This was always going to be a mammoth task. Fielding without regulars Padraig Kelly, Cian Burke, Jack Kenny & of course free-taker Cillian Fahey who sustained that horrible injury in the first round outing, Pearses were up against it from the word go. Playing against a strong first half Ballymac breeze didn’t help matters either.
Portumna opened the scoring through a free on the 4th minute. A minute later, they raised their first green flag when three Pearses lads attempted to clear a ball; a tame clearance fell to Portumna’s No. 7 whose effort from 40yards dipped under Darren Moran’s crossbar. Pearses opened their account on 8mins when Harry Mitchell was fouled & he easily converted the free while Jonah Donnellan pointed from play. Portumna tacked on 2 more points, 1 from play & a free with Pearses response through a Harry Mitchell free. Portumna struck for their second goal on 18minutes as the visitors under the watchful eye of Joe Canning went 2-3 to 0-3 in front. Dara Scarry then drew 2 fouls on 2 successive occasions as Harry converted both frees to put 4 points between them. 3 more points on the bounce from play from Portumna before the break to Pearses sole reply from a Mitchell free put a 6 point margin between them at half time. Pearses 0-6; Portumna 2-6.
Just after the restart, we saw the introduction of Daniel Lydon. Portumna troubled the scoreboard again when No. 7 & young Kelly at full forward put them 8 points in charge. With Harry missing a free after the restart, Jonah Donnellan took over free taking duties & converted after Dylan Roche was fouled bursting out of defence. Jonah Donnellan offered a bit of a life line when he caught the resultant puck out, burst forward and powered a good effort to the net to claw it back to 4 points. Two Pearses frees were wasted from Donnellan and to add to the woes with 8 mins to play Dylan Roche saw red for a double yellow in a case of mistaken identity. Both sides exchanged frees in the closing stages, Donnellan for Pearses. Pearses just couldn’t build on the score in the final few minutes as the game petered out. Final score: Pearses 1-8; Portumna 2-9.
Scorers: Jonah Donnellan 1-3 (0-2F); Harry Mitchell 0-5F.
Panel: Darren Moran, James Queeney, Dillon Roche, Cathal Hynes, Fionn Donohue, Diarmuid Ryan, Conor Hillary, Jonah Donnellan, Anthony Feeney, Conor Walsh, Harry Mitchell, David Walsh, Keith Kitt, Dara Scarry, Kyle McDonagh, Daniel Lydon.