Home Sport GAA Sunday’s GAA Preview: Portlaoise in Aughrim, U-20 hurling semi finals and Ladies...

Sunday’s GAA Preview: Portlaoise in Aughrim, U-20 hurling semi finals and Ladies Minor finals

Portlaoise v St Patrick’s (Wicklow)
Top Oil Leinster Senior Football Championship Quarter Final

Portlaoise will take on Wicklow champions, St Patrick’s at 1:30pm today in Aughrim.

Portlaoise have had a slightly different season to the last couple of years this year as they were pushed hard by multiple teams.

Portlaoise are the county’s representatives for the 12th time in the last 13 years but this year’s Jack Delaney Cup triumph was most certainly one of their most difficult to achieve.

Courtwood pressed them hard in Round 2 while St Joseph’s got to within three points of them in the quarter final.

They faced Portarlington in the championship semi-final which saw Portlaoise pushed to their limits. They headed for the dressing room trailing by seven points at half time and came back to win by one

They overcame Killeshin by a point in the final, but again, they were pushed hard.

Given the obstacles they’ve overcome throughout the season, they always found a way to win and those tests should stand to them in the Leinster championship.

St Patrick’s will prove to be another test. They are back to back Wicklow champions for the last two years beating Arklow Geraldines Ballymoney by two points this year and overcoming Rathnew by two points in the 2018 replay.

Tommy Kelly will be a big threat between play and from frees while Portlaoise will be reliant on many players such as Bruno McCormack, Laois footballer of the year, Kieran Lillis.

If Portlaoise can win they will face either Sarsfields of Kildare or Eire Og of Carlow in the semi final.

U-20 Hurling Championship Semi Finals

The two U-20 hurling championship semi finals are down for decision this afternoon in the LOETB Centre of Excellence and in Borris-In-Ossory.

The meeting of Abbeyleix Gaels and Raheen Parish Gaels is up first beside O’Moore Park at 12pm.

Raheen Parish Gaels, with players like James Keyes, Fionn Holland, Paudie McDonald and PJ Daly have been very impressive so far.

Wins over Castletown and Clough-Ballacolla-Mountrath for the amalgamated side which consists of Clonad, Ballypickas, Colt and Shanahoe, saw them top Group D in style.

Abbeyleix Gaels received a walkover from Rosenallis in their group meaning that a win over Rathdowney-Errill secured their progression to the last four.

They have a very young team comprising of Abbeyleix and Ballinakill players with Ciaran Byrne, Stephen Thompson and the Shaughnessy twins Ciaran and Cathal among their standouts.

Then at 2pm in Borris-In-Ossory, the second semi final between Camross and The Harps will take place.

These two contested the U-19 final last year with The Harps running out victors so whoever wins this clash will become the favourites.

The Harps are stacked with senior Laois players in the form of Podge Delaney, Ciaran Comerford and Daniel Comerford while Evan Deegan, Lorcan Fitzpatrick and Padraic Dunne were all part of the Laois U-20 panel this year.

Camross also have one player with appearances for Laois in their Joe McDonagh triumph in the shape of Eoin Gaughan while Eoin Dowling, Killian Tiernan, Odhran Phelan (Camross), Oisin Bennett and Thomas Palmer were all on the Laois U-20 team too.

Laois Ladies Minor Football Finals 

Sunday also sees three Laois Ladies Minor finals down for decision with the A, A Shield and B titles set to be decided.

The A final sees two teams from opposite ends of the county go head to head as Graiguecullen face Portlaoise in Stradbally at 11am in Stradbally.

The A Shield final throws in at 2pm in Killeshin as Timahoe and St Brigid’s do battle.

While the B final is down for decision in Timahoe at 12pm as St Conleth’s and St Joseph’s are set to clash.

SEE ALSO – Victory for Knockbeg in Round 1 of the Leinster Senior Football Championship