After going seven games with a perfect record in the league, Portlaoise were shocked in Rathleague as bottom side Arles-Kilcruise, who hadn’t won a game in the league to date, scored their first victory on a score-line of 2-7 to 0-11.
Kevin Meaney, who isn’t in John Sugrue’s squad for the clash against Westmeath, got their first goal, and Dylan Waters struck a key penalty for their second.
After tonight’s results, O’Dempsey’s now overtake Portlaoise on goal difference after they hit five goals past third placed Graiguecullen.
O’Dempsey’s have been goal hungry in recent times. While they only scored one last week against neighbours Portarlington, they hit five and six goals past Ballyroan-Abbey and St Joseph’s respectively before that.
Barry Kelly and Daniel McCormack hit the first two of their five goals inside twenty minutes in Graiguecullen, as the Killenard side took a 2-3 to 0-6 lead. Eoin Finlay got in for another before half-time, and they led 3-4 to 0-8 at the break.
While Graiguecullen put up some resistance in the first half, they only managed a further four points in the second, as O’Dempsey’s powered to victory.
Pat Maher and Matthew Finlay were the goal scorers early in the second half, with Johnny Kelly, Conor Meredith and Barry Howlin all striking over points for last year’s Division 1A champions.
It finished 5-11 to 0-12 to O’Dempsey’s, as it looks more and more likely by the week that it’ll be themselves and Portlaoise contesting this year’s final, with both in front of the chasing pack by six points. O’Dempsey’s are going for three in a row Division 1A titles.
The Heath took on St Joseph’s in an affair where both teams needed points to keep their relegations fears well behind them. In what was an entertaining contest, the Kellyville outfit prevailed by just two points on a score of 1-16 to 2-11.
Dylan Doyle’s goal was crucial for St Joseph’s, as he helped them make it two wins on the bounce for them after a tough couple of defeats prior to that.
The Heath came up just short, with Andrew Booth and Shane Forde getting a goal apiece for them. They now sit dangerously in second last place, just a point above Arles-Kilcruise after their result against Portlaoise and two points short of Ballyroan-Abbey.
As per our other match report, Portlarlington scored a 0-18 to 1-11 win over Ballyroan-Abbey. This result means Martin Murphy’s Portarlington move out of the relegation zone to fifth, while Ballyroan-Abbey’s third straight loss leaves them a spot behind in sixth, two points above safety.
In Division 1B, only one game took place on Friday, with Arles-Killeen keeping themselves in with a chance of promotion following a narrow 2-14 to 2-13 win over Intermediate side Mountmellick, who remain in the relegation zone.
Arles-Killeen’s goals came from Sean O’Shea and a Jason Enright spot-kick, as they escaped for a second week in a row with a one point win.