Laois Shopping Centre Intermediate Football Championship Rd 1
By Denis J. Croke
A YEAR ago Portlaoise contested the intermediate final but on the evidence of this opening round defeat they will hardly get that far this year.
In last year’s semi-final the Town had seven points to spare over Rosenallis but that was never going to be the case in McCann Park on Sunday.
The men in green were always in command thanks to a storming start that saw them hold a healthy six pint lead before Portlaoise would even register a score in the 18th minute
Rosenallis kicked some lovely scores and controlled the game throughout. Wing-back Fiachra C Fennell roamed forward to kick the opening point in the third minute. Colm Poole then converted over a free after he himself was fouled. Next Joseph Shelly did all the hard work before passing to Poole to score his first point from play.
From that kick out, Eoin Dunne won possession before racing forward and kicking the point that would put Rosenallis four ahead.
Points from Poole and Donal Lalor (free) then opened up a six point gap and Portlaoise just could not get a grasp on the game.
Their first score eventually came in the 18th minute when goalkeeper Michael Nolan converted a 45. That sparked them into life and for a short spell they began to get on top of Rosenallis.
Points followed from Ronan McEvoy (2) and Colm Parkinson and suddenly just two points separated the sides.
Rosenallis reacted positively with a superb point from Colm Poole followed by a Donal Lalor free that had Rosenallis leading 0-8 to 0-4 at the interval.
Any hopes that Portlaoise may have harboured of staging a comeback were dashed soon after the restart when Eoin Dunne landed a truly magnificent point from out close to the left wing.
Jason Maher pull one back for Portlaoise but they could make no headway into Rosenallis’s lead.
The eventual winners then got the goal when they deserved. Donal Lalor danced through the cover only to be denied by a superb save by Michael Nolan. But the ball rebounded in Colm Poole’s direction and he finished in to the net for the only goal of the game.
Seven points now separated the sides as Adrian Kelly and Eoin Dunne swapped points, while Colm Parkinson landed his second.
But there would be no denying Rosenallis their win. Ronan Murray and Brian Fitzpatrick raised white flags with substitute Darren Rogers on target for Portlaoise.
As if to add insult to injury Portlaoise were reduced to 14 men when Jack Brown had to leave the pitch having picked up a second yellow card.
Just to round off a good performance Eoin Dunne and Jack Friel scored the last two points.
ROSENALLIS: Barry Farrell; Paul Maher, Marcus Redmond, Jack Friel (0-1); Adam McDermott, Ruaidhri C Fennell, Fiachra C Fennell (0-1); Eoin Dunne (0-5, 0-1f), Cathal C Fennell; Patrick Keating, Ronan Murray (0-1), Joseph Shelly; Colm Poole (1-4, 0-1f), Donal Lalor (0-2f), Brian Fitzpatrick (0-1).
Sub: Mark Dunne for Lalor (57m)
PORTLAOISE: Michael Nolan (0-1, ’45); Daragh McAuley, Brian ‘Beano’ McCormack, Michael Dowling; Oisín Fitzpatrick, Paddy Downey, Ronan Molloy; Adrian Kelly (0-1), James Nerney; Ronan McEvoy (0-2, 0-1f), Jack Brown, Shane Smyth; Colm Parkinson (0-2), Kevin Fitzpatrick, Jason Maher (0-1).
Subs: Darren Rogers for McEvoy (29m, inj), Jack Reddin for K Fitzpatrick (35m), Niall Gavin for O Fitzpatrick (55m)
Referee: Mick Tarpey (Kilcavan)