Laois MFC Final

Emo Courtwood hold off Ballyroan Abbey revival to claim Minor title

Greg Mulhall

Reporter:

Greg Mulhall

Email:

greg.mulhall@leinsterexpress.ie

Emo Courtwood hold off Ballroan Abbey revival to claim Minor title

Emo-Courtwood are the Laois Minor football champions following a closely-contested finale with Ballyroan Abbey, just a point separating them at the final whistle.

Emo Courtwood 2-13

Ballyroan Abbey 2-12

 

Midlands Park Hotel Minor Football Championship Final

*Our county football final coverage is in association with The Baba's Barbershop

 

Emo Courtwood opened the scoring three minutes in when full-forward Patrick Hosey dissected the posts after tuning back onto his left boot to edge Emo ahead.

It took Ballyroan Abbey until the fifth minute to get going, and they did so with a major. An insightful pass from Laois minor Brian Whelan found captain James McWey on the edge of the box and he made no mistake with a cooly taken finish to push them into the lead.

Emo Courtwood got back on track with a Ross Meredith point, but Ballyroan Abbey hit back through Manashe Karigomba to leave two points still between the teams.

Emo Courtwood almost had a goal eight minutes in when Paul O'Flynn found himself with just the keeper to beat, but Ballyroan Abbey goalkeeper Finnian Cuddy stood up well to save the shot.

They didn't have to wait long for their goal to come, two minutes later a fine team-passing move started by the goalscorer, Paul O'Flynn, was scrambled over the line to send them ahead.

The sides went on to exchange scores with O'Flynn (2), Meredith, Hosey and Tommy Fennelly all hit the target for Emo Courtwood while Brian Whelan and James McWey hit braces for Ballyroan Abbey to see them trail by two points in the final ten minutes of the half.

Ballyroan Abbey were awarded a penalty four minutes before the break when Sean Fitzpatrick was cyncially brought down on his way to goal. Brian Whelan stepped up to the penalty, but Emo Courtwood goalkeeper Sam Krebs was equal to his shot and made a brilliant save.

The sides closed out the half with a point more apiece through Paul O'Flynn and Brian Whelan respectively as they went for the dressing rooms with Emo Courtwood leading by two points, 1-8 to 1-6.

Ballyroan Abbey wasted no time in getting back on level terms, two points in as many minutes directly after the restart from Whelan and McWey levelled the sides at 1-8 each.

Emo Courtwood dominated the ten minutes that followed, racking up 1-4 without reply to storm ahead. Points from O'Flynn (2) and Paddy Hosey alongside 1-1 from substitute Ryan Little, his goal finished brilliantly, saw them lead by seven points with just under a quarter of an hour left to play.

Ballyroan Abbey went for it in the final minutes with a Sean Fitzpatrick point, and then the same man was brought down for a second penalty. Again Whelan stepped up, and this time sent the goalkeeper the wrong way to raise their second green flag with ten minutes remaining.

Two more goal chances went astray, James McWey excellently denied by Sam Krebs for the first, and the post for the second. 

Emo Courtwood steadied with a Meredith point five minutes from the end, but Ballyroan Abbey were not willing to let their title slip away that easily.

Points from Davin McEvoy and frees from McWey and Whelan closed the gap to a point as Ballyroan Abbey went in search of the all-important equaliser that would never come as Emo Courtwood held out to be crowned champions.

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*See Tuesday's Leinster Express Sport for full coverage

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BALLYROAN ABBEY

Scorers: Brian Whelan 1-6 (1-0 pen, 0-4 frees), James McWey 0-3 (0-1 free), Danny Brennan 1-0, Davin McEvoy, Shaun Fitzpatrick and Manashe Karigomba 0-1 each.

Team: Sam Whelan; Conor McWey, Fionnan Mahony, Conaire Gee; Eoghan Dunne, Eamon Fitzpatrick, Shaun Fitzpatrick; Lawson Obular, Danny Brennan; Aaron Brennan, James McWey, Davin McEvoy; Odhran Delaney, Brian Whelan, Manashe Karigomba. Subs: Darren Mulhall for Obular (HT), Sam Quinn for A Brennan (42 mins).

EMO COURTWOOD

Scorers: Paul O'Flynn 1-4, Ryan Little 1-1, Ross Meredith 0-4 (0-1 free), Paddy Hosey 0-3, Tommy Fennelly 0-1.

Team: Sam Krebs; Ryan Burke, Tommy Fennelly, Eoin Montague; Adam O'Halloran, Tommy Keegan, Sean Downey; Paul O'Flynn, Ross Meredith, Dylan Keane; Adrian Tynan, Patrick Hosey, David Costello. Subs: Ryan Little for Keane (37 mins), Micky Fennelly for Tynan (53 mins).

REFEREE: Seamus Mulhare (The Heath)