Home Sport GAA First football team of the week for 2020 before restrictions ceased play

First football team of the week for 2020 before restrictions ceased play

It all began with great excitement – before it was called to a halt within three days.

The Laois senior football championships got underway last week but the action didn’t last long.

Games began on Wednesday with the Junior ‘B’ meeting between Spink and Slieve Bloom.

We had more games on Thursday but everything was brought to a premature end on Friday as the government re-introduced lockdown restrictions.

Nevertheless, we still had action in the top four grades of the football championship and we felt it would be unfair to let their efforts go to waste.

Everything is postponed now for two weeks but hopefully things can resume them.

A total of seven clubs are represented on our first team of 2020 and you can check it out below:

1 – Ruaidhrí Neavyn (Spink)

In what was the very first game of the football championships last Wednesday, Spink and Slieve Bloom played out a thriller in the Junior B.

Slieve Bloom were ahead all the way and would surely have won bar for two incredible one-on-one saves from teenage debutante Ruaidhri Nevyn from Evan Power and Ben Conroy.

2 – Danny Brennan (Ballyroan-Abbey)

This young man is a really promising dual player and he is a tough as nails too – as his shoulder on a St Joseph’s attacker in the second half demonstrated.

One of a number of young players that manager Padraig Clancy put his faith in and he didn’t disappoint.

3 – Anavil Storey (The Rock)

Player further out the field but we have selected Anavil at full back this week.

Charged forward at every available opportunity in The Rock’s big win over Annanough and his pace allowed them to get back into a defensive shape quickly when they turned over possession.

4 – Adam Dunne (Ballyroan-Abbey)

Another dual player, Dunne hurls for Clonad but kicks football for Ballyroan-Abbey and he had a right good game on Thursday.

A young man with tremendous power and pace, his rampaging runs from wing back caused St Joseph’s endless problems.

5 – Conor Donlon (Annanough)

It was a really disappointing defeat for Annanough on Thursday evening against The Rock and one that leaves them in real relegation danger.

But one chink of light for them was the performance of teenager Conor Donlon. He always made himself available for possession and tried to start attacks – keeping the ball moving forwards.

6 – Paudie McDonald (Ballyroan-Abbey)

Paudie was named at corner forward but actually came back and played as a sweeper in Ballyroan-Abbey’s last gasp win against St Joseph’s.

He absolutely mastered that role too. Emerging with possession on countless occasions as his team really frustrated the St Joseph’s attackers.

7 – Victor Olapado (The Rock)

As debuts go, this one for Victor Oladapo probably couldn’t have gone much better.

Using his pace and fitness to perfection, he ran up and down the pitch all game – and was rewarded with a brilliant goal too.

8 – Aaron Carroll (Ballyroan-Abbey)

After having a great game for the Abbeyleix hurlers last week, Carroll was at it again for Ballyroan-Abbey on Thursday.

Thrust into midfield, Carroll covered every inch of the MW Hire O’Moore Park surface and his industry helped his side stay in the game right until the end.

9 – Aaron Dowling (The Rock)

Aaron Dowling

Rotating between midfield and the forwards, Aaron Dowling was on fire for The Rock in their win over Annanough.

He fired 1-7 of his side’s tally which included a brilliantly finished goal and five expertly taken frees.

10 – Dylan Doyle (St Joseph’s)

Dylan Doyle is a very solid player who always seems to score – and he was in that type of form last week.

He contributed four points, two from marks, and was his typically lively self.

11 – Diarmuid Whelan (Ballyroan-Abbey) 

Diarmuid Whelan

In the absence of MJ Tierney and Scott Conroy, Diarmuid Whelan now has to become Ballyroan-Abbey’s talisman and he showed he is well capable of doing that.

He scored 1-5 and his goal at the end was about as good as it gets in terms of timing and execution.

12 – Fergal Murphy (Barrowhouse)

Barrowhouse will be one of the favourites to win the Junior A this year and they got off to a great start with a win over Errill last week.

Youngster Fergal Murphy was in top form as he contributed six points in a comfortable 13 point win.

13 – Paul Simms (Spink)

Paul Simms

More known for his goal-stopping than scoring abilities, Paul Simms showed he is as big a poacher as he is a gamekeeper last week for the Spink footballers.

The Ballinakill goalkeeper scored 1-4 and none of the Slieve Bloom defenders could get to grips with him.

14 – Josh O’Brien (St Joseph’s)

Another man who made his debut last week at adult level and performed really well.

Josh O’Brien caught fire in the second half and kicked four great points but it ultimately wasn’t enough for the win.

15 – Taidhg Cuddy (Slieve Bloom)

Taidhg Cuddy is a fine Slieve Bloom hurler – but he is a very capable footballer too and he showed that last week.

Cuddy contributed 1-3 for Slieve Bloom but they had to settle for a draw against Spink in the end.

SEE ALSO – Laois GAA to meet on Monday night to discuss next steps as secretary appeals for patience

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