Moorefield stun Portlaoise at the death
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.
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.
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.