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Laois player aiming for prestigious All Ireland rugby glory while big game comes to Portlaoise

Clontarf players mob Conor Kelly after his late drop goal last week secured their place in this season's Fraser McMullen Cup final

A young rugby player from Portlaoise is bidding for All Ireland  glory this weekend when he lines out in the prestigious Fraser McMullen Cup final.

Conor Kelly is outhalf on the Clontarf U-20 team that take on Dublin University in the final this Sunday in the Wanderers ground in Dublin and he’ll be looking to carry the impressive form he showed in the semi-final into this game.

He kicked 13 points in last week’s dramatic 28-27 win over UCD, including the winning drop goal deep in injury time.

Kelly, who has played for Ireland at schools level and was with the U-20 team for warm-up games prior to the Six Nations this year, is part of the Leinster Sub Academy and has also featured for the Clontarf first team in Division 1A of the AIL.

He began his rugby career with Portlaoise before then playing with Cistercian Roscrea, whom he helped to the 2016 Leinster Schools Senior Cup final. His father Aidan and uncle Declan have both a long association with Portlaoise.

Clontarf came through the Leinster section of the competition initially before then seeing off Garryowen 37-30 in the quarter-final and then UCD in last weekend’s semi-final.

Kelly’s former Cistercian Roscrea team-mate Keith Kavanagh helped Shannon clinch the AIL Division 1B trophy last weekend while former Portlaoise player Alan Kingsley is coach of the Navan team that are seeking a second successive promotion. They take on Greystones this weekend in their bid to go up to Division 2A.

Should they win they will play the winners of Rainey Old Boys and MU Barnhall in a promotion-deciding game.

Elsewhere, Portlaoise will host this season’s ladies All Ireland league final on Saturday when Old Belvedere from Dublin and Limerick side UL Bohs meet. That game kicks off in Togher at 1pm.

A host of Ireland ladies internationals will face off in that clash with Sene Naoupu and Nora Stapleton on the Old Belvedere team and Niamh Kavanagh, Niamh Briggs and Gillian Bourke among UL Bohs key players.

SEE ALSO – Portarlington man helps Shannon to AIL promotion

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Steven Miller is owner and managing editor of LaoisToday.ie. From Laois, Steven studied Journalism in DCU and has 14 years experience in the media, almost 10 of those in an editorial role. Husband of Emily, father of William and Lillian, he's happiest when he's telling stories or kicking a point.