Portlaw 2-7 De La Salle 0-7

In Walsh Park last Saturday, Portlaw overcame De La Salle’s challenge to book a place in the Eastern Intermediate Football Final against John Mitchels.

Over the hour, it would be fair to say that the best side certainly won. But this was by no means a classic and one can imagine that any watching John Mitchels spies would not be overly frightened by anything they saw.

The first half of this game will certainly not live long in the memory of anyone that was present and nor would they want it to.

Considering the talent in each forward line, the measly return of four points in 30 minutes says everything about the nature of the first half.

Both sides were guilty of some terrible approach play and while Portlaw proved to be slightly the better team in this facet of the game, their shooting often left them down.

It took all of 11 minutes before we witnessed the first score of the game which came courtesy of a well-taken free by Portlaw’s Michael Donnelly.

Portlaw doubled their lead a couple of minutes later when, Paul Power, the hero of the drawn game, pointed from a free on the left hand side.

They got their third point in the 21st minute when John Hartley waltzed through a crowded midfield before firing over from 30 yards.

De La Salle were at sixes and sevens for much of the half and failed to get their dangerous forwards into the game.

They lost the midfield battle hands-down with John Hartley enjoying a superb hour for Portlaw.

De La Salle eventually avoided the ignominy of a scoreless half when Conan Watt drove danced through the Portlaw defence before scoring in the 27th minute.

Portlaw strengthened their grip on the game in the early stages of the second half when Michael Donnelly converted a free before the same player scored his first point from play a minute later.

Then Portlaw went five points clear when Richie Fitzpatrick was awarded a point but the general consensus was that the ball had sailed narrowly wide.

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