The hurling season has concluded and what a year it has been.
Sunday saw the conclusion of the Senior, Senior A and Minor hurling championships.
Clough-Ballacolla-Mountrath and Portlaoise inflicted misery upon The Harps as they defeated them in both the Minor and the Senior A deciders.
Then we had the senior game where Camross reigned supreme again, seeing off Rathdowney-Errill.
All six clubs who contested finals as represented in our selection this week – with county champions Camross leading the way with five representatives.
Check it out below:
1 – Lorcan Fitzpatrick (The Harps)
A simply incredible display by the captain of The Harps minor team.
Had it not been for the heroics of Lorcan Fitzpatrick, this game would have been very one-sided. He pulled off two outstanding saves from point blank range in either half to deny Adam Kirwan. Simply stunning.
2 – Joe Phelan (Camross)
Joe Phelan is one of Camross’ most consistent players and he was at his very best in the final on Sunday.
His match winning interception to thwart Mark Kavanagh at the death was the highlight of another stunning display.
3 – Daniel Comerford (The Harps)
It was a disappointing day for The Harps but this young man was very impressive once again.
Hurling at full back, Daniel Comerford won most things that came his way over the course of the hour but it was at the other end of the field that his team struggled.
4 – Frank Flanagan (Portlaoise)
In Our Podcast this morning, hurling analyst Tommy Buggy said that Frank Flanagan ‘looked like an All-Star in the first half’ of the win over The Harps.
He was one of the players that returned to The Town after a summer in America and he was rock solid again in the final.
5 – Joe Fitzpatrick (Rathdowney-Errill)
We reckon new Laois hurling manager Eddie Brennan wishes this man was four or five years younger.
Joe Fitzpatrick won an incredible amount of Camross puck-outs in the first half as he side enjoyed the better of the exchanges. A brilliant servant.
6 – Cahir Healy (Portlaoise)
Chair Healy was named man of the match in the Senior A final and he will be hoping to win another medal next week with the footballers.
His intelligent reading of the game is second to none and after an injury hit 12 months, new Laois manager Brennan will be delighted that he is back to his best.
7 – Lorcan Burke (Camross)
Lorcan Burke seems to chip in with a long range point in almost every game that he played this year.
He did it again in the final win over Rathdowney-Errill and he won a savage amount of ball on the half back line throughout.
8 – Tomas Burke (Camross)
In the absence of his usual midfield partner Gearoid Burke, Mossy Burke really stood up for Camross on Sunday.
He scored a great point and really dug in the second half when it was required.
9 – Cormac Rigney (Portlaoise)
What a weekend it was for this young man. In the absence of regular free taker Aaron Bergin, Cormac Rigney took over and nailed all bar one.
He showed composure and bottle that defied his young age and is a player who will be a big one for The Town for years to come.
10 – Ciaran Collier (Camross)
Man of the match in the senior final and it caps a brilliant year for Ciaran Collier.
His ability to catch the ball on the run is something no other player in the county has and you’d imagine Eddie Brennan will be trying everything he can to get him back in with Laois.
11 – Tadhg Dowling (Rathdowney-Errill)
Rathdowney-Errill were dealt the hammer blow of losing both Ross King and Shane Dollard within a couple of minutes of each other.
But in their absence, Tadhg Dowling caught fire and smashed over three second half points as his side mounted a comeback which fell short.
12 – David O’Mahony (Portlaoise)
Scored 1-1 of Portlaoise’s total and was a real thorn in the side of The Harps all day.
His powerful running and direct play is a joy to behold – and his influence on the game grew as it went on.
13 – Mark Dowling (Camross)
Mark Dowling is a real goal poacher and he was at it again in the second half for Camross.
He had been quiet enough up to that point but he caught fire and scored a brilliant goal which was followed by a lovely point. Has been so consistent for Camross all year.
14 – Mark Kavanagh (Rathdowney-Errill)
Last year, Willie Hyland scored 15 points in the county final for Clough-Ballacolla but still came out on the losing side.
Yesterday, Mark Kavanagh landed 12 points for Rathdowney-Errill but suffered the same fate. After an injury hit couple of years, it is brilliant to see him back to his best.
15 – Cillian Dunne (Clough-Ballacolla-Mountrath)
The MHC final was a low scoring affair but over half of the victors total came via one of the youngest players on the pitch.
Cillian Dunne fired over six points as Clough-Ballacolla-Mountrath claimed glory. Cillian is still U-15 and was part of the victorious Laois Arrabawn winning team from the summer. Probably the youngest ever player to make our list but one with a very big future.
SUBS OF THE WEEK
Brandon McGinley (Rathdowney-Errill)
In the space of the last 12 months, Brandon McGinley has been on the losing side in the Senior, Intermediate and Junior hurling finals.
The teenager came off the bench early in this one and fired over a good point. He will surely look to nail down a starting berth next season.
Eoin O’Sullivan (The Harps)
For the second game running, Eoin O’Sullivan was introduced as a first half sub for The Harps.
He came on for Shane Phelan and attempted to shore up the defence, winning some vital ball along the way.
Dwane Palmer (Camross)
It has been surprising that Palmer failed to get back into the starting 15 since he returned from America in the summer but he has made huge contributions from the bench in both the semi final and final.
He came on at midfield at half time and played a big part as Camross triumphed once again.
Dean Lynch (Portlaoise)
Like Palmer above him, Dean Lynch has had to make do with a role from the bench this year for Portlaoise.
He was on twice in the final – first as a blood sub for around ten minutes and then for the last ten minutes for Joe Geaney.