea. Subs: Donie Brennan for Scully (HT), James Mahon for Moran O’Brien (HT), Jason Enright for Kennedy (43 mins), Ian Scully for B O’Shea (55 mins).
Scorers: Sean Moore 2-3, Jack Priestley 2-2, Louis Duff 1-1, James Moore (0-1 free) and Darragh Connolly 0-4 each, James Finn 0-2 (0-1 ’45), Alan Connolly 0-1.
Team: Robert Foran; George Lanham, Ciaran Fingleton, Max Connolly; Kevin O'Rourke, David Connolly, Allan Connolly; James Finn, Darragh Connolly; Nick Cosgrove, James Moore, Dan Molloy; Jack Priestley, Sean Moore, Louis Duff. Subs: Barry Roche for O’Rourke (19 mins), Jason Horan for Duff (61 mins), Jack Cleary for Molloy (62 mins).
REFEREE: Des Cooney (St Joseph's)