Moore­field stun Portlaoise at the death

The Irish Times - Monday - Sport - - Gaelic Games | Club Championships -

Three huge plays in the last 11 min­utes, in­clud­ing five min­utes of in­jury time, saw Moore­field come from be­hind to book a place in the last four of the Le­in­ster cham­pi­onship at the ex­pense of Portlaoise yes­ter­day.

The home side ap­peared to be primed for the semi-fi­nals when lead­ing by three points with eight min­utes left – the big­gest mar­gin be­tween the sides through­out a pul­sat­ing af­fair that saw them level six times in the sec­ond half and seven in to­tal.

How­ever Craig Rogers re­ceived his march­ing or­ders in the 53rd minute af­ter re­ceiv­ing a sec­ond yel­low, and two min­utes later Éanna O’Con­nor fin­ished sub­limely for a goal to re­store par­ity once more.

Ex­hi­bi­tion

O’Con­nor­put on an ex­hi­bi­tion in the first half scor­ing five points – three of which were ex­cel­lent scores from play.

Portlaoise fin­ished the open­ing pe­riod strongly how­ever, with points from Brian Mul­li­gan, Scott Lawless and goal­keeper Gra­ham Brody – a sec­ond con­verted 45 – mak­ing it 0-9 to 0-7 at the change of ends.

With only three points reg­is­tered be­tween the teams in the first 24 min­utes, Portlaoise held the whip hand and when Cahillane and Lawless made it a three-point game, they looked most likely to do the busi­ness.

How­ever, Éanna O’Con­nor lev­elled things for Moore­field, as he ex­hib­ited tremen­dous com­po­sure and artistry to slot a cru­cial goal from a rapidly re­duc­ing an­gle.

While Moore­field then had a lot of pos­ses­sion, they failed to chisel out a re­ally good chance to bag the win­ner.

Best op­por­tu­nity

In­deed, the best op­por­tu­nity of the re­main­ing pe­riod fell to Portlaoise skip­per Conor Boyle, but his Moore­field coun­ter­part James Mur­ray launched him­self full-length to block the mid­fielder’s shot from 30 me­tres in front of the posts.

Ex­tra time loomed when Niall Hur­ley-Lynch fired an im­prob­a­ble win­ner from wide on the left into the wind.

There was still time for Portlaoise to fash­ion one last chance for re­demp­tion but Paul Cahillane’s kick from a free from a very dif­fi­cult an­gle just curled too much and it was the New­bridge men that ad­vanced.

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