Ronan Coffey in action for Portarlington on Sunday. Photo: Denis Byrne
LAOIS SHOPPING CENTRE SENIOR FOOTBALL CHAMPIONSHIP, WINNERS SECTION, ROUND 2
A blistering opening to the second half saw Portarlington cut loose and lay the foundations for a comfortable win over Courtwood in the second round of the Laois senior football championship. The championship favourites were in complete control throughout with ace forward Colm Murphy on top of his game.
2-3 in nine minutes at the start of the second half saw them pull clear and they kept the hammer down and showed no mercy to a Courtwood side who couldn't back up their opening round win over Portlaoise and who will now have to go through the round three section if they are to advance to the quarter finals.
Before a score was taken, Courtwood keeper Matthew Byron was called into action to deny Ronan Coffey but Port did get off the mark in the third minute after Jake Foster worked hard to swing over the score off the left. Colm Murphy landed his first of the day from a free to double the lead before Courtwood got their tally up and running in the eight minute, courtesy of Danny Luttrell.
Port looked the more in tune up front but with Niall Donoher pulling strings on the half forward line, Courtwood were making room.
The Murphy's, Colm and David both kicked a point from play to open up a 0-4 to 0-1 lead but Courtwood weren't about to let them pull away. While they didn't score from play in the opening quarter, they were making chances and two more Luttrell frees had it back to the minimum at the water break - 0-4 to 0-3.
Right on the stroke of the water break, Port wing back Stuart Mulpeter picked up a black card for a trip but it was Port who opened the second quarter the better. Colm Murphy started a move in his own full back line before linking well and getting up to finish off the move from close range.
Jake Foster added a free but Courtwood hit back on 28 minutes through a left footed effort from Niall Dunne despite been almost on the end line when he sent the high, hanging ball over the bar.
Port had a great chance to put some real daylight between the sides on the 30 minute mark. David Murphy received a quick free all on his own a mere 10 metres from goal but with the goal at his mercy, he blazed over to make it 0-7 to 0-4 as the torrential rain made conditions even tougher.
Port came out and made a serious statement in the opening 10 minutes of the second half and ultimately put the result beyond doubt.
The second half was only 28 seconds old when midfielder Keith Bracken found the net. Colm Murphy showed brilliant evasion skills to skip past a few challenges and played in the onrushing Bracken who coolly found the net.
Five minutes later and they had their second goal. Ronan Coffey was fouled in the penalty area and he gathered himself to take the kick himself and make no mistake to put them 2-8 to 0-5 in front.
A free from Colm Murphy and a superb left footed strike from Foster increased their lead as Courtwood struggled to contain their attacking strength and running game.
A Matthew Byron '45' and Danny Luttrell score from close range narrowed the gap before the water break but with 15 minutes to go, Portarlington were home and hosed leading 2-10 to 0-7.
Alan Kinsella brought the arrears back to eight points but that only briefly halted Port as they kicked the next four scores , three of those from the outstanding Colm Murphy as they opened up a 12 point lead with three minutes to go.
Matters got worse for Courtwood right on 60 minutes when Collins Ugochukwu received his marching orders on a straight red card for his part in a skirmish.
Scorers: Colm Murphy 0-7 (0-2 frees), Jake Foster 0-5 (0-2 free), Keith Bracken and Ronan Coffey (pen) 1-0 each, David Murphy 0-2.
Team: Scott Osborne; Cathal Bennett, Diarmuid Bennett, Alex Mohan; Stuart Mulpeter, Patrick O'Sullivan, Colin Slevin; Sean Byrne, Keith Bracken; Adam Ryan, Ronan Coffey, Rioghan Murphy; Jake Foster, David Murphy, Colm Murphy. Subs: Jordan Fitzpatrick for Colin Slevin (49), Stephen O'Neill for Ronan Coffey (50), Sean Michael Corcoran for Keith Bracken (55)
Scorers: Danny Luttrell 0-5 (0-4 frees), Niall Dunne, Matthew Byron ('45'), Niall Donoher and Alan Kinsella (free) 0-1 each.
Team: Matthew Byron; Barry Donnelly, Mark O'Halloran, Nathan Little; Sean O'Flynn, Robbie Flynn, Collins Ugochukwu; Robert Tyrell, Conor Hogan; Niall Dunne, Niall Donoher, Cian Doyle; Alan Kinsella, Danny Luttrell, Paul O'Flynn. Subs: Jake Doyle for Barry Donnelly (43), David Duffy for Cian Doyle (44), Adm O'Halloran for Nathan Little (49), Colm Wilson for Paul O'Flynn (51), Seth Mooney Burns for Alan Kinsella (53)
Referee: Brendan Hickey
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