The football season on the domestic front reached its conclusion at adult level over the weekend.
The senior final was played and for the 33rd time, the Jack Delaney Cup will spend the next 12 months in Portlaoise.
Malachy McNulty’s men began slowly but two goals towards the end of the first half tipped the scale their way.
Ballylinan pushed them hard but ultimately just came up short in what was their first county final appearance since 1987 – and just their second ever.
On the same day, the curtain raiser saw Emo-Courtwood-The Rock win their first U-17 title at the expense of Stradbally Parish Gaels.
Meanwhile, there were also two U-21 FC games down for decision.
St Joseph’s got the better of Emo-Courtwood-The Rock in one while Graiguecullen had similar success against Ballyroan-Abbey in the other.
So here is our latest Team of The Week:
1 – Aaron Cooney (St Joseph’s)
St Joseph’s won comfortable against Emo-Courtwood-the Rock last Friday but it might not have been as routine only for Cooney. The senior keeper pulled off a number of fine saves over the hour, most notably from Alan Kinsella.
2 – Andrew Flynn (Emo-Courtwood-The Rock)
The forwards on the U-17 Emo-Courtwood-The Rock team are so impressive that it is sometimes easy to overlook how good their defenders are as well. Andrew Flynn was excellent at corner back on Sunday and held his man scoreless from play.
3 – Kieran Lillis (Portlaoise)
Had a real ding-dong battle with Gary Walsh. The two county men went at it from the off with Walsh initially getting the upper-hand in the first 15 minutes. However, Lillis came roaring back after that and if he stays fit and commits to Laois next year, he has to be an automatic starter.
4 – Aaron McEvoy (Ballyroan-Abbey)
Ballyroan-Abbey endured a tough time of it last Friday against one of the favourites for the U-21 Graiguecullen. But one man who did well was defender Aaron McEvoy who also managed to pop up with a point.
5 – Chris Finn (Portlaoise)
If ever a man put himself forward for Laois selection, Chris Finn has done all he can this year. He was excellent again on Sunday and should be given the chance to prove his worth for Laois if he is willing.
6 – Trevor Collins (Graiguecullen)
Established himself as a regular with the Laois seniors this year and has kicked on at club level ever since. Starred at centre back for Graiguecullen against Ballyroan-Abbey and seems to be getting better all the time.
7 – Dean Brophy (St Joseph’s)
Very unlucky not to make this list last week but is certainly deserving of a place this time around. The 17-year-old flew up and down the wing for St Joseph’s against Emo-Courtwood-The Rock and showed great composure on the ball too.
8 – Ciarán McEvoy (Portlaoise)
Another man who has put himself in the frame for a Laois call up this year. Portlaoise have routinely been criticised for having a weak midfield over the past ten years but McEvoy’s promotion to the senior ranks seems to have changed that this year.
9 – Pádraig McEvoy (Ballylinan)
The school teacher has been a real warrior for Ballylinan all year alongside midfield partner Jamie Farrell. Another player likely to be in contention for a place in Sugrue’s squad.
10 – Conor Boyle (Portlaoise)
The Andrea Pirlo of Laois GAA. Every time Conor Boyle is in possession the game just seems to slow down until he picks out a pass or kicks a score. A great servant for his club who oozes class.
11 – Killian Horgan (Stradbally Parish Gaels)
It was a tough afternoon for the Gaels as they went down to Emo-Courtwood-The Rock in the U-17 final. But for the second week in a row, Killian Horgan makes this list. His switch to centre forward at half time helped the Gaels cut the deficit to three points at one stage but they couldn’t kick on.
12 – Matthew Byron (Emo-Courtwood-The Rock)
Scoring 1-8 in a county final is the stuff of dreams and Matthew Byron achieved that. He was flawless from frees and looks a real prospect for the future.
13 – Paul Cahillane (Portlaoise)
Man of the match in the senior final and deservedly so. Paul Cahillane was in excellent form on Sunday and ended the game with 1-6.
14 – Niall Dunne (Emo-Courtwood-The Rock)
Emo-Courtwood-The Rock only had three scorers in the U-17 final and their joint-highest one was Niall Dunne. His tally of 2-5 equaled Byron’s but his was all from play.
15 – Gary Walsh (Ballylinan)
Ballylinan were brilliant in the first twenty minutes of the final on Sunday and much of that was down to Gary Walsh. He kicked four points in that period and although he faded a bit in the second half, he still ended the game with seven points.