Home Sport GAA Introducing the 2020 LaoisToday Minor hurling Team of the Year

Introducing the 2020 LaoisToday Minor hurling Team of the Year

A thrilling Minor hurling Championship came to a conclusion back in October as Abbeyleix defeated The Harps to claim the cup after extra time.

A game that was largely low scoring, caught fire towards the end of the second half and Abbeyleix continued at that pace into extra time to win by six in the end.

It was harsh on The Harps who, competing in their third straight decider, battled really well for the majority of the game and probably thought they had it won as they led by a point heading towards full time.

But Shaun Fitzpatrick sent the game to extra time with a score from 60 yards and once there, Abbeyleix kicked on.

This particular age grade has been incredibly competitive over the years – so much so that the two teams who contested the U-15 final in 2018, didn’t even make the semi finals this year.

Borris-Kilcotton defeated Portlaoise in the U-15 final back then but both were eliminated in the group stages this year.

A year earlier, in 2017, Rosenallis won the feile – defeating The Harps in the decider. With Borris-Kilcotton subsequently winning the U-14 championship in 2017 by getting the better of Clough-Ballacolla in the final after extra time.

So in all of those years, Abbeyleix failed to make a final while The Harps’ only appearance in one was the Feile. Neither had won silverware before October’s final.

Abbeyleix lead the way on our team with six selections, The Harps have four, Rosenallis have three while Rathdowney-Errill have two.

Check it out below:

1 – Kyle Mullen (Abbeyleix)

We begin with the youngest player on this team – Kyle Mullen.

An U-15 this year, Kyle was called up to the minors following a serious knee injury to Lee Cole. And he was brilliant – made some great saves in the final, good under high ball and has a serious puck-out too.

2 – Aodh Bowes (Rosenallis)

Rosenallis have three players on this team and the first of them is found in the full back line.

Dual player Aodh Bowes is a rock solid defender with a real physical presence.

3 – Lawson Obular (Abbeyleix)

Captain of the Abbeyleix team Lawson Obular is the first of four players on this team who also made our football equivalent.

Very skilful with great pace, he held the Abbeyleix defence together throughout the campaign.

4 – Rory Dunne (The Harps)

The final was a low scoring affair and this young man shone for The Harps in that aspect.

A really tidy hurler, Dunne is often the player who emerges from a ruck with the ball in hand before relieving pressure.

5 – Tom Fennelly (Rosenallis)

Tom Fennelly, second on the left

After years of a transfer saga, Tom Fennelly eventually won his case to be permitted to hurl with Rosenallis as an isolated player and he made an immediate impact.

Operating at centre back for Rosenallis, he routinely set up attacks as his side reached the semi finals.

6 – Padraig Rafter (Rathdowney-Errill) 

Padraig Rafter

A winner of the minor football championship with Ballyroan-Abbey, Rathdowney-Errill’s Padraig Rafter comes into the team at centre back.

Athleticism is his key attribute and he uses his speed to charge forward from deep routinely and is also capable of blocking up the defence too.

7 – David Dooley (Rosenallis)

David Dooley after a Laois minor hurling game in 2019 with proud granduncle Paddy Dooley

2020 has been an interesting year for this man who began it playing rugby with Leinster and ended it representing Laois at minor level in both codes.

An excellent footballer, David Dooley is equally powerful hurler and he will be a huge asset at adult level for his club in 2021.

8 – Cathal Murphy (The Harps)

Powerful midfielders are always very useful to have and Cathal Murphy is certainly one of those.

He was brilliant in the final where he scored 1-3 and although it wasn’t enough for his side to win, 2020 was a very positive year for Murphy.

9 – Shaun Fitzpatrick (Abbeyleix) 

The third member of this team who was also on the football list and indeed had it not been for him, it is unlikely Abbeyleix would have won.

His score from 60 yards sent the match to extra time and it was just rewards after a stunning display that saw him cover every inch of grass.

10 – Sam Quinn (Abbeyleix) 

After making the football team at corner back, the versatile Sam Quinn is selected here at wing forward.

He is just as industrious in this code as he is with the big ball and scored a crucial goal in the final too.

11 – Liam Kavanagh (Abbeyleix)

Constantly looking for possession, Liam Kavanagh is a colossus at centre forward for Abbeyleix.

Deadly accurate when given a shot at goals, he notched five points from play in the final in a super display.

12 – Cody Comerford (The Harps)

Younger brother of twins Daniel and Ciaran, Cody is shaping up to be every bit as good as the pair of them.

An excellent free taker, Comerford is a dangerous forward who always takes on his man and typically scores.

13 – Daniel Bowe (Rathdowney-Errill)

Rathdowney-Errill’s second representative on this team is forward Daniel Bowe who is on the full forward line.

Another accurate forward, Bowe has a real eye for goal too.

14 – Colin Byrne (Abbeyleix)

Younger brother of Laois U-20 hurler Ciaran, Colin is well placed to join his brother in the Abbeyleix full forward line in 2021.

Another free taker who rarely misses, his 3-6 in the semi final win over Rathdowney-Errill will live long in the memory.

15 – Jim O’Connor (The Harps)

The final spot on the team goes to The Harps’ full forward Jim O’Connor who led the line from them all season.

Suffered a knee injury just before extra time in the final and his loss was a massive blow to The Harps who just lost out.

SEE ALSO – Introducing the 2020 LaoisToday Minor football Team of the Year

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