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Friday 27 January 2023 Dublin: 5°C
Lorraine O'Sullivan/INPHO
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Rhode lose their cool late on as 36-year-old 'Bruno' McCormack leads Portlaoise to victory
Portlaoise will face Moorefield in a mouth-watering Leinster club SFC quarter-final.

Portlaoise 1-10

Rhode 0-10

Steven Miller reports from O’Connor Park, Tullamore

PORTLAOISE HAVE SET up a Leinster Club SFC quarter-final meeting with Kildare champions Moorefield following their win over Rhode in Bord na Mona O’Connor Park in Tullamore this afternoon.

Malachy McNulty’s men made hard work of it, leading by six points at the break but they only scored twice in the second half, eventually hanging on to win by three.

Portlaoise played some fine football in the first half with 36-year-old Brian ‘Bruno’ McCormack causing all sorts of problems for the Rhode defence.

Portlaoise had a goal disallowed in the opening minute after McCormack and Scott Lawless combined but McCormack got Portlaoise off the mark soon after. Although Niall McNamee levelled things up with the first of his three first-half points, captain Conor Boyle and Gareth Dillon pushed Portlaoise into an early 0-3 to 0-1 lead.

McNamee pointed twice either side of another McCormack point but Portlaoise soon hit a purple patch with points from Paul Cahillane (free) and Dillon followed by a brilliant Ciaran McEvoy goal. That put them six up and McCormack’s third point from play left it 1-7 to 0-3.

Ruairi McNamee and Benny Carroll Lorraine O'Sullivan / INPHO Lorraine O'Sullivan / INPHO / INPHO

Rhode responded with the next two points – a free from Paul McPadden and a point from play from corner-back Dylan Kavanagh – and while a brilliant long-range free from Paul Cahillane was cancelled out by Niall Darby, Portlaoise were still full value for their 1-8 to 0-6 half-time lead.

Another Cahillane free got Portlaoise off the mark early in the second half but it amazingly it was to be their last score for almost 30 minutes.

Rhode kept plugging away and hit three points in a row – frees from Derby and McNamee and one from sub Ciaran Heavey – had just three between them entering the final ten minutes.

A wonderful Niall McNamee point from play got it back to two but there was to be no further score.

Rhode centre-back Brian Darby was given a straight red card late on and a brilliant point from Gareth Dillon eventually settled the tie in Portlaoise’s favour.

Scorers for Portlaoise: Ciaran McEvoy 1-0, Brian McCormack 0-3, Paul Cahillane 0-3 (frees), Gareth Dillon 0-3, Conor Boyle 0-1.

Scorers for Rhode: Niall McNamee 0-5 (two frees), Niall Darby 0-2 (frees) Dylan Kavanagh 0-1, Paul McPadden 0-1 (free), Ciaran Heavey 0-1

Portlaoise

Michael Nolan

Chris Finn
Frank Flanagan
David Holland

Brian Mulligan
Kieran Lillis
David Seale

Ciaran McEvoy
Adrian Kelly

Gareth Dillon
Benny Carroll
Conor Boyle

Paul Cahillane
Brian McCormack
Scott Lawless

Subs

Brian Smith for Lawless (18 mins)
Shane Smith for Kelly (42 mins)
Craig Rogers for Carroll (52 mins)
Paddy Downey for Mulligan (56 mins)

Rhode 

Ken Garry

James McPadden
Shane Sullivan
Jake Kavanagh

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Dylan Kavanagh
Brian Darby
Niall Darby

Alan McNamee
Conor McNamee

Stephen Hannon
Niall McNamee
Paul McPadden

Pauric Sullivan
Ruairi McNamee
Anton Sullivan

Subs

Darren Garry for McPadden (35 mins)
Ciaran Heavey for D Kavanagh (42 mins)

Referee: Barry Tiernan (Dublin)

*************************

In the other Leinster club SFC games to take place today, Longford’s Mullinalaghta defeated Carlow champions Eire Og by 1-14 to 1-7, while Wicklow’s Rathnew defeated Louth side Newtown Blues by 2-6 to 0-9.

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