8 °CMon, 10

Portumna hit three to share points

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brian.lowry@midlandtribune.ie

This game went down to the wire with a chance for both teams in the last few minutes to take all three points in this important clash in a fight to stay in the Premier Division.

Two different styles with Portumna willing to work the ball around the field and Holycross taking the more direct route through midfield where they were doing well in the air and working off the second ball.

There was no settling in period as both sides mounted attacks in the first quarter with Portumna getting the opener on 16 minutes when Thomas Haugh headed home at the post from a nicely executed Ronan O'Meara cross. The last eight minutes of the half saw three goals being scored. The first was an equaliser for Holycross by Eoin O'Riordan who took a very tight line in the box and finished well not giving Mike Starr a chance in the Portumna net.

Portumna piled on the pressure resulting in two corners and teh second saw a delivery in by Ryan Hanrahan for Malcolm Flannery to climb and head home on 43 minutes. Portumna will be dissapointed to give away a penalty so close to half time which was dispatched by Jimmy King on 44 minutes. The teams went in all square.

Portumna were off the blocks straight away in the second half with Malcolm Flannery, who had been Portumna's outstanding player throughout the game, being taken down in the left of the box on his way to goal. David Nee struck the penalty on 48 minutes to put Portumna back in front. A frenetic scramble in the Portumna box on 53 minutes saw Eoin O'Riordan on hand again to bring them back all square. A period of good football from both sides did not cough up a decider with Alan O'Meara Portumna striking the post and a frantic defence by Portumna in a crowded box saw Holycross hit the post and Mike Starr making an excellent point blank save before Ciaran Haugh cleared down field with four minutes left. Shortly after that Malcolm Flannery had a shout for a penalty with two minutes to go which was denied.

Fair result for both teams that came looking for the three points to strengthen their position. It ended Holycross 3 Portumna 3.

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