Zane Keenan on the attack for Camross.
PJ Scully fired Borris-Kilcotton to their second win in ACHL Division 1 on Sunday afternoon, as they edged out Abbeyleix in an entertaining affair at Fr Breen Park.
Scully hit points from all distances and angles on the day, and in the end his two quick-fire goals early in the second half gave Borris-Kilcotton the cushion they needed to kick on and win the game. Abbeyleix made them work hard for it though, with goalkeeper Enda Rowland scoring a remarkable tally of 2-5, all from frees.
Eoin Fitzpatrick and Callum Mullen (free) traded early scores before Scully started to get his eye in. He first pointed a 65, before hitting two outstanding points from way out on the left wing. He then added a sideline cut from the right wing, as Borris-Kilcotton lead 0-5 to 0-3 after ten minutes.
The 2016 Laois SFC champions appeared to have the stronger team on paper, but Abbeyleix were putting up a real battle, with their half back line in particular starting to impress on the Borris-Kilcotton puck outs.
Frees from Rowland and Mullen leveled the game, and the first half was a real blow-for-blow affair, with Borris-Kilcotton and Abbeyleix both taking turns in holding the lead. Two more Rowland frees saw Abbeyleix lead 0-9 to 0-7, but Borris-Kilcotton hit back with three in a row from Daire Quinlan and Scully (2) to lead by one.
The last act of the half was from sub Eoghan Fennelly, who won a free seconds after coming on, and he then pointed it to leave it 0-10 apiece at the break.
PJ Scully and Eoin Fitzpatrick pointed early in the half to give Borris-Kilcotton a bit of a boost, but Fennelly landed another frees to keep them in check.
However, the pivotal moment of the game arrived after that, as PJ Scully first raced clear on goal and left Enda Rowland with no chance, as he powered a shot to the net from a narrow angle. Quinlan added a point moments later and then Scully added another, this time from close range, as Abbeyleix now found themselves eight points behind.
To their credit, they never panicked and instead kept chipping away at the Borris-Kilcotton lead. Rowland and Fennelly got it down to five, but then Neil Foyle hit Borris-Kilcotton's third goal after making a brilliant catch 20 yards out.
That should have been that, but Abbeyleix kept coming. They won two 21 yard frees in the closing stages and Enda Rowland powered both of them to the net, leaving a goal in it, 3-16 to 2-16, in injury time.
Abbeyleix needed to win another one of those frees, but instead it was Scully who hit a late insurance point for Borris-Kilcotton, as they ran out four point winners.
Scorers: PJ Scully 2-10 (0-3 frees, 0-2 65s, 0-1 sideline), Neil Foyle 1-0, Eoin Fitzpatrick, Daire Quinlan, Stephen Dunphy 0-2 each, Colm Stapleton 0-1.
Team: Eoin Fleming; Noel Delaney, Stephen Finan, Ben Quinlan; Jim Fitzpatrick, Matthew Whelan, Conor Kilbane; Colm Stapleton, Eoin Fitzpatrick; Dan Fitzpatrick, Neil Foyle, Stephen Phelan; PJ Scully, Daire Quinlan, Stephen Dunphy. Subs: DJ Kelly for D Fitzpatrick (half time), Paddy Whelan for D Quinlan (46 mins)
Scorers: Enda Rowland 2-5 (all frees), Eoghan Fennelly 0-4 (frees), Jake Cranny 0-3, Callum Mullen 0-2 (frees), Declan Phelan, Joe Bergin 0-1 each.
Team: Enda Rowland; David Bonham, Oisin Carroll, Conor Bergin; Liam Delaney, Alan Lynch, Jamie Coffey; Jake Cranny, Ciaran Carroll; Aaron Carroll, Stephen Reilly, Stephen Thompson; Callum Mullen, Declan Phelan, Dan Coffey. Subs: Joe Bergin for Reilly (22 mins, inj), Eoghan Fennelly for Mullen (30 mins), PJ Corby for J Coffey (33 mins, inj), David Walsh for D Coffey (51 mins), Sean Doyle for Thompson (53 mins)
Referee: Anthony Stapleton (Rathdowney-Errill)
In the other game played on Sunday afternoon, Camross secured a 3-17 to 1-15 win over Rathdowney-Errill thanks to a powerful second half performance.
Ross King's goal had Rathdowney-Errill leading 1-9 to 1-7 at half time, with Ciaran Collier getting the Camross goal in response. However, the reigning league and championship winners cut loose in the second half, as goals from Zane Keenan, who ended up with 1-10, and Mark Dowling saw them wrap up an eight point win.