Portlaoise cruise to 25th title

Portlaoise 2-14 Timahoe 1-7

As with so many of these scripts, the underdogs bit on their opponents’ ankles for much of the afternoon before being left for dust in the final quarter.

Portlaoise were ahead for the first time after eight minutes before relinquishing the lead and it wasn’t until the 21st minute that they regained the advantage that would sustain them against the elements after the break.

By the break Timahoe had fallen 0-9 to 0-5 behind. Given the wind, that was no insurmountable obstacle for them, although it could well have been had Portlaoise not also fired six wides and hit the upright twice.

Within a minute of the restart when Malachy McNulty was adjudged to have fouled Brendan O’Connell in his own area and Lalor dispatched the penalty with some aplomb.

But within 12 minutes, Timahoe had conceded 2-3 and the game was over as a contest. The first goal resulted from Peter McNulty’s powerful finish before Kieran Lillis put a cap on proceedings when his long-distance point attempt looped under the crossbar and into the Timahoe net on 53 minutes.

PORTLAOISE: M Nolan; M McNulty (E Bland, 58), C Healy, A Fennelly; B Mulligan (J Delaney, 62), T Fitzgerald, K Lillis; B McCormack (0-3), S McManus (S Cotter, 45); Z Tuohy (B Smith, 58), C Parkinson (0-3), K Fitzpatrick; B Fitzgerald (0-3, 2f), C Rogers (0-2), P McNulty (1-3, 2f).

TIMAHOE: R Headen; J O’Connor (M O’Connor, 53), R Jones, J Lowry; P Kelly, M Bergin, J Whelehan; P Clancy (0-1), B Quigley; R O’Connor (0-1) (PJ Kelly, 57), E Culliton (C McEvoy, 57), S Ramsbottom (K Bergin, 61); W Lalor (1-3, 3f, 1-0 pen), M Delaney (0-1) (J Conlon, 45), B O’Connell (0-1f).

Referee: E Kinsella (Courtwood).

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