Stradbally come good

October 31, 2005
Stradbally had their fans singing in the rain as they recorded their first Laois SFC final victory since 1998 when they beat reigning county and provincial champions Portlaoise by 1-10 to 1-9 at a rain and wind-swept O'Moore Park in front of 5,000 fans. Stradbally laid the foundation for their surprise victory with a gritty first half display against a near Gale force wind. The would-be winners goaled after 20 minutes when livewire forward Colm Kelly netted from the penalty spot. Kelly's major put his side 1-3 to 0-2 in front but five minutes later Portlaoise county star Kevin Fitzpatrick rose high to fist the ball to the Stradbally net after a flighted free by Brian McCormack to leave his side 1-6 to 1-5 ahead at the interval. On the restart, the match favourites went up a gear and a point from Chicago-based Martin Delaney helped the 'homesters' to a 1-9 to 1-8 lead after 48 minutes. However Stradbally held firm and Jeremy Kavanagh levelled from 40 metres in the 51st minute and in the first three minutes of added on time Colm Kelly cooly slotted the ball over the bar to cap a tremendous Stradbally triumph.


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