This one has all the ingredients to be a real cracker.
Ballyroan-Abbey and Portarlington have been the stand-out teams in this age group all year and they will meet in the minor football final at 1.30pm in O’Moore Park this afternoon.
Ballyroan-Abbey won the league final earlier this year – defeating Killeshin-Crettyard – and will be hoping to add their first championship at the grade since 1977.
They have been in great form all year and breezed through their group winning every game that they played – including over today’s opponents Portarlington.
They gave a walkover to Portlaoise in their final game but that did not matter as they were assured of top spot regardless of the outcome of that game.
This set up a semi final with Stradbally Parish Gaels two weeks’ ago. Ballyroan-Abbey led by 1-8 to 0-6 at half time and although the Gaels came back to within a point with 20 minutes to play thanks to a Mark O’Connell goal, the victors kicked on well again.
Goals from Brian Whelan and Cathal Doyle saw them run out comfortable victors in the end.
Meanwhile, Portarlington finished second in the group behind Ballyroan-Abbey which saw them face Killeshin-Crettyard in their semi final.
This was an extremely one-sided affair with Portarlington taking control early on and running out 4-19 to 0-6 winners in the end.
Both sides are littered with players who represented the Laois minors this year. Portarlington’s half back line contains Daragh Galvin, Rioghan Murphy and Laois vice-captain Cathal Bennett.
Sean Michael Corcoran missed the semi final win with a finger injury but should be fit for the final while Mikey Bennett is likely to be in midfield again.
Other notable players on the Portarlington team include Patrick Sobczak, PJ Ward and Adam Lambkin.
Ballyroan-Abbey are also stacked with players of county standard. Ciaran Byrne, Cathal Doyle, Enda McWey and Brian Whelan all represented the footballers this year while Fionan Mahony played for the hurlers.
Lawson Obular, Adam Dunne and Shaun Fitzpatrick are powerful players who should play big roles in the game.
Portarlington’s half back line is the key to their team and if Ballyroan-Abbey can find a way to curb their influence in the game, it could prove the difference.