Just as the All Ireland inter-county championship at adult season is coming to a conclusion, the underage competitions, which weren’t permitted to go ahead under Level 5 restrictions, are now allowed to resume again.
For Laois it means two county underage teams are in action this week.
First up is the Laois U-20 hurlers on Friday night when they host Galway in MW Hire O’Moore Park in the Leinster championship quarter-final.
Laois reached this stage thanks to a hard-earned win over Carlow just before the new restrictions came into use back at the end of October. The game is due to go ahead at 7.30pm in O’Moore Park and though supporters are still not allowed to attend, the game will be streamed live by Laois GAA TV.
Kilkenny await the winners in the semi-final. Offaly host Dublin in the other quarter-final game this weekend on Saturday at 12.30pm with Wexford to play the winners in the semi-final.
The semi-finals are fixed for Friday, December 18, with the final on Sunday, January 3.
Meanwhile, the Laois minor footballers host Carlow this Saturday at 12.30pm in the quarter-final of the Leinster championship.
Laois haven’t played any competitive game with this team this year with their preparations disrupted on numerous occasions due to restrictions.
Under the guidance of Dublin native Mark Bates, Laois take on a Carlow side under Christy Bolger, who has been named as the Killeshin senior manager for 2021. That game will also be streamed live by Laois GAA TV.
Both the Laois U-20 hurlers and minor footballers have been allowed to train since the country exited Level 5 restrictions last week. Prior to that the management teams were co-ordinating individual training with meetings held over the likes of Zoom.
Should Laois beat Carlow on Saturday, they will go through to a semi-final the following Saturday against Meath or Westmeath. Meath are the team to beat at this grade, having beaten Dublin 1-15 to 0-7 back in October.
The other quarter-finals this weekend see Kildare host Louth and Offaly at home to Wicklow.
Like the U-20 hurling, the provincial final is fixed for Sunday, January 3.