Portarlington 3-19 Palatine 0-9
By Kieran Murphy at Netwatch Cullen Park
After a tight opening quarter, the three-in-a-row Laois champions opened up to score five points without reply before the interval. That set the platform for what was to come in the second half of this Leinster senior football club championship game at Netwatch Cullen Park.
Early on, Palatine matched experienced opposition and by the 13th minute the sides were level at 0-4 points each. For Portarlington, Colm Murphy and Rioghan Murphy in that first half divided seven points between them with the former scoring four from play. Shane O’Neill was the Palatine go to man where the centre-forward scored three frees in the first half as a lot of what the Carlow side did well came through him.
Crucially, the eventual winners hit that purple patch before the break to lead 0-11 to 0-5 at half-time.
The second half was only minutes old when Colm Murphy beat his marker and shot to the net from close range. Up to that, whatever doubt there was about the result was extinguished. Portarlington moved up several gears and with Palatine having to play the entire second half without key forward, Conor Crowley, who retired injured before half-time, there was no way back for them.
Portarlington hit them with further points from Jason Moore, Adam Ryan and Jordan Fitzpatrick. Ciaran Moran brought a save from the Port keeper, Scott Osbourne, and while he latched onto the loose ball he could only force it over the bar.
The Laois side finished strongly and Rioghan Murphy scored two goals to enhance his reputation as a classy forward. Those around him didn’t look too bad either as their entire starting forward line all scored from play over the hour.
Scorers for Portarlington: Colm Murphy 1-6 (1 45), Rioghan Murphy 2-2 (1f), David Murphy 0-3 (1f), Adam Ryan 0-2, Jason Moore 0-2, Jordan Fitzpatrick 0-2, Ronan Coffey 0-1, Sean Byrne 0-1
Scorers for Palatine: Shane O’Neill 0-6 (5fs), Joshua Egan 0-2 (1mark), Ciaran Moran 0-1
Portarlington: Scott Osbourne; Cathal Bennett, Diarmuid Bennett, Alex Mohan; Stuart Mulpeter, Robbie Piggott, Jason Moore; Paddy Sullivan, Sean Byrne; Adam Ryan, Ronan Coffey, Rioghan Murphy; Jordan Fitzpatrick, David Murphy, Colm Murphy.
Subs: Darragh Slevin for Coffey (47), Eoin McCann for C Murphy (47), Colin Slevin for Moore (47), Cathal Ryan for Ryan (52), Johnny Fullam for O’Sullivan (57).
Palatine: Craig Kearney; Conor O’Doherty, Darragh Fitzpatrick, Gavin Healy; Cillian Duff, Conor Lawler, Ciaran Moran; Jason Kane, Finbarr Kavanagh; Thomas Sheehan, Shane O’Neill, Bryan McMahon; Andrew Kehoe, Joshua Egan, Conor Crowley.
Subs: Cathal O’Neill for Crowley (28), Chris Parle for Fitzpatrick (h/t), Stephen Reilly for Sheehan (h/t), Padraic Kelly for Duff (39), Sean Woods for Kehoe (47).
Referee: Cormac Reilly (Meath).