Ryan's late goal seals deal for Dublin's St Brigid's

St Brigid's (Dublin) 2-16 Portlaoise (Laois) 1-15 (aet), Parnell Park

St Brigid's (Dublin) 2-16 Portlaoise (Laois) 1-15 (aet), Parnell Park

Corner forward Philly Ryan scored a vital late goal as Dublin champions St. Brigid's beat Portlaoise after extra-time to win through to the AIB Leinster Club SFC final on December 18.

Ryan netted Brigid's second goal 20 seconds from full-time to secure their place in a second Leinster decider in 10 years.

Today's semi-final at Parnell Park was an epic encounter, played in front of 5,000 spectators with the sides level on eight occasions in normal time.

Portlaoise were dealt a blow before the throw-in with the loss of captain Craig Rogers due to illness, with Adrian Kelly starting in his place.

Rogers was to come on in the second half of normal time to try and inspire his side to victory.

Brigid's opened the scoring in the fifth minute with a point from midfielder Cian Mullins. Portlaoise equalised through Brian McCormack, but Ken Darcy edged the Dubliners in front once more.

However, Portlaoise then hit their best spell of the game by registering 1-2 without reply. Hugh Coghlan, the Tipperary native and ex-St. Vincent's player, and Paul Cahillane slotted over points before Colm Parkinson scored a tremendous goal.

The former Parnell's clubman latched onto the ball and fired it to the net after the some excellent support play from the Portlaoise attack.

Brigids were wayward at this stage with Mark Cahill and Ryan both registering wides, but they soon made amends with a 16th minute goal. Barry Cahill had his initial shot blocked before Paddy Andrews followed up to slip the ball beyond Portlaoise goalkeeper Michael Nolan.

Parkinson had a chance to bag his second goal but was denied in the 17th minute by Shane Supple. However, Adrian Kelly salvaged a point from the rebound as the Laois champions broke into a 1-4 to 1-2 lead.

A brace of Cahillane pointed frees followed to push Portlaoise four points clear, but Brigid's edged back before the break.

An Andrews point coupled with a brace of John O'Loughlin scores cut the deficit to the minimum before a second Ken Darcy point ensured the sides were tied at 1-6 apiece at half-time.

Darcy pushed Brigid's a point ahead inside three minutes of the restart, but Portlaoise rallied with three unanswered points - all from the boot of Kelly.

Andrews and substitute Lorcan McCarthy landed Brigid's scores to tie the game at 1-9 apiece with 43 minutes gone on the clock.

McCormack and Andrews then swopped scores to leave it at 1-10 apiece entering the final quarter. Brigid's stole a march on their Laois counterparts with Mark Cahill and defender Alan Daly hitting a point each to give their side 1-12 to 1-10 lead in the 51st minute.

Portlaoise got back on terms with 20 seconds of normal time remaining following scores from Rogers and McCormack.

Barry Cahill scored what looked like the match winner for Brigid's when his 62nd minute effort ended up over the crossbar, despite protests from Portlaoise supporters that the Dublin All-Ireland winner took too many steps.

However, there was still time for the 'Town' to get something from this game as a Barry Fitzgerald point forced extra-time.

Both sides tagged on two points each in the first period of extra-time with Ian Fitzgerald and McCormack on target for Portlaoise, while Andrews and Mark Cahill added to the Brigid's tally.

Defences were on top in the second period as neither side managed a score in the six-minute spell after the restart.

Darcy broke the deadlock with his 77th minute point to put Brigid's ahead before Ryan's late goal ensured their unbeaten run in Leinster continues.

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