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Dublin: 10 °C Monday 6 April, 2020

Portlaoise to face Moorefield in Leinster football semi-final

The Laois champions needed extra-time before winning today’s quarter-final in Longford.

Brian McCormack (file photo) was the Portlaoise hero.
Brian McCormack (file photo) was the Portlaoise hero.
Image: INPHO/Ryan Byrne

Portlaoise (Laois) 1-15
Longford Slashers (Longford) 3-7

BRAVE PORTLAOISE CAME from eight down in rain sodden Longford to keep their hopes of a record eighth Leinster club football title alive.

The Laois champions leaked three first-half goals and fell eight behind early in the second-half at Pearse Park.

But they showed incredible determination to battle back to level terms at the end of the hour – outscoring the hosts by 0-3 to 0-1 in extra-time.

The win secures Portlaoise a provincial semi-final clash at home to Kildare’s Moorefield next Sunday. They did it the hard way because Longford Slashers looked great value for a famous win after the early strikes.

Mark Smith, Martin Nevin and Niall Mulligan all hit vital majors to leave them with a commanding 3-3 to 0-6 half-time lead.

And when Nevin and Peter Foy pointed after the restart they were eight clear at 3-5 to 0-6.

But former Laois star Brian ‘Bruno’ McCormack’s move to full-forward inspired Portlaoise and he pulled back 1-2 to leave just three in it.

And points from top scorer Craig Rogers, sub goalkeeper Graham Brody and Paul Cahillane forced extra-time at 1-12 to 3-6.

Portlaoise were on top in the extra 20 minutes and shot points from sub Adrian Kelly, Rogers and ex-Laois player Kevin Fitzpatrick to edge it.

PORTLAOISE: M Nolan (0-1; 1 45); M McNulty, P Cotter, B Mulligan; E Whelan, C Healy, T Fitzgerald; C Boyle (0-1), K Lillis; G Dillon, B McCormack (1-2), B Glynn; P Cahillane (0-2), C Rogers (0-6; 2f), B Smith.

Subs: S Nerney for Dillon h/t, D Seale for Whelan h/t, G Brody (0-1; 1f) for Nolan 50, K Fitzpatrick (0-1) for Smith 52, A Kelly (0-1) for Fitzgerald 56. Smith for Glynn 75.

LONGFORD SLASHERS: C Farrell; D Glennon, B Gilleran, G Ghee; P Brady, D Brady, M Diffley; N Mulligan (1-2; 2 45), D Sheridan; T Clendinning, M Brady, M Nevin (1-1); M Smith (1-1), P Foy (0-1), C Smith (0-2; 2f).

Subs: P Dobson for Glennon 52, A Dalton for Clendinning 56, M Tarmey for Sheridan 59. Clendinning for Dobson 66.

Referee: D Gough (Meath).

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About the author:

Paul Keane

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