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Portlaoise Shamrocks News

PADDY COTTER CUP 2nd round 10/1/2016
Portlaoise Shamrocks 7 -1 Killeigh Ramblers

The Shamrocks made light work of a team a division above them on Sunday last when they hit seven goals to progress to the next round of the Paddy Cotter cup.

The Portlaoise team had a strong squad available for this first competitive game back after the Christmas period. It was the Shamrocks who started well with left back Enda Kelly creating an overlap down the left wing, his one two with Fearghal Fennell nearly produced the first goal but Brendan Lacumbre’s effort was touched away for a corner by the away keeper.

The home side didn’t have to wait long to open up their opponents as a passing move by Brian Farrell and Shane Mitchell on the right found Stephen O’ Loughlin through on goal just as it looked as if the defender had got the better of him O’ Loughlin won the ball back and buried it past the goal keeper into the bottom corner. It was a great finish by the striker after seven minutes of play.

It was soon two nil. Philip Kehoe was strong in defense and worked the ball to Jason Horan. His lovely volleyed pass was picked up by Brendan Lacumbre who, in turn,  found Fearghal Fennell who wasted no time hitting the net with a crisp half volley low from the edge of the box.
The Shamrocks were growing in confidence Fennell again got on to the end of a sublime Ronan Molloy pass, beat his man then chipped to the far post but Shane Mitchell’s header was cleared and the follow up effort by Lacumbre was saved again by the busy shot stopper from Killeigh for a corner.

Brian Farrell’s dangerous corner was met by Centre half Philip Kehoe with a towering header and Brendan Lacumbre was on hand to finish with a neat volley. It was three nil after 18 minutes of play.

Portlaoise Shamrocks continuing marvellous season.

Portlaoise Shamrocks continuing marvellous season.

Killeigh eventually got to grips with the game and forced some good attacking play of their own.
A good move down the left by the tricky left winger created space on the edge of the box for a strike on goal but an incredible block by Philip Kehoe where he put his body on the line prevented what looked a goal bound shot.

Then they got in down the right wing and persistence paid off for their striker as he kept a lost cause on the end line alive his initial shot was saved by Barry Linden but the ball went loose and Shane O’Loughlin and Philip Kehoe between them scrambled the ball clear.

Down the other end a driving run by Fennell after an intelligent pass by Brian Farrell saw him set up Lacumber with a back heel but the man known as “Mago” just missed the top corner with a sublime strike.

Killeigh got back into the game before half time when a superb free kick whipped in caused problems for the Shamrocks’ defence as bodies converged to clear it sliced of the unfortunate Lacumbre and ended up in the back of the net. Half time it was three one to the home side but in truth it could have been more.

The second half started with the team from Offaly in the ascendancy obviously encouraged by the goal which got them back into the match. Firstly it took great defending by Enda Kelly as he got back goal side to a ball over the top, dispossessed his man then calmly nodded back to the grateful arms of Linden in the goals.

The Shamrocks then done well to stop another attack this time down the left. Ronan Molloy and Shane O’Loughlin combined to pass the ball out and the full back galloped forward as the space opened up. He beat two or three men and found himself in striking distance. He then unleashed an unstoppable drive which crashed into the net to the cheers of the Portlaoise sideline.
It was a superb individual effort which will rank as one of the best he has ever scored.

Tom Fitzpatrick ,Patrick Cully and Keith Bray came into the fray to add fresh legs to the game.
This gave the Shamrocks even more bite and as Killeigh heads started to drop the effect was immediate.Tom Fitzpatrick won the ball on the right wing his infield pass was touched on to Stephen O’ Loughlin by Patrick Cully ,”Steo” then played a neat one two with Fearghal Fennell and slid home the brilliant cut back to make it five.

Mark Doocey and Rory Heffernan were now also on but the changes to the team didn’t upset the Shamrocks as they continued to pass and play with a purpose going forward at every opportunity.
Doocey was found out wide left by the creative Brian Farrell and his pass nearly found Stephen O’Loughlin but the keeper did well to come out and smother.

The Shamrocks were keeping the ball well and Killeigh looked very ‘leggy’ at this stage.
This was evident in the next Shamrocks’ goal as Keith Bray bursted down the left and after good work by Mark Doocey and Stephen O’ Loughlin. Rory Heffernan found himself in space eight yards out, his first-time left foot strike wasn’t clean but was low and accurate and the keeper failed to keep it out.

It was six one after seventy four minutes.The final goal of the day was one to savour as Stephen O’ Loughlin completed his hat-trick in style. The Shamrocks had forced a free kick after hard work by Patrick Cully and Ronan Molloy. Molloy stepped up but his effort hit the wall and as it spun away Keith Bray was alert to keep it in,he beat the full back and whipped in a beautiful cross, Stephen O’ Loughlin acrobatically connected with an over-head kick and with his left foot drive found the top corner.

It was a fantastic goal to end a wonderful day for the home team. The referee blew for full time to end the agony for the Killeigh team who to their credit tried their best to stay in the game right up until the end.The Shamrocks can be pleased with their first game of 2016 there seemed to be a real team spirit and togetherness about the sixteen that took part in the game.

The players to stand out on what was a good day for the men in Green and Black were all the back four who set the platform for the team as a whole. Shane O’Loughlin deserves a special mention for his goal. He is a player who has continued on his superb form from last season. Brian Farrell and Fearghal Fennell were influential in a lot of Shamrock moves going forward. Brendan Lacumber worked hard and caused problems for the away defense linking well with Stephen O’ Loughlin who today was the Portlaoise’s side best player scoring three great goals.The last one in particular will be remembered for a while to come.

Team
Barry Linden shane O’Loughlin Ronan Molloy Philip Kehoe Enda Kelly Shane Mitchell Jason Horan Brian Farrell Fearghal Fennell Brendan LaCumbre Stephen Oloughlin
Subs Rory Heffernan Patrick Cully Tom Fitzpatrick Mark Doocey Keith Bray