Before the so called ‘Beast from the East’ bares down on the country next week, a number of soccer games involving Laois teams took place this week.
In all, clubs competed in four different leagues and the majority of them enjoyed good results.
The action began on Friday night when Portlaoise AFC recorded an emphatic 5-1 win in the Leinster Senior League.
They hosted Sacred Heart Killinarden where braces from Jason Murphy and Shane Collins, along with another from Jody Dillon, saw them claim all three points.
In the CCFL, the majority of the teams were involved in cup action where there was disappointment for Rosenallis as their Paddy Cotter Cup adventure ended at home to Birr Town.
Three Laois teams were involved in Round 2 of the Michael Dolan Division 1 Cup with two of them advancing.
Mountmellick United are through to Round 3 after defeating Horseleap while Towerhill Rovers are also through.
They clashed with Portlaoise Shamrocks in a local derby where Liam McGovern headed them ahead just before half time.
The Shamrocks pressed hard in the second half, having most of the play, but Towerhill’s back four and keeper kept them out until 77 mins when Brian Farrell scored direct from a free kick.
Nevertheless, Towerhill broke up the pitch and from a quick set play Sean Mullhall found himself onside from a ball that held up in the wind he showed good composure finishing past Brian McCormack in the goals in the 88th minute.
Shamrocks had a late penalty shout waved away and Kevin Fitzpatrick couldn’t find the target from a free kick on the last play of the game.
Elsewhere, Stradbally Town and into the semi finals of the Division 2 Denis Delaney Cup after seeing off fellow Laois side Portarlington Town.
After a goalless first half, Stradbally went behind on the resumption of play and had to battle back to win.
A great move involving six first touch passes between Damien Murphy, Liam Knowles and Danny Kelly saw Podge Fitzpatrick finish from eight yards for the equalizer on 56 minutes.
Fitzpatrick returned the favour to Murphy who put the away side ahead from a good passing move on 75 minutes. Fitzpatrick guaranteed a semi-final spot with his second in injury time.
In the same competition, Eoin Fitzpatrick and Joie Bergin were on the scoreboard for O’Moore FC but they went out following a penalty shoot-out against Clonown Rovers.
There was another all-Laois encounter in the Oliver Ward Division 3 Cup as Mountrath outfit St Aengus went up against Portlaoise side Maryborough.
The latter have been struggling at the foot of the table all season and their fortunes did not change here as goals from Jason McCormack, Darren Haughton, Jake Walsh and John Lowry saw St Aengus to a 4-1 win.
Rosenallis B are into the next round of the Division 4 cup after a 1-0 win while the only side in league action, Clonaslee United, went down 2-1 at home to Monksland.
In Kilkenny, there were contrasting fortunes for the Laois teams in Division 1 Cup action.
Clover United enjoyed a thumping win away to Fort Rangers while Durrown Lions lost 4-1 at home to Evergreen.
While in Carlow, Crettyard United gave their chances of winning the Premier Division a major shot in the arm.
They faced leaders Hannover Harps and beat them 2-1 to cut their lead at the top to seven points while Crettyard have three games in hand.
The other game of significance across the border saw Wolfhill maintain their eight point lead at the top of Division 3.
See all the results below:
LEINSTER SENIOR LEAGUE
Portlaoise AFC 5 Sacred Heart Killinarden 1
Under 17 Premier Division
Portlaoise 2 Willow Park 4
Under 17 Division 1
St Aengus 3 Stradbally Town 1
Willow Park 1 Mullingar Ath 3 (Mullingar Ath Champions)
Under 19 Premier Division
Clongowes Wood 3 Portlaoise 2
Under 19 Division 1
Banagher Utd 3 Clonaslee Utd 2
Mountmellick Utd 2 Portlaoise 3
Paddy Cotter Cup 2nd Round;
Rosenallis A 0 Birr Town A 1
Michael Dolan Division 1 Cup 2nd Round:
Horseleap Utd 0 Mountmellick Utd 1
Towerhill Rovers 2 Portlaoise Shamrocks 1
Dennis Delaney Division 2 Cup Quarter Finals:
O’Moore FC 2 Clonown Rovers 2 (Clonown win 4-2 on pens)
Portarlington Town 1 Stradbally Town 3
Oliver Ward Division 3 Cup 2nd Round:
St Aengus 4 Maryborough 1
Division 4 Cup 1st Round:
Cloneygowan Celtic 0 Rosenallis B 1
Clonaslee Utd 1 Monksland Utd A 2
Division 1 Cup:
Fort Rangers 1 Clover United 4
Lions 1 Evergreen C 4
Ballacolla 0 Bridge United 5
Clover United B 2 Freshtown 2
St Fiacc’s 0 New Oak 4
St Pat’s 2 Parkville 1
Hannover 1 Crettyard United 2
Crettyard United B 3 New Oak Boys B 6
St Joseph’s 3 Killeshin B 4
Wolfhill 5 Vale Wanderers B 1
St Fiacc’s B 0 Nurney Villa B 2
Crettyard 2 Newpark 0
Thomastown 4 St Fiacc’s 2