Clough-Ballacolla-Mountrath became minor hurling champions in September and we produced our Team of the year in November.
It was great to be able to recognise the efforts of these 15 young men over the course of the season.
The Minor Hurling Championship came to a conclusion last month as Clough-Ballacolla-Mountrath defeated The Harps to claim the cup.
The amalgamated side, made up of players from Ballacolla, Moutrath and Trumera, won the trophy thanks to a fantastic performance from 15-year-old Cillian Dunne.
And succeeded Na Fianna-Camross who claimed glory in 2017.
Clough-Ballacolla-Mountrath lead the way on our Team of the Year with six spots while defeated finalists The Harps have four.
In total, seven clubs have representation on the team.
Check it out below:
1 – Lorcan Fitzpatrick (The Harps)
The Harps keeper Lorcan Fitzpatrick was their captain and he made a strong of fine saves in the final.
His puck-outs were excellent and he was desperately unlucky to come out on the wrong side.
2 – Eamon Fitzpatrick (Abbeyleix)
The first dual player on the list is defender Eamon Fitzpatrick who won the MFC title with Ballyroan-Abbey.
His Abbeyleix side topped their group but came up short against The Harps in the semi final. He is a tenacious defender who never gives his opposing forward an inch.
3 – Danny Brennan (Park-Ratheniska)
The second dual player on this list is a young player with a very bright future ahead of him – having also won the MFC with Ballyroan-Abbey
Danny hurls with Ballinakill Gaels and they too reached the semi final where they lost to Clough-Ballacolla-Mountrath. Brennan also played for the Laois minors this year and will be eligible again in 2019.
4 – Gearoid O’Neill (Trumera)
The Trumera lads hurled with the Clough-Ballacolla-Mountrath amalgamation this year and O’Neill was an integral part of their success.
He was rock solid at full back and snuffed out a host of The Harps attacks in the final.
5 – Mark Kehoe (Ballinakill)
Keogh is another dual player who has spent the Autumn excelling with the Laois footballers in the Fr Manning Cup.
A very strong ball carrier, he is also eligible for this grade next year.
6 – Thep Fitzpatrick (Rathdowney-Errill)
Rathdowney-Errill lost out on a place in the semi finals on points difference and headed for the Shield where they defeated Raheen Parish Gaels but the final against Camross-Na Fianna was never played.
Thep Fitzpatrick enjoyed a great year with the Laois minors and his school St Fergal’s – form he carried into the championship for Rathdowney-Errill.
7 – James Duggan (The Harps)
The Harps pushed Clough-Ballacolla-Mountrath all the way in the final and this man was pivotal to a lot of the good things they did.
He chased every ball in midfield and his work-rate was simply phenomenal.
8 – Aaron Grady (The Harps)
Like the aforementioned Duggan, Aaron Grady also caught the eye in the MHC final.
Another hard worker in the engine room of The Harps and one who looks like having a big future.
9 – Kevin Mulhall (Clough-Ballacolla)
Kevin Mulhall capped a memorable year with club, school and county by claiming the MHC title last month.
He was pivotal in St Fergal’s run to the All-Ireland final and then scored a tally of 4-2 in the final as Laois won the Celtic Challenge. He was excellent for his side in the club championship too.
10 – Mikey Monaghan (The Harps)
Monaghan was The Harps main scorer all year and he didn’t disappoint in the final.
He scored six of their eight points and was flawless on frees from all angles.
11 – Evan Hawkes (Clough-Ballacolla)
Joint captain of the team with Mountrath’s Gearoid Williams, Evan Hawkes enjoyed a great year.
Comfortable in several positions, his versatility is crucial and he will be a big player for Clough-Ballacolla in years to come.
12 – Cathal O’Shaughnessy (Ballinakill)
An explosive player who has a real eye for goal.
O’Shaughnessy played for the Laois minors this year and will be eligible again in 2019.
13 – Adam Kirwan (Trumera)
The Trumera man is the link line in an all-conquering full forward line.
He hit the frees for the Laois minors this year and showed deadly accuracy from play for his side on the road to glory.
14 – Mark Hennessy (Clough-Ballacolla)
Hennessy was probably a bit quiet by his own high standards in the final but his performances up to this stage make him worthy of inclusion.
He shot the lights out for Clough-Ballaoclla-Mountrath in the group stages and was also free-scoring in the semi final win over Ballinakill Gaels.
15 – Cillian Dunne (Clough-Ballacolla)
Still an U-15, Cillian Dunne was man of the match in the MHC final and scored points from all over the field. He is a joy to watch and has the potential to be something very special.