Five star Portlaoise move to the top

Portlaoise first team moved to the top of LSL Major Division with a stunning 5-1 win in difficult weather conditions on Friday night.

Portlaoise first team moved to the top of LSL Major Division with a stunning 5-1 win in difficult weather conditions on Friday night.

The high winds had no major effect on the home side who passed the ball superbly throughout the game and dominated the second half with excellent passages of play.

Portlaoise were short six of the players that started against Tullamore with Darren Rogers and Chris Mulhall suspended but there were first starts of the season for Mick Nolan and Mark Brennan while Jason Murphy returned after six games out with injury.

The home side went ahead after just three minutes when Paul Cahillane dispatched a penalty to the top corner. Glenmore settled into the game and could have had an equaliser on 10 minutes when Niall King hit the post however the home side went further ahead after 20 minutes. Colm Poole found some space to play in Cahillane who was taken down and got his second from the spot with another superb penalty.

On the half hour Cahillane played a short free kick to Shane Brophy who hit first time just wide then Poole had a volley cleared off the line by Carl O’Reilly. Glenmore got back into the game just before half time when the excellent Sean Toner, who caused Portlaoise problems throughout the first half, crossed to Alan Sheen to volley to the top of the net despite the best efforts from Eoghan White.

Portlaoise responded within a minute when Cahillane went on a superb run beating three players before teeing up Murphy to fire past Evan O’Brien for a 3-1 half time lead.

They went 4-1 up after 54 minutes when Brennan passed to Cahillane and his early powerful strike was too hot for O’Brien to handle cleanly and Murphy was first to react for his second of the night. Soon after a Brophy free kick was pushed away by O’Brien then Sheen went close for the visitors but Mick Nolan was equal to his effort and Nolan then saved two free kicks from James Lee Matthews.

Substitute Shane Collins finished the scoring on the night with seven minutes to play when a Cahillane free kick was headed clear but Collins controlled and volleyed to the top corner for another fantastic goal.

After 14 games, Portlaoise are now two points clear of Liffey Wanderers who have four games in hand, with Tullamore and Enniskerry YC just behind that in third and fourth place. Portlaoise travel to Knocklyon United next Sunday afternoon at 2pm.

Portlaoise: Mick Nolan, Mark Brennan, Martin Staunton, Mark Dunne, Eoghan White, Shane Brophy, Dan Dunne, Gary O’Sullivan, Colm Poole, Paul Cahillane, Jason Murphy. Subs: Joey Delaney for Brennan (70 mins), Shane Collins for Murphy (78mins), Luke O’Brien for O’Sullivan (82mins), Joseph Walshe, Aaron Rafter, Jayson Bergin.

Referee: Martin Hickey.