Deserved home win for Portlaoise

Portlaoise (Laois) 3-12 Seneschalstown (Meath) 1-6

Portlaoise (Laois) 3-12 Seneschalstown (Meath) 1-6

First quarter goals from Brian Glynn and Paul Cahillane proved vital as Portlaoise advanced to an AIB Leinster SFC semi-final meeting with Clara.

The Laois champions ran out comfortable 12-point winners over Seneschalstown, the recently-crowned Meath champions, at O'Moore Park this afternoon.

With Seneschalstown playing their third game in the space of a week, it was always going to be a tough ask for Damien Sheridan's charges.

The Meath men leaked the opening goal after just three minutes when Glynn latched onto a Barry Fitzgerald pass and billowed the net.

Wind-assisted Portlaoise quickly pushed four points clear thanks to an Aidan Fennelly point, although Seneschalstown responded well with points from Shane Clarke and Brian Sheridan.

However, the hosts held their opponents scoreless over the next 12 minutes, as Cahillane's ninth-minute goal, coupled with points from Fitzgerald and Peter McNulty, pushed 'the Town' 2-3 to 0-2 clear at the end of the opening quarter.

Seneschalstown rallied thanks to scores from Brian Sheridan and Gary Conlon, but were limited in the chances with Joe Sheridan now switched to midfield to try and gain some possession in that sector.

The Laois men could afford to amass six first half wides, with further points from Fitzgerald (0-2) and goalscorer Glynn ensuring a 2-6 to 0-5 interval lead.

John Mulligan's charges continued to boss the game on the restart, with defender Kieran Lillis opening their second half account with a 34th minute point.

Barry Fitzgerald pushed his match tally to five points with two well-taken scores, ensuring a 2-10 to 0-6 lead by the 41st minute.

The Portlaoise bandwagon could not be halted as Cahillane snuck through for his second goal after Fitzgerald's initial shot was stopped on the line.

A Peter McNulty point pushed the Laois champions into a 14-point lead as the game entered the final quarter.

And although Seneschalstown registered a 47th minute goal from defender Stephen Sheridan, Portlaoise were not to denied their place in the semi-finals.

PORTLAOISE: M Nolan; E Bland, K Fitzpatrick, M McNulty; B Mulligan, C Healy, K Lillis (0-1); A Kelly, B McCormack; C Rogers, A Fennelly (0-1), B Glynn (1-2); P Cahillane (2-1, 0-1f), B Fitzgerald (0-5, 0-5f), P McNulty (0-2).

Subs used: C Byrne for Kelly (45 mins), B Smyth for Fitzgerald, C Boyle for P McNulty (both 52), J Fennell for M McNulty, P Cotter for Fennelly (both 56).

SENESCHALSTOWN: D Lyons; P Carey, A Collins, G Sheridan; M Carey, J Crowley, S Sheridan (1-0); R Ruddy, D Sheridan; S Finnegan (0-1), C Macken, G Conlon (0-1); S Clarke (0-1, 0-1f), J Sheridan (0-1), B Sheridan (0-2, 0-1f).

Subs used: J Byrne for P Carey (16 mins), B Clarke for Macken (22), C Duffy for Ruddy (30), A McCann for S Clarke (38), T Ledwidge for Finnegan (58).

Referee: Tom Quigley (Dublin)

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