The first week in November brought us a handful of big hurling games with two Laois clubs in Leinster championship action and two U-21 hurling games down for decision.
This week’s Team of the Week is drawn from those games with Camross, Rathdowney-Errill, Portlaoise, The Harps and Borris-Kilcotton all represented.
1 – Tadhg Doran (Camross)
Doran didn’t have a whole lot of saves to make against Mount Leinster Rangers but he dealt well with what did come his way and his puckouts were good too
2 – Frank Flanagan (Portlaoise)
Flanagan played four games in eight days for Portlaoise, a gruelling schedule particularly at this time of year. A talented player in both codes he was very good in their two U-21 hurling games last week.
3 – Martin Burke (Camross)
The Mount Leinster Rangers attack asked a lot of questions of the Camross defence but they kept them to 13 points in 60 minutes before the Carlow side hit a flurry of scores in injury time and Burke competed well throughout.
4 – Pakie Flynn (The Harps)
The Harps’ long trip to Navan was a bridge too far as they went down to Meath senior champions Kiltale. Flynn, however, had a decent game, carrying on from a solid season for him.
5 – Jake Creagh (Rathdowney-Errill)
Rathdowney-Errill booked their place in the U-21 hurling final thanks to a hard-earned win over Portlaoise on Sunday morning. Creagh was centre-back for that team but we include him on the wing for this selection.
6 – Gearoid Burke (Camross)
Burke has had a very good year with Camross at centre-back and while Sunday was their toughest outing, he was a key part of their second-half revival when they were down to 14 men.
7 – Joe Geaney (Portlaoise)
Geaney was another of the Portlaoise contingent to have a busy week as he played three games in six days. Two good displays for the U-21 hurlers earns him his place here.
8 – Aaron Bergin (Portlaoise)
Bergin scored 2-10 in Portlaoise’s U-21 quarter-final replay win over Borris-Kilcotton on Tuesday and followed it up with 0-10 against Rathdowney-Errill on Sunday. An automatic selection on this side.
9 – Eric Killeen (Rathdowney-Errill)
Killeen played senior for Laois this year and he showed that quality on Sunday at U-21 level. One of the top men on a strong Rathdowney-Errill team.
10 – Zane Keenan (Camross)
Camross need him to shoot the lights out almost every day he goes out and while he couldn’t get enough to pull them through on this occasion, his free-taking was superb and he also hit a couple of brilliant points from play.
11 – Jack Kelly (Rathdowney-Errill)
Kelly was one of four Rathdowney-Errill U-21 players to hurl senior with Laois this year and he was very effective on Sunday morning as they booked their place in this year’s final.
12 – Aaron Dunphy (Borris-Kilcotton)
Borris-Kilcotton’s reign as Laois U-21 hurling champions came to an end on Tuesday night as Portlaoise got the better of them in the quarter-final. But Dunphy kept them in touch for the most part, finishing with 10 points to his name.
13 – Mark Dowling (Camross)
Dowling scored the crucial goal in Camross’s county final win over Clough-Ballacolla after coming on as a sub and he started on Sunday following the injury to Niall Holmes. Got on a lot of ball and ran at the Mount Leinster Rangers defence in a really lively performance.
14 – Paddy McKane (Rathdowney-Errill)
McKane was the top scorer for Rathdowney-Errill in their U-21 hurling semi-final over Portlaoise, hitting six points including a couple of very well-struck ’65s.
15 – Jamie Dooley (Borris-Kilcotton)
Dooley scored two goals from full-forward for Borris-Kilcotton in the U-21 quarter-final loss to Portlaoise but it wasn’t enough to prolong their championship campaign.