GAA

Laois SFC Final | 5 Talking Points from the final whistle

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

Greg Mulhall

Reporter:

Greg Mulhall

Email:

greg.mulhall@leinsterexpress.ie

Laois SFC Final | 5 Talking Points from the final whistle

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

 

Portlaoise captured their 35th Delaney Cup this evening in O'Moore Park with a narrow one-point victory over Killeshin in a well-contested final.

Two points separated them at half-time, the reigning champions leading after a low-scoring half that reaped just 1-5 between the two teams.

The sides were level five times in total, the final time in the 51st minute when David Aston tied them up. Portlaoise kicked the next three in-a-row to put them in the driving seat, and they withstood Killeshin's final drive for silverware with a solitary point to spare.

In case you missed it, our match report can be found - HERE

Here's our five talking points from the final whistle:

Main Man

Gareth Dillon (Portlaoise)

His Laois and Portlaoise teammate Kieran Lillis picked up the official Man of the Match award for his powerful performance at midfield, kicking three points across the 60-odd minutes of football. And he was completely deserving of the accolade. However, Portlaoise's Gareth Dillon, as he always does, ran himself into the ground for the Portlaoise cause. Dillon came to the fore in the final 20 minutes of the game to kick three points himself. His first brought Portlaoise level after Killeshin's good start to the second half, his second put Portlaoise one ahead after Aston had levelled for the fifth and final time, and his third - Portlaoise's last - was ultimately the decisive score at the final whistle.

Talking Point

Killeshin captain David Aston has enjoyed a stellar year for his club. He was one of the main driving forces along their path to the final, and he's caught many a spectators eye with his clinical dead-ball striking. He kicked six points in today's final, three coming from placed balls, but his accuracy evaded him in the final minutes as two usually-scoreable frees tailed off. He showed great resilience to step up, having missed the previous two, and bring them to within the minimum with two minutes of injury-time to go. 

Highlight

Evan Lowry's goal was spectacular. Everything about it was wonderful, even down to the clever from Mark McDermott to set him away on his 65 metre run that finished with a looping effort into the top right-hand corner of net.

Lowlight

The first-half. In 34 minutes of a Senior county final, they managed a combined total of 1-5 between them. Killeshin scored their goal in just the third minute of the game, but wouldn't score for the remainder of the half. Portlaoise kicked five points in the first-half, three arriving in the first ten minutes. The final 20 minutes of the half reaped just two points. Thankfully, the second-half was more exciting.

Ref Watch

Taking charge of his first Senior football final, Portarlington whistler Brendan McCann kept the game moving without any major talking points and will be pleased with his performance on the biggest day in the Laois football calendar.