This year six Laois teams – four in football and two in ladies football – will be heading to Connacht for the Feile na nGael.
Portarlington, Ballyroan-Abbey, The Harps, O’Dempsey’s in football and St Conleth’s and Ballyfin in ladies football camogie are all representing Laois in their respective codes and divisions.
The weekend begins on Friday the each team playing two matches in the evening.
On Saturday morning they play the remaining team in their group, which will decide if they reach the Shield or Cup competitions.
Quarter-finals in both the Shield and Cup take place on Saturday afternoon with different venues hosting the semi-final and finals on Sunday.
Here is a run down on each of the teams:
Portarlington – Football
Division 2 Group A
Portarlington claimed their first ever Laois Feile title following an eight point victory over Portlaoise in the LOETB Centre of Excellence in April.
Captain Corey Geoghegan led a second half comeback which saw him score a brilliant goal and set up another as Portarlington turned a four point deficit around.
Portarlington’s achievement is made all the more remarkable by the fact that they went through the entire weekend with just 15 players.
They defeated Stradbally Parish Gaels, Killeshin and Ballylinan on their way to the final with the minimum amount of players as a rugby trip to England took away a number of players who would have been available to them otherwise.
PORTARLINGTON: Patrick Bennett, Kian Barry, Ben McEvoy, Jack Murphy, Fionn Ryan, Sean Michael Bracken, Hugo Emerson, Corey Geogheon Lyons, Conor Weldon, Daniel Stanfanov, Jordan Downey, Sean Bennett, Eoin McEvoy, Luke McEvoy, Kailyn Flood, Matthew O Sullivan, Ben McCann, Conor Maher, Tom Corcoran, Sean Michael Ward, Fionn Lyons
Management: Dermot Weldon,Damien Ryan, Mick Murphy and Mick Murphy
Portarlington v Ballinasloe (Mayo) 5.30pm in Ballinasloe
Portarlington v Four Masters (Donegal) 7pm in Ballinasloe
Portarlington v St Michael’s (Galway) 10.45am in Westside
Division 5 Group B
Ballyroan-Abbey defeated The Harps by a single point in the LOETB Centre of Excellence to claim the B title back in April.
There was little or nothing between these two teams at the end of the game as The Harps came back from a seven point deficit at half-time to come up just one shy by the final whistle.
It was the second weekend in a row that The Harps have experienced final heartache after losing the hurling decider to Camross seven days previous.
This was the first silverware this particular group of players from Ballyroan-Abbey have ever won and they will look to add an All-Ireland title this weekend
BALLYROAN-ABBEY: Jake Keane, Rian O’Mahoney, Daniel Cass, Luke Byrne; Tommy Ward, Tom O’Keeffe, Cormac Byrne; Darren Mulhall, Kyle Mullen, Jack Finlay, Fionn Delaney, Eli Quinn; Kallum Fitzpatrick, Ted Whelan, Stephen O’Donnell, Lee Palmer, Adam Jones, Ben Meredith, Ethan Robinson, Eoin Prendergast, James Walker, Tommy Ward, Colin Scully, Billy O’Sullivan, Cormac Byrne
Ballyroan-Abbey v Clifden (Galway) at 5.30pm in Islandeady
Ballyroan-Abbey v Castlemitchel (Kildare) 7.30pm in Islandeady
Ballyroan-Abbey v Crossmalina Deel Rovers (Mayo) 10.30am in Crossmalina
Division 10 Group B
The Harps are one of two boys teams that have received invites to compete in the competition this year.
After being beaten in both the hurling ‘A’ and football ‘B’ deciders, this is some reward for the players who competed valiantly in both finals.
THE HARPS: Lochlan Curran, Rory Walsh, Mark Downey , Donal Deegan, Will Duggan, Liam Kirby, Eoghan Murphy, Neil Stanley, Ciarán Flynn, Cole Brennan, Darragh Townsend, Jack Dunphy, Cormac Dunne, Bobby Murphy, Justin Duggan, Martin Drennan, Shane Shortall, Aaron Holohan, Simon Comerford, Tom Kennedy, Ross Deegan, Ciarán Walsh, Ethan Lafferty, Ross Deegan
The Harps v Stokestown (Roscommon) in Strokestown at 4.45pm
The Harps v St Joseph’s (Cavan) in Strokestown at 7pm
The Harps v Kilglass/St Barry’s in Tarmonbarry at 10.45am
Division 13 Group D
The second of the invited teams are O’Dempsey’s who will play in Division 13.
Their host team are Moycullen GFC which is 12km outside Galway city. There are a total of 21 players traveling to the Feile with a good mixture of 13 and 14 year olds that have played with each other up through the years.
The players are really looking forward to the whole Feile experience and to making new friends and new memories.
The club would also like to wish Portarlington Gracefield and St. Conleths the best of luck in the Feile over the coming weekend.
O’DEMPSEY’S: Diarmaid Fallon, Conor Kearney, Eimhin O’Neill, Lorcan Coleman, Alex Craig, Daragh Fox, Adam O’Leary, Sean Gutierrez, Eddie Bale, Ryan Phelan, Joe Finn, Seanan Fitzpatrick, Cian Byrne, Owen Bale, Darren Keogh, Nathan Duffy, Daniel Donoher, Eoin Garry, Aaron Costello, James Byrne, Dan Punch
MANAGEMENT TEAM: Eamonn Fitzpatrick, Paul Byrne and Tommy Fallon
O’Dempsey’s v Claregalway (Galway) in Moycullen 5.30pm
O’Dempsey’s v Clashmore/Kinsalebeg (Waterford) in Moycullen 7pm
O’Dempsey’s v Moycullen B (Galway) in Moycullen 10.15am
St Conleth’s – Ladies Football
Division 2 Group C
If there was ever a club making huge strides at underage level, it’s St Conleth’s. Their progress and focus on underage football has shown to have reaped rewards of seeds long sewn.
One particular group of skilled St Conleth’s players is their U14 panel. St Conleth’s defeated Portlaoise in the Laois ‘A’ Feile final this year, 1-4 to 0-4.
On their path to that final St Conleth’s came up against a determined St Brigid’s side but showed great character to win out by two points.
Portlaoise fought until the very end but sheer resilence and only allowing The Town kick two points in the opening half meant St Conleth’s saw this final out as Feile winners for the second year in a row.
This wasn’t the only trophy this young St Conleth’s side picked up this year. In a second meeting of the Feile finalists, St Conleth’s emerged on top of the Town – 3-9 to 2-5.
They are now placed in group C of division two against teams from Galway and Wicklow.
ST CONLETHS: Eibhinn Hodgins, Aoibhe Hoary, Siofra Dillon, Hayley Murray, Ciara Doyle, Aoibhe McMahon, Alice Kerins, Mellissa Donnelly, Sarah Hynes, Holly Hanway, Neala Byrne, Aoibhe Byron, Aoife Cummins, Rachel Donagher, Megan Murray, Ava Luttrell, Sarah Hyland, Saoirse Booth, Laoise Cooper Keogh, Orlaith Cooper Keogh, Aoife Donohoe, Susannah Hoey Moore, Eimear Gildrea, Sinead Slevin, Niamh Fenlon.
Management: Stephen Hoary, Pat Cummins, Siobhan Hanway, Tyrone Murray, Lisa Doran, Brian Donagher.
Glenamaddy Williamstown (Galway) v St Conleth’s 5.30pm in Glenamaddy
St Conleth’s v Tinahely (Wicklow) 7pm in Glenamaddy
Annaghdown (Galway) v St Conleth’s 10am in Annaghdown
Ballyfin – Ladies Football
Division 7 Group B
Ballyfin emerged victors in a very exciting affair against Mountrath in Laois ‘B’ final.
Both Ballyfin and Mountrath played very tough semi finals, with Ballyfin defeating Killeshin in the semi-final to emerge to the grand finale.
Both teams left it all on the field but it Ballyfin who finished victors on a scoreline of 5-4 to 3-1.
BALLYFIN: Aoife Brennan, Kacey Hogan, Ella Ryan, Eva Timmons, Blathin Smyth, Chloe Bergin, Deirbhile C-Fennell, Sally Horgan, Emer Dunne, Cara Goode, Hannah McEvoy, Ciara Meade, Ella Dunphy, Alannah Culbertson, Erinn Feighery, Kim Fitzpatrick, Abigail Culleton, Kelly Lalor, Niamh Goode, Sophie Culinan, Niamh Heffernan, Amy Moore, Isabel Conroy.
Management: Fergal Feighery, Anne-Marie Lloyd, Damien Cullinan, Kirsten Dunphy Classeon
Claregalway B (Galway) v Ballyfin 4.45pm in Kilconly (Galway)
St Kevin’s (Louth) v Ballyfin 7pm in Kilconly
Kilconly v Ballyfin 10am in Kilconly