Portlaoise and O’Dempsey’s lead 1A while Ballylinan strike seven past Stradbally in 1B

Andrew Egan

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Andrew Egan

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sport@leinsterexpress.ie

Portlaoise and O’Dempsey’s lead 1A while Ballylinan strike seven past Stradbally in 1B

Portlaoise’s perfect run in Division 1A so far doesn’t seem to be coming to an end anytime soon, as they recorded a more than comfortable 2-15 to 1-10 home win over neighbours The Heath.

This was The Heath’s fifth straight loss, leaving them in the relegation zone. O’Dempsey’s remain two behind Portlaoise thanks to their sixth win of the campaign, narrowly edging out parish rivals Portarlington.

Portarlington had the better of it at half-time in McCann Park, leading 1-6 to 0-6, the goal coming from the boot of corner forward Jake Foster.

O’Dempsey’s made a bright start to the second half though, as points from Michael and Matthew Finlay were followed by a Conor Meredith goal, after he hit home from the penalty spot.

Daragh Galvin came close to hitting back for Portarlington, but his shot blazed over the crossbar. O’Dempsey’s managed to hold out in the end on a score of 1-11 to 1-10.

After suffering three straight defeats at the hands of Graiguecullen, O’Dempsey’s and Portlaoise, last year’s beaten league finalists St Joseph’s picked up a much needed two points over Ballyroan-Abbey.

They led on a score-line of 0-8 to 0-6 at the interval in Tony Byrne Park. Despite Ballyroan-Abbey battling hard throughout, a Jason Campion goal in the second half helped St Joseph’s to a 1-11 to 0-12 victory and they move out of the relegation zone.

Graiguecullen moved into third place thanks to a 0-11 to 0-8 win over bottom placed Arles-Kilcruise.In a low scoring affair, Graiguecullen led 0-6 to 0-4 at the break, and with Arles-Kilcruise’s Brendan Conway picking up a second yellow in the second half, the Carlow-border side had enough to seal victory.

In Division 1B, Stradbally suffered a big beating for the second week running, as Ballylinan struck seven goals past them in Bill Delaney Park. While Stradbally were missing players again, that’s not to take away from the ruthlessness that Ballylinan showed in front of goals.

Cathail Dunne, who spent last year abroad, bagged a hat-trick, while former Laois senior Gary Walsh hit a brace past a helpless Jack Larkin.

Ballylinan were 3-9 to 2-1 to the good at half-time, and Stradbally didn’t get a sniff of it in the second half, as they were held scoreless, and Ballylinan romped to a 7-15 to 2-1 win.

Ballylinan, like Portlaoise in Division 1A, hold a 100% record in the league so far.

In second place is Courtwood, who played host to Mountmellick in a rematch of last year’s Intermediate final.

The result was the same as well, as first half goals from Luke Doyle and Cian Doyle helped Courtwood to a 2-5 to 0-7 advantage at half-time.

Cian Doyle struck for another goal in the second half, and Courtwood eased out 3-11 to 0-13 winners.

On Thursday, Arles-Killeen inflicted a seventh straight defeat on St Joseph’s thanks to a nail-biting 1-16 to 2-12 victory.