Conor Meredith got one of the O'Dempsey's goals.
League champions O’Dempsey’s will once again do battle with St Joseph’s after they overcame Portlaoise by four points in Rathleague on Monday evening.
Conor Dunphy opened the scoring for Portlaoise, but O’Dempsey’s hit back with 1-2, Michael Finlay and Mark Barry pointing, before Eoin Finlay got on the end of a high ball.
However, the home team struck for two goals before the interval, with Brian McCormack getting the first, and setting up the second, which Kevin Fitzpatrick claimed. Portlaoise held a 2-5 to 1-7 lead at the break.
Portlaoise looked on top for the first couple of minutes of the second half, but they would only manage two late points as O’Dempsey’s dominated the rest of the half.
Michael Finlay, Matthew Finlay and Barry Kelly pointed to level the game, before Michael Finlay was hauled down by Michael Nolan in the square. Conor Meredith dispatched the penalty to send O’Dempsey’s back in front.
Points from Matthew Finlay (free), Peter O’Leary and another from Matthew Finlay meant Portlaoise had too much work to do to produce a comeback, with O’Dempsey’s triumphing by five points in the end.
Scorers: Brian McCormack 1-1, Kevin Fitzpatrick 1-0, Ricky Maher (0-2 frees) 0-3, Conor Boyle 0-2, Scott Lawless, Conor Dunphy, Colin Finn and Brian Smith 0-1 each
Team: Michael Nolan; Brian McCormack, Gary Saunders, David Seale; Chris Finn, Conor Dunphy, Colin Finn; Ciaran McEvoy, Dean Cullen; Ricky Maher, Conor Boyle, Brian Smith; Brian McCormack, Craig Rogers, Kevin Fitzpatrick. Subs: Paul Cotter for Cullen (36 mins), Scott Lawless for Fitzpatrick (42 mins)
Scorers: Matthew Finlay 0-5 (0-2 frees), Conor Meredith and Eoin Finlay 1-0 each, Michael Finlay 0-3, Mark Barry, Barry Kelly and Peter O’Leary (0-1 45’) 0-2 each, Daniel McCormack 0-1
Team: Padraig Bannon; Richard Whelehan, Peter O’Leary, Eoin Cunningham; Liam Whelehan, Robbie Kehoe, Cormac O’Hora; Conor Meredith, Barry Kelly; Mark Barry, Michael Finlay, Matthew Finlay, Eugene Nolan, Daniel McCormack, Eoin Finlay. Subs: Brian Nugent for E Finlay (40 mins), Tom Kelly for Cunningham (45 mins)
Referee: Tomas Moore (Ballylinan)