Stradbally's Tom Shiel about to play this ball as Emo's Paddy Dunne moves to block. Photos: Denis Byrne
Emo pushed up to third in Division 1B with a huge win over a depleted Stradbally side on Thursday evening at Emo.
Emo 4 - 19
Stradbally 1 - 8
Laois Shopping Centre ACFL Division 1B
Missing key players like Colm Begley, Jody Dillon, Eoin Buggie and more meant Stradbally were unable to compete with a physical Emo team.
The home side struck 1-7 without reply in the first quarter to almost put to bed the game as a contest. Stephen Norton began proceedings with a point, before Paul Lawlor turned back the years with a beautiful dummy solo and kicked over.
Nigel Dunne, Lawlor and Norton made it five in a row, before Emo grabbed their first goal. Norton picked out Niall Gorman, who gave it to Darren Strong off the shoulder, and he buried it to the back of the net.
Finbarr Crowley made it 1-6, as Stradbally hit a few poor wides which showed their lack of confidence. Niall Gorman also found the posts, before Padraig Fitzpatrick finally opened Stradbally’s account.
Nigel Dunne then nearly scored Emo’s second goal, but Jack Larkin pulled off a good save. Tom Shiel placed over a free down the other end, but Dunne made amends when he did find the back of the net from a rebounded shot.
Tom Shiel grabbed Stradbally’s third point, but Emo scored an unanswered 1-4 to well and truly finish the game as a contest in the first half. Dunne fisted over when he could’ve easily gone for his second goal, but Finbarr Crowley scored Emo’s third shortly after with a neat give and go with Paul Lawlor.
Points from Strong and Lawlor followed, before Tom Shiel pointed a free to leave it 3-11 to 0-4 to Emo at half-time.
Colm Kelly got Stradbally up and running for the second half with a point from a nice John Clancy ball, but Emo remained well on top.
Dunne pointed, before Cian Langford burst up from wing-back to split the posts nicely. Finbarr Crowley, who enjoyed a successful year last year with the Laois seniors, set up Emo’s fourth goal after some strong running, with Lawlor getting the final touch for the goal.
Jack Deegan, who was very impressive in Stradbally’s win over Mountmellick last week, kicked only Stradbally’s sixth of the evening.
Stephen Norton scored his third point of the game, and Niall Gorman should’ve scored another Emo goal after, but he fisted just over.
Stradbally were awarded a penalty when Colm Kelly was hauled down in the box, but nothing was going right for them, as Kelly skied the penalty for just a point.
The hugely impressive Dunne found the target down the other end, before Kelly made amends for his miss, rising highest to get on the end of a Padraig Fitzpatrick ball to fist to the net.
Kelly kicked another for Stradbally, but Dunne, Strong and James Hillard replied with points for Emo.
Tom Shiel kicked the final score of the game, as Stradbally were relieved to hear the whistle.
Scorers: Nigel Dunne 1-5, Paul Lawlor 1-4 (0-1 free), Darren Strong 1-2, Finbarr Crowley 1-1, Stephen Norton 0-3, Niall Gorman 0-2, James Hillard and Cian Langford 0-1 each
Team: David Whelan; Thomas Scully, James O’Rourke, Patrick Dunne; Eibhan Joyce, Liam Crowley, Cian Langford; Darren Strong, Finbarr Crowley; Stephen Norton, Nigel Dunne, James Hillard; Chris Gleeson, Paul Lawlor, Niall Gorman. Subs: Liam Kitchen for Lawlor (45 mins)
Scorers: Colm Kelly 1-3 (0-1 pen), Tom Shiel 0-3 (0-1 free), Jack Deegan and Padraig Fitzpatrick 0-1 each
Team: Jack Larkin; Liam Clancy, Colm Clancy, Tadgh Murray; Jack Langton, Damien Murphy, Padraig Fitzpatrick; Jack Deegan, Killian McGannon; John Clancy, Colm Kelly, Sean Devoy; Andrew Houlihan, Tom Shiel, Jamie Devoy.
REFEREE: Brendan Hickey (Graiguecullen)