It was another busy week of club hurling action and that can only mean one thing – our Team of the Week.
Players from 11 different clubs are represented – with Clough-Ballacolla leading the way with three players following their impressive demolition of Castletown in the SHC on Sunday evening.
Camross and Borris-Kilcotton have two each while Rathdowney-Errill, Ballinakill, Clonaslee, Slieve Bloom, Ballyfin Gaels, The Harps, Shanahoe, Abbeyleix and Mountmellick have one each. Mountmellick and Ballyfin Gaels share the same representative as Mick Bermingham is included for two impressive displays with the two sides in separate competitions.
Among those unfortunate to miss out are Aidan Corby (Clough-Ballacolla), Rory McEvoy (Abbeyleix), Simon Smith (Rosenallis), PJ Daly (Clonad), Shane Dollard (Rathdowney-Errill), Ciaran Collier (Camross), MJ Lalor (Ballypickas and Shanahoe Gaels) and Darragh Nolan (Park-Ratheniska/Timahoe)
1 – Enda Rowland (Abbeyleix)
He might have ended up on the losing team but he made four good saves and pointed six long-range frees for Abbeyleix against Borris-Kilcotton. You can’t as for much more than that from your keeper.
2 – Andrew Mortimer (Camross)
Mortimer is one of the newcomers to the Camross team this year and he has been very impressive. Quicky, tidy and assured, he was good again in their win over Rathdowney-Errill on Thursday night.
3 – Jack Kelly (Rathdowney-Errill)
Rathdowney-Errill made a dreadful start to their game against Camross but Kelly was one of their better performers over the course of the 60 minutes with a decent display again.
4 – Ronan Broderick (Clough-Ballacolla)
Ronan Broderick picked up Ben Conroy for most of Sunday’s game and did a fine job in limiting Castletown Gaels’ danger man
5 – John A Delaney (Clough-Ballacolla)
Castletown brought an extra player back into their own half for most of the game and John A Delaney ended up as the free man for long spells. Played it brilliantly as he cut out a lot of ball and used it well on each occasion.
6 – Rory Conroy (Clonaslee)
Clonaslee are developing into a force to be reckoned with the Senior ‘A’ grade and two wins from two games has them assured of a knockout place with a game against Rosenallis still to come in the group stages. Veteran centre-back Rory Conroy is one of their key men and he was impressive again in their win over Portlaoise
7 – Stephen Finan (Borris-Kilcotton)
Borris-Kilcotton have a settled enough team and they recorded a good win over Abbeyleix on Saturday night. They’ve a decent forward line but wing-back Stephen Finan was one of their best players and popped up with two brilliant points from play in the first half.
8 – Stephen Maher (Clough-Ballacolla)
Maher played most of Clough-Ballacolla’s game against Castletown in midfield. Scored three super points in the opening half as they built up an unassailable lead.
9 – Dan Bergin (Ballinakill)
Two wins from two games for Ballinakill who will have at least a quarter-final to look forward. They had a good spread of scorers in their win over Ballyfin Gaels but midfielder Dan Bergin hit three fine points from play.
10 – Zane Keenan (Camross)
When Camross were building up a big lead against Rathdowney-Errill, most of it was going through Keenan. Was exceptional in the first half when he scored five points from play and a couple of frees as well.
11 – Aaron Dunphy (Borris-Kilcotton)
For the second round running, Aaron Dunphy makes our Team of the Week. He was arguably the best player on the field during Borris-Kilcotton’s win over Abbeyleix and hit five points from play, all at important stages.
12 – Ciaran Conroy (Slieve Bloom)
Slieve Bloom have been in fine form in the IHC and Ciaran Conroy was instrumental to their win over Camross on Friday night when he scored a whopping 14 points. Excellent from frees and play, the young man is having a very good season to date.
13 – John Brophy (The Harps)
Former Laois player Brophy was impressive again for The Harps on Sunday night, finishing with 2-2. His two goals were brilliantly taken while he was also involved in a lot of other scores – including The Harps’s first goal where he brilliantly lifted the ball over the head of Mountrath keeper Scott Hetherington.
14 – Rhian Bergin (Shanahoe Gaels)
Shanahoe recorded a great win over neighbours Colt Gaels on Friday in O’Moore Park and Rhian Bergin’s free-taking was central to that. Hit 10 points in total as they have themselves a massive chance of reaching the knockout stages.
15 – Mick Bermingham (Mountmellick and Ballyfin Gaels)
Bermingham is a busy man and Saturday’s SHC ‘A’ game in the colours of Ballyfin Gaels was his third championship outing in seven days following appearances with the Kilcavan footballers and the Mountmellick hurlers. He scored 11 points for Mountmellick in their JHC win over Portlaoise and then followed that up with five more for Ballyfin Gaels, including two lovely points from play in the first half.