It’s week three of the hurling championships and after a highly eventful round in senior, senior ‘A’ grades and intermediate grades – it’s time for another installment in our Team of The Week series.
We had action in the first, second, third and fourth grades of the club hurling championship over the last seven and we did our very best to bring you reports on all of the games.
Clough-Ballacolla lead the way with three players but a total of 12 clubs are represented.
Check it out below:
1 – Enda Rowland (Abbeyleix)
Abbeyleix put in a decent display against back-to-back county champions Camross at the weekend but just fell short in the second half.
Enda Rowland has to be in with a shout of winning an All Star later this year and he pulled off two fine saves to keep Abbeyleix competitive until Niall Holmes eventually beat him just before the end.
2 – Gareth O’Brien (Clonad)
Clonad staved off relegation with a fine win over Ballypickas at the weekend scoring 4-13.
While their attack was impressive, so too was their defence where teenager Gareth O’Brien shone. He made a lot of interceptions and vital blocks – looking right at home in the backs having played the earlier rounds as a forward.
3 – Lee Cleere (Clough-Ballacolla)
Clough-Ballacolla scored a brilliant win over Borris-Kilcotton at the weekend and their victory was also built on a fine defensive display.
Lee Cleere was placed on PJ Scully and although he scored 1-10, every score he managed apart from the goal came from frees though as Cleere limited his influence on the game.
4 – Podge Lawlor (Ballinakill)
Ballinakill had a great win over Portlaoise at the weekend and Podge Lawlor had a really good game.
He defended really well and also chipped in with a fine point as his side won by six.
5 – Jack Kelly (Rathdowney-Errill)
Jack Kelly was one of Laois’s best players this year and he has certainly carried that form into the club championship for Rathdowney-Errill.
Kelly was rock-solid for Rathdowney-Errill once again as his side collected their second win in a row against Castletown following their Round 1 win over Ballinakill.
6 – Darren Maher (Clough-Ballacolla)
Like Cleere above, Darren Maher was also tasked with curtailing one of Borris-Kilcotton’s main attackers and he did a fine job.
Aaron Dunphy has scored freely for Laois and his club this year but he was held without a score at the weekend.
7 – Fiachra C-Fennell (Rosenallis)
When Rosenallis were reduced to 14 players following the dismissal of John Lennon, the youngest of the C-Fennell brothers really stepped up for Rosenallis.
He fired over a point and his athleticism allows him to cover ground that others would struggle to match.
8 – Podge Delaney (The Harps)
Delaney played at centre forward for The Harps at the weekend in their win over Slieve Bloom but we have chosen him at midfield here.
He scored five points from play in that game as he continues to show his versatility having played much of the year to date in defence for Laois.
9 – Seamus Dwyer (Ballinakill)
Like a fine wine, Seamus Dwyer seems to be getting better with age.
Named in the forwards, he came back and played out the field against Portlaoise where he popped up with two long range points. He is a serious servant to his club.
10 – Darragh Connolly (Ballyfin)
Ballyfin are now two wins from two in the Senior ‘A’ hurling championship following narrow wins over Clonaslee and Mountrath.
Darragh Connolly has been impressive in both games and he chipped in with three points in the 1-17 to 1-14 win over Mountrath.
11 – James Keyes (Colt)
After defeat to Mountrath in Round 1, Colt’s championship was on the line when they faced Clonaslee at the weekend.
They needed a big performance and centre forward James Keyes was instrumental in that as he pulled all the strings from centre forward where he set up a host of scores and took two points himself.
12 – Andrew Collier (Camross)
Wearing number 3, Andrew Collier played at wing forward for Camross in their win over Abbeyleix where he excelled.
He fired over four points from play in their eight point win which gets their defence back on track.
13 – Paddy Purcell (Rathdowney-Errill)
The Laois hurling captain loves a goal and he showed just how much in Rathdowney-Errill’s win over Castletown.
Purcell bagged a hat-trick as Rathdowney-Errill claimed their second successive win to secure their place in the knock-out stages.
14 – James Hillard (Mountmellick)
James Hillard returned to Mountmellick this year after a couple of seasons in Dublin and he has been instrumental in their progression.
In their quarter final draw with Trumera, Hillard fired over 1-9 – including a free with the final puck of the game to ensure the sides will have to meet again.
15 – Stephen Bergin (Clough-Ballacolla)
The third Clough-Ballacolla man to make this list is Stephen Bergin after a fine performance against Borris-Kilcotton.
Bergin bagged 2-3 and showed just how good he is when given half an opportunity in front of goal.
SUB OF THE WEEK
Dylan Byrne-Gray (Ballinakill)
Just the one player on this list this week and it is Dylan Byrne Gray who came off the bench for Ballinakill in the first half against Portlaoise.