Wednesday, November 17, 2021

Portarlington’s Paddy O’Sullivan gets his kick away despite these challenges from Portlaoise’s Kieran Lillis and Gareth Dillon Photo: Denis Byrne

By Denis J. Croke

THREE or four months ago Paddy O’Sullivan must have felt as if his world had caved in on him. Having featured for Portarlington and Laois the wing back was in rare good form.

Portarlington were into the latter stages of the championship, and then disaster struck, Paddy picked up an injury that would rule him out of the rest of the championship.

I was playing all they year and to get injured just before the semi-final and miss the final, it was very emotional for me,” he said on Sunday after being named man of the match in the final.

I got back, I had the right people around me to get me right and to get me back and here I am today playing in a county final with the lads I’ve grown up with. It’s the best feeling in the world.”

It was a joy to watch the way Portarlington played, frees of any shackles and playing with abandonment. Was it as joyful as it looked”

That’s just what he (Martin Murphy) said. You can try riling lads up before a game, you can do all the roaring and shouting you want, but when we saw the dry day like this, and the fast play we can do, we said we’d just go out and enjoy playing. I think everyone just expressed themselves out there today and enjoyed it”.

And without getting carried away, the future looks bright for this team. It is a young outfit by any standard, and it seems crazy to think that a player who is only in him mid-20s is one of the more experienced on the team.

There’s a great bunch of lads there who have got great enjoyment out of minor and under-21. I’m 25 and I think I was the fifth oldest starting on that team today, so that shows you.

And everyone is a leader regardless of what age they are. Lads stepped and did their job and it’s just a joy to be part of. It’s great for the likes of Squirty (David Murphy) whose been here for so long and the reception he got when coming off was, well, it was spine tingling stuff.”

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