On a busy week in the GAA season, there’s plenty to talk about.
Here we look at the top scorers in the intermediate football championship, an important family link, the roll of honour, the referee’s appointment, county finals in Kildare and Offaly and disappointment for Zach Tuohy in Australia.
Intermediate top scorers
Ahead of this weekend’s Intermediate football final between Crettyard and Clonaslee, we have the latest standings in the scoring charts.
Crettyard and Laois star Evan O’Carroll leads the way in the race to be top scorer in the Intermediate championship by scoring an impressive 5-26 (41) to date.
His closest challenger for the top spot has exited the championship with Niall Mullen from Mountmellick coming second with a total of 1-27 (30).
Clonaslee’s Niall Corbet is back in third on 1-21 (24) – but he is a considerable distance back from O’Carroll.
Looking at the scores from play, it is the same story with O’Carroll leading the way with a total of 5-9 (24).
His nearest challenger is fellow club mate Cormac Murphy who has scored 4-6 (18) to date which leaves 6 points between the two men from Crettyard.
Looking at Clonaslee’s scorers outside of Corbet, it is interesting to note the wide and varied places that they come from.
Bob Downey is next for them after Corbet with 2-4 (10 points) while James McRedmond is next following his hat-trick against The Rock – his only score to date.
Veteran Ger ‘Buster’ Dunne has 1-2 while Cian Barrett has a goal. Then John Rigney, Willie Young, Sean Dunne, Ryan Kilroe, Liam Senior, Diarmuid Conroy and Daire Hogan all have a point each.
Check out how the two tables set below:
- Evan O’Carroll (Crettyard) – 5-26 (41)
- Niall Mullen (Mountmellick) – 1-27 (30)
- Niall Corbet (Clonaslee) – 1-21 (24)
- Aaron Dowling (The Rock) – 2-15 (21)
- Damien McCaul (Annanough) – 0-19 (19)
- Cormac Murphy (Crettyard) – 4-6 (18)
Scorers from Play
- Evan O’Carroll (Crettyard) – 5-9 (24)
- Cormac Murphy (Crettyard) – 4-6 (18)
- Colm Coss (Mountmellick) – 1-11 (14)
- Aaron Dowling (The Rock) – 2-7 (13)
- Stephen McDonald (The Rock) – 1-10 (13)
- Niall Mullen (Mountmellick) – 1-9 (12)
6. Niall Corbet (Clonaslee) – 1-9 (12)
Clonaslee captain seeking to follow in father’s footsteps
Former Clonaslee player and manager Mark Rooney was a guest on the LaoisToday Talking Sport podcast this week – but this will be the first time in a long time that he won’t have a central role with the Clonaslee footballers on county final day.
Rooney has the distinction of having captained Clonaslee to four county final successes during his career – junior in 1997 and intermediate in 1998, 2002 and 2009. Top top it off, he was manager when they last won the intermediate final in 2015.
John Rigney is captain this year and he too is looking to continue a proud family tradition – his father Patsy was captain when Clonaslee won their first ever intermediate title in 1981, when they beat Park-Ratheniska after a replay.
Leading the way in the intermediate roll of honour
The intermediate roll of honour is unlike a senior one in that it is rarely dominated by one club and only second teams can ever retain their title.
But a Clonaslee win this weekend would put them on top of the list on their own with six titles. They have previously won this championship in 1981, 1998, 2002, 2009 and 2015, leaving them level with Annanough and Ballylinan on five apiece.
Crettyard are one further back having won it four times – in 1965, 1976, 1984 and 2005.
Intermediate final for Ward
Clifford Ward, who was a championship winner with Portarlington in 2001 and has been on the Laois GAA refereeing scene for the past decade or so, will take charge of Saturday’s intermediate final.
Having refereed three of the last four junior finals, it will be the highest grade final that Ward will have taken charge of in his career so far though he has refereed numerous senior club championship games.
The senior quarter-finals this weekend will be officiated by Seamus Mulhare (Portarlington v O’Dempsey’s), Joe Brennan (Ballyfin v The Heath), Brendan McCann (Graiguecullen v Ballylinan) and Brendan Hickey (Portlaoise v Emo).
County finals for Laois border clubs
It’s county final weekend in both Kildare and Offaly this weekend with senior and intermediate football finals down for decision.
Having beaten champions Sarsfields in the semi-final, Athy go in search of their first senior title since 2011 when they take on Moorefield in Saturday’s final. They are under the guidance of former Laois physical trainer John Doran, who was with Courtwood when they won the intermediate title in 2018.
The Kildare intermediate final is also on Saturday and sees Kilcock meet Clogherinkoe.
In Offaly, Rhode, under the management of former Portlaoise player and manager Malachy McNulty, meet Tullamore on Sunday while the Senior ‘B’ final is between Gracefield and Tubber. Gracefield were only relegated from the top tier last year and are looking to make an immediate return when they do battle with Durrow in Sunday’s final.
Finals disappointment for Geelong and Tuohy
The ‘finals’ stage of the AFL season got underway in Australia on Thursday when Zach Tuohy’s Geelong side were defeated by Port Adelaide.
But because Geelong finished in the top four, they are knocked out yet and will face a do-or-die quarter-final game next weekend against one of the winners from the teams that finished fifth to eight in the regular season.
Port Adelaide, for their part, go into the semi-finals in two weeks time.