By Brian McDonnell
Although a spirited Borrisokane closed the gap between the sides to a single point (0-11 to 0-12) by the 39th minute Portroe responded well to the challenge and surged toward the final whistle at a very wet MacDonagh Park, Nenagh on Sunday afternoon.
Kevin O’Halloran, Niall Gleeson, John Sheedy and Mark Gennery shone for a Portroe team who always looked capable of going up a gear should the circumstances demand it.
Colm Larkin (free) handed Borrisokane an initial lead before points from Conor Leo, Kevin O’Halloran (sideline) and John Sheedy (free) helped Portroe into a 0-3 to 0-1 lead by the ninth minute.
Larkin converted a second free for Borrisokane before Kevin O’Halloran fired over a superb point to hand Portroe a 0-4 to 0-2 lead.
Two more Colm Larkin frees, however, dragged Borrisokane back into contention and the sides were level at 0-4 apiece by the 17th minute.
Some smashing combination play set up John Sheedy for a neat point in the 19th minute which Colm Larkin (free) cancelled out in the 22nd. In the 23rd Darren Gleeson made a fine double save to deny Andrew Austin and Éanna Dooley before two John Sheedy frees and another terrific Kevin O’Halloran effort helped Portroe into a 0-8 to 0-5 lead.
In the 28th minute O’Halloran swung over his second sideline of the afternoon before Colm Larkin and John Sheedy traded late frees to leave four between them at the break - 0-10 to 0-6. Borrisokane failed to score from play in the opening half.
Portroe’s Mark Gennery and Borrisokane’s Graham McMahon then added to the respective side’s tally before a John Sheedy ’65 left five between them (0-12 to 0-7) in the 34th minute.
Borrisokane then enjoyed their most dominant period of the game and hit four points in a rousing four minutes - Philip Austin, Seosamh Cleary, Colm Larkin (free) and Gary Ryan contributed scores which left one between them (0-12 to 0-11) in the 39th minute.
With twenty minutes to play Enda Brennan made a fine save from Kevin O’Halloran as Portroe sought to re-establish themselves in this contest. Seconds later Mark Gennery set up John Sheedy for a three-pointer which broke the hearts of Borrisokane in the 41st minute.
An impressive brace of points from Mark Gennery forced Portroe into a 1-14 to 0-12 while a Colm Larkin free brought the scoring to a close from a Borrisokane point of view with ten minutes to play.
Mark Gennery set up Kevin O’Halloran for his fifth point of the afternoon in the 54th minute before a John Sheedy free left six between them with four minutes to play.
Frustration got the better of Borrisokane’s Enda Forde in the 58th minute - the centre-back was sent off following a tangle with Portroe’s Mark Gennery.
Points from Michael Sheedy and Ruadhan Mulrooney brought this one-sided contest to a conclusion.
Portroe: Darren Gleeson, Christopher O’Riordan, Noel O’Halloran, Niall Gleeson, Justin Conroy, Colm Gleeson, Simon Kelly, Jimmy Creamer, Shane O’Brien, Michael Sheedy (0-1), Conor Leo (0-1), John Sheedy (1-7, 0-5 frees, 0-1 ’65), James Ryan, Kevin O’Halloran (0-5, 0-2 sidelines), Mark Gennery (0-3). Subs: (41st) David Gleeson for James Ryan, (44th) Ruadhan Mulrooney (0-1) for Conor Leo.
Borrisokane: Enda Brennan, Brian Davis, Conor Forde, Cathal Dooley, Seosamh Cleary (0-1), Enda Forde, Shane Nevin, Gary Power, Graham McMahon (0-1), Andrew Austin, Colm Larkin (0-9, 0-9 frees), Peter McSherry, Gary Ryan, Éanna Dooley, Philip Austin (0-1). Subs: (43rd) Gerard Reddan for Gary Ryan, (53rd) Michael Gohery (0-1) for Éanna Dooley, (57th) Paddy Gavin for Andrew Austin.
Referee: Ger Fitzpatrick (Roscrea).