Quinn shoots St. Vincent's to Leinster club title

St Vincent's (Dublin) 3-12 Portlaoise (Laois) 3-9

Quinn shoots St. Vincent's to Leinster club title

St Vincent's (Dublin) 3-12 Portlaoise (Laois) 3-9

Tomás Quinn bagged eight points, including three of the last four scores, as St. Vincent's claimed their fifth AIB Leinster Club SFC title at O'Connor Park, Tullamore this afternoon.

The former All-Ireland champions held Portlaoise scoreless during the closing 12 minutes of one of the tightest finals of recent years, which saw the clubs level on seven occasions.

The sides were tied at 2-5 apiece at half-time, with goals from Ciarán Dorney and Ruairí Trainor handing Vincent's a 2-3 to 0-4 lead, before Craig Rogers responded with two Portlaoise goals, including a 28th minute penalty.

Brian Glynn and Shane Carthy traded goals inside a two-and-a-half minute spell, and although Portlaoise took the lead thanks to a 48th minute point, they failed to score again in this contest.

The sides' last meeting in this competition came on the way to St. Vincent's last provincial and All-Ireland successes, with the north Dublin side storming to an 11-point win in 2007.

This afternoon's encounter was a much tighter affair, with no more than five points separating the teams over the 60 minutes.

The 32-year-old Quinn - as on countless occasions for St. Vincent's during their 2013 campaign - once again led by example, with the corner forward finishing as top-scorer.

Quinn opened the Marino outfit's account inside the opening 90 seconds with the first of his eight points, but this was quickly cancelled out by a Craig Rogers effort.

Portlaoise were dominant at midfield at this stage, with scores from Paul Cahillane and Brian Glynn helping them to a 0-3 to 0-1 lead.

Vincent's worked hard for scores, but Portlaoise were resolute in defence with their goalkeeper Michael Nolan denying Eamon Fennell a goal in the 13th minute.

Quinn broke Vincent's 14-minute scoring deadlock with a point as the game entered the second quarter, but his effort was quickly cancelled out by a Cahillane score.

Gradually Vincent's began to come to grips with this game and they fired an unanswered 2-2 in the space of five minutes to move 2-4 to 0-4 in front.

A well-worked move involving Brendan Egan, Trainor, Connolly and Shane Carthy was the catalyst for Vincent's opening goal.

Carthy laid off the final pass to Ciarán Dorney who shook off David Seale before slotting the ball past Nolan in the 19th minute.

Quinn added third point before Vincent's second goal, as Trainor avoided the challenge of Conor Boyle to push Vincent's 2-3 to 0-4 in front.

Gavin Burke extended Vincent's lead to six points, before Portlaoise made an explosive comeback.

A high ball in from Portlaoise captain Brian McCormack was safely gathered by Rogers who turned inside to cut the gap to three points with a well-struck goal.

McCormack and Rogers continued to cause damage, with Rogers pulled down by Jarlath Curley for a 28th minute penalty which he had no hesitation in converting.

A Trainor point saw Vincent's regain the lead, but a Paul Cahillane score tied the game at 2-5 apiece at the break.

A Brian Smith score gave Portlaoise the lead inside 20 seconds of the restart, but Vincent's were never far behind with Quinn duly slotting over an equaliser.

Portlaoise continued to work hard and were rewarded for their efforts with Brian Glynn's 36th-minute goal and when Rogers extended their lead to four points it seemed it might be enough to keep them in front.

But Vincent's showed a never-say-die attitude throughout this campaign and once again that spirit was in evidence, with Carthy's 38th-minute goal bringing them back to life.

The sides traded points on two occasions to ensure Portlaoise led 3-9 to 3-8 with 12 minutes left on the clock.

But amazingly Portlaoise failed to score for the remainder of the game, as Vincent's dug deep with four unanswered points - including three from Quinn - to claim provincial silverware.

After the game St. Vincent's captain Ger Brennan accepted the cup from Leinster GAA Chairman Martin Skelly.

ST. VINCENT'S: M Savage; M Concarr, J Curley, H Gill; C Diamond, G Brennan, B Egan; E Fennell, D Murphy; G Burke (0-1), D Connolly (0-1), S Carthy (1-0); R Trainor (1-1), C Dorney (1-1), T Quinn (0-8, 0-4f).

Subs used: T Diamond for Trainor (41 mins), K Bonnie for C Diamond (45), K Golden for Dorney (56), N Mullins for Burke (59 mins).

PORTLAOISE: M Nolan; D Seale, C Healy, T Fitzgerald; K Lillis, P Cotter, B Mulligan; S Nerney, C Boyle; B Smith (0-1), P Cahillane (0-3, 1f), B Glynn (1-1); C Rogers (2-3, 1-0 pen, 0-3f), B McCormack (0-1), B Fitzgerald.

Subs used: E Whelan for Mulligan (42 mins), A Kelly for Glynn (56), K Fitzpatrick for Cahillane (59).

Referee: Fergal Kelly (Longford).

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