The outcome had inevitability written all over it long before the final whistle confirmed Portlaw’s senior status in 2005. For Shamrocks, it was a disaster day, a day when very few of their key players delivered. In particular their trump card, county star Eoin Murphy was never the commanding player he had been en route to the final.
The signs were ominous for them from the throw-in with Portlaw dominant in virtually every sector.
Shamrocks’ lone first-half score came from an Eoin Murphy free, but thereafter, it was virtually one-way traffic, and the winners’ 0-9 to 0-1 interval lead would have been even more commanding had they not squandered several gilt-edged chances.
Any slim hope Shamrocks had of a second-half recovery all but disappeared within four minutes of the restart when further points by Freddie Kelly (free), a superb one from a John Hartley sideline cut, and Mark Power put the winners out of sight.
Briefly Shamrocks saw a glimmer of hope when full-forward James Baldwin finished Eoin Murphy’s free to the net in the 43rd minute to reduce the deficit to nine points. But with Kelly responding with scores from frees and play it was business as usual for Portlaw in an instant.
John Hartley climaxed a superb display with the final point.
Scorers: Portlaw: F. Kelly(0-7, 0-5 frees); J. Hartley(0-4); M. Donnelly(0-2); M. Power(0-2); D. Long, A. Kirwan, J. Laffan(0-1) each.
Shamrocks: James Baldwin(1-0); E. Murphy, C. O’Keeffe(0-1) each.
PORTLAW: N. Kelly; P. Nolan, E. Galvin, B.Laffan; G. Morahan, E. Rockett, A. Kirwan; K. Reade, J. Hartley; M. Donnelly, M. Power, M. Hartley; F. Galvin, D. Long, F. Kelly. Subs: J. Laffan for Long; T. Walsh for F. Galvin; J. Walsh for B. Laffan; D. Walsh for M. Hartley; S. Cullinane for Nolan.
SHAMROCKS:L. Murphy; T.Baldwin, M.Ryan, B. Hogan; K. Murphy, J. O’Donovan, L. Dalton; C. O’Keeffe, E. Murphy; M. Murphy, T. O’Donovan, D. O’Neill; P. Tobin, James Baldwin, P. Murphy. Subs: J. O’Neill for D. O’Neill; B. Harnedy for Tobin; John Baldwin for P. Murphy.
Referee: Brian Power, Mount Sion.