Portlaoise cruise past Mattock Rangers

Portlaoise (Laois) 2-21 Mattock Rangers (Louth) 0-2

2004 Leinster champions Portlaoise romped to a facile 25-point victory over Mattock Rangers in the first round of the AIB Leinster Club Senior Football Championship at a sunny Drogheda this afternoon.

John Mulligan's men failed to let up in this one-sided game and kept motoring until the finish to ensure their place in the quarter-finals. Clearly outclassed, Louth champions Mattock Rangers only managed a point in either half and they failed to score in the closing 27 minutes.

Portlaoise led from start to finish and signalled their early intentions with their captain Brian McCormack scoring the opening point after just 10 seconds, getting his side off to a business-like start.

The Laois three in-a-row champions had built a 1-6 to 0-0 lead by the end of the opening quarter, with Barry Fitzgerald netting an eighth minute goal.

Rangers' lone point of the opening half - a David Reid free - arrived in the 17th minute.

However, Portlaoise were always in control and unanswered points from McCormack, Zach Tuohy (0-2), defender Kieran Lillis and Fitzgerald ensured a 1-11 to 0-1 interval lead.

Former Louth player Christy Grimes opened the second half on a positive note for Mattock Rangers with a pointed free.

Nevertheless, this was his side's final score as Portlaoise took firm control once more.

A 41st minute goal from Paul Cahillane was the highlight of the second half for the on song Laois champions.

Fitzgerald, Peter McNulty, Tuohy, Craig Rogers and substitute Ricky Maher all added points to put the seal on an embarrassingly comfortable win.

Portlaoise's next test will be a Leinster quarter-final against either Wolfe Tones or Seneschalstown who meet in the Meath SFC final next week.

Scorers - Portlaoise: B Fitzgerald 1-4 (0-1f), P Cahillane 1-2 (0-2f), C Rogers 0-4, Z Tuohy 0-3 (0-1f), B McCormack, P McNulty 0-2 each, B Mulligan, K Lillis, A Kelly, R Maher 0-1 each

Mattock Rangers: D Reid 0-1 (0-1f), C Grimes 0-1 (0-1f)

Portlaoise: M Nolan; M McNulty, K Fitzpatrick, A Fennelly; B Mulligan, C Healy, K Lillis; A Kelly, B McCormack; C Rogers, Z Tuohy, B Glynn; P Cahillane, B Fitzgerald, P McNulty.

Subs used: C Boyle for Lillis, C Byrne for Fitzgerald (both 48 mins), J Fennell for Glynn (50), R Maher for Cahillane,M Kavanagh for Tuohy (both 55).

Mattock Rangers: M Englishby; P Bannon, David Brennan, T O'Reilly; S Gilsenan, C Grimes, T Murphy; N Callan, D Bannon; K Brennan, D Reid, R Lenaghan; S Grimes, R Brennan, G Monaghan.

Subs used:Darren Brennan for K Brennan (12 mins), M Sherlock for Murphy (44), E Roche for S Grimes, K Hamill for Monaghan (both 47), G Duff for David Brennan (52).

Referee: G McCormack (Dublin)

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