Portarlington 1-14 St Loman's 1-12
Portarlington had to battle hard to overcome St Loman’s of Mullingar in a thrilling Leinster club championship quarter-final clash.
The Laois side were making their first appearance in the provincial competition since 2001 but they made a dream start and were 1-6 to 0-1 up after just 11 minutes.
Ronan Coffey, Colm Murphy, Paddy O’Sullivan and Adam Ryan all pointed in a lively opening spell, with Loman’s only response coming from experienced defender Paddy Dowdall.
Rioghan Murphy then struck for the game’s first goal in the seventh minute when he was picked out by Colm Murphy with a free and points from David Murphy and Rioghan Murphy had them eight points up with just 11 minutes on the clock.
But Loman’s didn’t allow that bad start to derail them and a John Heslin free and a Ronan O’Toole effort from play had it 1-6 to 0-3 at the first water break.
Heslin and O’Toole pointed on the restart to get it back to four and though Colm Murphy responded for Port, the Westmeath outfit were rampant in that second quarter and got the last two scores of the half - another Heslin free and one from the lively Fola Ayorinde.
At half time it was 1-7 to 0-7 and Port were down to 14 men following the black carding of corner-back Alex Mohan.
Adam Ryan settled Port with a point early in the second half but Loman’s responded through Sam McCartan and then levelled things up when TJ Cox rifled home a brilliant goal.
It all looked to be going against Port when Heslin added a free straight away and Port keeper Scott Osborne was forced off injured.
But the game turned again. A Colm Murphy free in the 43rd minute tied things again and it was still level at the water break after Jake Foster and Peter Foy swapped scores.
Port were the better side in the final quarter with points from Adam Ryan, Colm Murphy, Foster and sub Stephen O’Neill.
Loman’s threw everything forward in a frantic finale but Port held on and a semi-final against Kilmacud Crokes in Croke Park awaits on 18 December.
SCORERS – Portarlington: Colm Murphy 0-4 (1f), Rioghan Murphy 1-1, Adam Ryan 0-3, Jake Foster 0-2, Ronan Coffey, Paddy O’Sullivan, David Murphy, Stephen O’Neill 0-1 each. St Loman’s: John Heslin 0-5f, TJ Cos 1-0, Sam McCarten, Ronan O’Toole 0-2 each, Fola Ayorinde, Paddy Dowdall, Peter Foy 0-1 each.
PORTARLINGTON: Scott Osbourne; Cathal Bennett, Robbie Pigott, Alex Mohan ; Colin Slevin, Stuart Mulpeter, Paddy O’Sullivan; Keith Bracken, Sean Byrne; Adam Ryan, Ronan Coffey, Rioghan Murphy; Jake Foster, David Murphy, Colm Murphy.
Subs: Sean Mooney for Osbourne (37, inj), Stephen O’Neill for Slevin (43), Jordan Fitzpatrick for D Murphy (55)
ST LOMAN’S: Jason Daly; David Whelan, Darragh O’Keeffe, Oisin Hogan; Kelvin Ryan, Paddy Dowdall, Jack Geoghegan; Sam McCarten, Fola Ayorinde; Peter Foy, Ronan O’Toole, Kevin Regan; TJ Cox, John Heslin, Shane Dempsey.
Subs: Ken Casey for Dempsey (43), Rory Sheehan for Regan (55)
Referee: Anthony Nolan (Wicklow)