KDFL Division 1 League leaders Portlaoise Celtic booked their semi final place in the Division 1 cup when they beat Galhoy FC by the narrowest of margins at St Fintan’s on Sunday.
They were made fight all the way by the plucky Newbridge side, who are struggling at the bottom end of the table.
The eventual winners certainly didnt have it all their own way as Galhoy showed some improvement to their recent league form. They had chances early on through efforts from Keith O’Riordan and Mick McFarland however neither seemed to threaten Mick Nolan in the home goal.
The best chance for the visitors came midway through the half when Eamon Corry shot wide from 15 yards after been put through by Jamie Brooks.
At the other end Galhoy ‘keeper John O’Connor had to be at his best when he saved well from Darren Kelly after 25 minutes and five minutes later he got down well to tip a Ronan Molloy effort around the post following good work from Brian Farrell and Mark Ryan.
The greasy surface was making it hard for both sides to play to their strenghts however Portlaoise started to get the upper hand now and created further chances ten minutes from the break through Ross Moylan and Mark Ryan.
The home side eventually took the lead just before half time when a Ross Moylan 30 yard free released Darren Kelly and he made no mistake when he slid the ball past the advancing O’Connor in the visitors goal putting the home side 1-0 up going into the break.
Galhoy fought to get back into the game in the early stages of the second half through Eamon Corry and Jamie Brooks but they found the youthful Daniel Mills in the heart of the home defence in top form, producing a display well beyond his years and this combined with the expeience of midfielder Sean Browne and Ronan Molloy up front gave Portlaoise the upper hand.
The home side created a further chance with ten minutes remaining when a Darren Kelly effort was saved well by Galhoy netminder John O’Connor from close range.
However Galhoy never gave up and almost brought the game to extra time against the run of play with the clock ticking down through Jamie Brooks, however his effort was excellently saved by Portlaoise keeper Mick Nolan and the home side held out for victory.
Best for the winners were Daniel Mills, Ross Moylan, Sean Browne and Ronan Molloy. Stephen Dempsey and Barry Molloy did well for Galhoy.
Mick Nolan, Mark Ryan, Shane Mitchell, Daniel Mills, Mark O’Sullivan, Keith Lawless, Ross Moylan, Brian Farrell, Sean Browne, Darren Kelly, Ronan Molloy, Willie Kerry and Gary O’Sullivan.
John O’Connor, Stephen Dempsey, Barry Molloy, James Roche, Shane Dempsey, Keith O’Riordan, Darren Conlon, Dave O’Connor, Eamon Corry, James Brooks, Mick McFarland, Mario Riozzi, James Daly, Andrew O’Neill.