Laois Shopping AFCL Division 1A Rd 8
By Kieran Murphy
GRAIGUECULLEN conceded a goal straight from the throw-in of this ACFL Division 1A tie in Graiguecullen on Friday and from their view-point it went from bad to worse for them after that. By the end a rampant visiting attack had scored five goals and their ability to find the net was key to their success.
After the goal Jamie Parr replied with two points to steady the green and reds. The two opposing left-half forwards, Danny Doogue and Matthew Finlay, exchanged points while the home side actually went in front with a free from Parr and a score from play through Shane O’Neill.
Jamie Sheehan was unlucky to see his well struck shot come back off the crossbar when a home goal could have given them momentum. Michael Hande also caused the visitors some problems but too often his last pass didn’t find a supporting player while the O’Dempsey’s full-back line were alert and made sure the big man was well marked.
O’Dempsey’s played some nice football in what was obviously a league game where much of what was played will hardly be seen in the toughness of championship fare.
The away side dominated the second quarter with Daniel McCormack shrugging off an attempted tackle to score his side’s second goal. Graiguecullen were still in the game but just before the break a high ball wasn’t dealt with by the home side and Eoin Finlay guided the loose ball home with his fist. That was deserved and gave O’Dempsey’s a 3-4 to 0-8 interval lead.
One minute into the second half McCormack stretched the away lead with a shot which looked as if it had drifted wide but in fairness to the Graiguecullen defence they didn’t raise too many objections. In any case a Brian Byrne free cancelled out that score so Graiguecullen were still very much in the game.
That all changed in a four minute spell when Liam Whelehan and Matthew Finlay swooped for two quick goals which killed off any notion of a Graiguecullen revival.
Pat Murphy did punch over a late point but O’Dempsey’s finished strongly with Eoin Finlay picking off a point from play and adding a late free to give his side an easy victory in the end.
O’DEMPSEY’S: Pauric Bonnar; Ciaran McManus, Cormac O’Mara, Thomas Kehoe; Tom Kelly, Robbie Kehoe, Conor Meredith (0-1); Barry Kelly (1-1), Rory Bracken; Barry Howlin (0-1), Eoin Finlay (1-3, 0-2fs), Brian Nugent (0-1); Johnny Kelly (0-1), Daniel McCormack (1-1), Matthew Finlay (1-2, 0-2fs).
Subs: Liam Whelehan (1-0) for Nugent (36m), Eoin Cunningham for T. Kehoe (47m), Daithí Howlin for McCormack (53m), Pat Maher for T. Kelly (55m), Tom Behan for M. Finlay (55m)
GRAIGUECULLEN: Ger Kiernan; Martin Doyle, Ross Alcock, Eoin Aylsbury; Luke Aylsbury (0-1), Chris Hurley, Paul Mulready; Shane O’Neill (0-1), James Doogue; Jamie Parr (0-5, 0-4fs), Brian Byrne (0-1f), Ross Hennessy; Jamie Sheehan, Michael Hande (0-1), Danny Doogue (0-1).
Subs: Dale Byrne (0-1) for Mulready (37m), Pat Murphy (0-1) for Hennessy (53m)
Referee: Des Cooney (St Josephs)