Home Sport GAA Your comprehensive guide to the Laois GAA fixture plan for 2021 and...

Your comprehensive guide to the Laois GAA fixture plan for 2021 and to complete 2020

The first adult club games in Laois since last October will take place in just under a months time.

In correspondence sent to clubs yesterday, Laois GAA have finalised their structures for league and championship at adult level for the coming year.

Like has been done in the National League, the Laois leagues have been split regionally with the Divisions divided into two four team groups.

Each team will play three games. The top two teams will progress to a semi final while there will be a relegation playoff for the bottom two teams.

The first hurling league action will get underway on the weekend of June 11 with football league following the week after.

The league finals in hurling will be played on the final weekend in July with the football league finals in the first weekend of August.

These games will be played without inter-county and U-20 county players where they clash with their seasons.

2020 Championships 

In terms of the outstanding 2020 championships – there is a two-pronged approach

Teams who do not have any representation on senior inter-county squads will have their championships recommence as soon as games are permitted.

Therefore, the JHC Semi Finals (The Harps v Castletown, Portlaoise v Abbeyleix), JHC ‘B’ Semi Finals (Camross v Rathdowney Errill, The Harps v Portlaoise) and JFC Semi Finals (Ballyroan Abbey v Park Ratheniska, Portlaoise v The Heath) will be played on the weekend of June 12/13.

The finals of those competitions, plus the 2020 IHC final between Rathdowney-Errill and Trumera will take place the following weekend.

The decision to play these games earlier was made because depending on who wins these competitions, a playoff may be needed before starting the 2021 championship.

For example, in Junior A, if Portlaoise won the competition, they cannot go up to intermediate as they already have a team at that grade. Therefore, a playoff between the beaten finalist and Annanough, who were relegated from intermediate last year, would be required.

It is acknowledged that there may be some clashes with U-20 intercounty activity for some clubs but every effort will be made to ensure this isn’t the case.

While, although it isn’t explicitly said, presumably the clubs involved here who are due to be in league action at the same time, will have those league games rescheduled.

As regards the SHC final between Borris-Kilcotton and Clough-Ballacolla), the Premier IHC final involving Portlaoise and The Harps and the SFC Semi Finals (Emo v Graiguecullen, Ballyfin v Portarlington), it was agreed, where possible, to provide a minimum of two weeks after Laois exit Senior/U-20 Intercounty before playing these games.

Therefore, these have been provisionally scheduled to start on weekend 31 July/August 1, weekend August 7/8, weekend August 14/15 or weekend August 21/22.

Meanwhile the 2020 JFC ‘B’ final between Graiguecullen and Spink and JFC ‘C’ final involving Colt and Kilcotton will not be played until late July or early August.

This is because Spink, Colt and Kilcotton have considerable representation with the Laois senior hurlers and will await their exit from the championship before playing.

2021 Championships 

The draw for the 2021 championships will take place on Thursday, July 7.

In football, all of the championships will follow the same structure as in the previous years. Knock-out with a backdoor for senior and intermediate, groups for Junior A and B with a straight knock-out system for Junior C.

It is proposed that the 2021 senior football championship will begin on September 3 and conclude with the final on Sunday, November 14.

The JFC will follow the same dates while the intermediate will finish on October 30. Junior B and C are to start in late July and conclude on September 17.

In hurling, quarter finals return in senior and premier intermediate but the groups at intermediate, Junior A and B will result in semi finals only. While Junior C is straight knock out.

The championships in the top four grades is proposed to start on August 27 with an August 2 start for Junior B and C.

The senior and premier intermediate finals are pencilled in for Sunday, November 7, while the intermediate and Junior A finals are down for October 22.

The Junior B and C deciders are down for September 10.

One factor that may change these dates slightly is if the Electric Picnic goes ahead on the weekend of September 3. In recent years Laois have given that as a spare weekend and would be likely to do so again, meaning that the fixtures may then have to be pushed back a week.

Minor and U-20 

No fixtures have been released for minor championships yet. The inter-county season is going to take place throughout June and July and there may be a league for non-county players at this time with championship following afterwards.

No U-20 championship was played last year, but Laois GAA intend to play it this year – commencing in mid-October and on a knockout basis.

This championship will proceed to conclusion and clubs involved in Leinster Club Championship will be requested to play their fixtures mid-week if they are still involved.

All County Leagues

The All County Football and Hurling Leagues, which are now almost all eight-team divisions, have been split into two groups on a regional basis similar to what the GAA has done nationally.

Each team will play three group games with the top two to qualify for the semi-finals and the bottom two into a relegation playoff.

In hurling the league games are to begin on the week of June 11 and go every second week until the final on July 30.

In football they are scheduled to start on the week of June 18 and also be played every second week alternating with hurling.

Hurling Leagues

Division 1A – Group A

  • Borris-Kilcotton
  • Camross
  • Castletown
  • Rosenallis

Division 1A – Group B

  • Clough-Ballacolla
  • Rathdowney-Errill
  • Abbeyleix
  • The Harps

Division 1B – Group A

  • Ballyfin
  • Mountrath
  • Camross
  • Colt-Shanahoe

Division 1B – Group B

  • Ballinakill
  • Clough-Ballacolla
  • Portlaoise
  • Rathdowney-Errill

Division 2 – Group A

  • Borris-Kilcotton
  • Clonaslee
  • Mountmellick
  • Slieve Bloom

Division 2 – Group B

  • Colt-Shanahoe
  • Park-Ratheniska/Timahoe
  • Trumera
  • The Harps

Division 3 – Group A

  • Ballypickas
  • Clonad
  • Portlaoise
  • Mountrath

Division 3 – Group B

  • Borris-Kilcotton
  • Castletown
  • Rathdowney-Errill
  • Abbeyleix

Division 4 – Group A

  • Ballinakill
  • Rathdowney-Errill
  • Park-Ratheniska/Timahoe
  • The Harps

Division 4 – Group B

  • Camross
  • Clough-Ballacolla
  • Kyle
  • Rosenallis

Division 5 – Group A

  • Ballyfin
  • Camross
  • Mountmellick

Division 5 – Group B

  • Borris-Kilcotton
  • Castletown
  • Slieve Bloom

Division 5 – Group C

  • Clough-Ballacolla
  • Clonad
  • Slieve Bloom

Division 5 – Group D 

  • Portlaoise
  • The Harps
  • Trumera

Football Leagues

Division 1A – Group A

  • Ballylinan
  • Ballyroan-Abbey
  • Graiguecullen
  • St Joseph’s

Division 1A – Group B

  • Courtwood
  • O’Dempsey’s
  • Portarlington
  • Portlaoise

Division 1B – Group A

  • Arles-Killeen
  • Arles-Kilcruise
  • Killeshin
  • Stradbally

Division 1B – Group B

  • Clonaslee
  • Emo
  • Portlaoise
  • The Heath

Division 2 – Group A

  • Crettyard
  • Park-Ratheniska
  • Timahoe
  • St Joseph’s

Division 2 – Group B

  • Mountmellick
  • O’Dempsey’s
  • Portarlington
  • Rosenallis

Division 3 – Group A

  • Annanough
  • Barrowhouse
  • Graiguecullen
  • Killeshin

Division 3 – Group B

  • Ballyfin
  • Kilcavan
  • The Heath
  • The Rock

Division 3B – Group A

  • Ballylinan
  • Ballyroan-Abbey
  • O’Dempsey’s
  • Stradbally

Division 3B – Group B

  • Camross
  • Mountmellick
  • Portlaoise
  • Rosenallis

Division 4 – Group A

  • Arles-Kilcruise
  • Arles-Killeen
  • Spink
  • The Harps

Division 4 – Group B

  • Emo
  • Portlaoise
  • The Rock
  • Timahoe

Division 5 – Group A

  • Annanough
  • Courtwood
  • The Heath

Division 5 – Group B

  • Ballyfin
  • Slieve Bloom
  • Mountrath

Division 5 – Group C

  • Killeshin
  • Park-Ratheniska
  • St Joseph’s

Division 5 – Group D

  • Ballyroan-Abbey
  • Colt
  • Kilcavan

Outstanding 2020 Championships

Weekend of June 10

Laois JHC ‘A’ Semi-finals
(Winner on the Day if necessary)

  • The Harps v Castletown
  • Portlaoise v Abbeyleix

Laois JFC ‘A’ Semi-finals
(Winner on the Day if necessary)

  • Ballyroan Abbey v Park Ratheniska
  • Portlaoise v The Heath

Laois JHC ‘B’ Semi-finals
(Winner on the Day if necessary)

  • Camross v Rathdowney Errill
  • Portlaoise v The Harps

Weekend of June 18

Laois IHC Final
(Winner on the Day if necessary)

  • Trumera v Rathdowney Errill 

Laois JHC ‘A’ Final
(Winner on the Day if necessary)

  • The Harps or Castletown v Portlaoise or Abbeyleix

Laois JHC ‘A’ Final
(Winner on the Day if necessary)

  • Camross or Rathdowney-Errill v Portlaoise or The Harps

Laois JFC ‘A’ Final
(Winner on the Day if necessary)

  • Ballyroan Abbey or Park Ratheniska v Portlaoise or The Heath

Weekend July 23-25 or July 31-August 1

Laois JFC ‘B’ Final
(Winner on the Day if necessary)

  • Graiguecullen v Spink

Laois JFC ‘C’ Final
(Winner on the Day if necessary)

  • Colt v Kilcotton

Weekend July 31-August 1 or August 7-8 or August 14-15 or August 21-22

Laois SFC Semi-finals
(Winner on the Day if necessary)

  • Ballyfin v Portarlington in O’Moore Park
  • Emo v Graiguecullen in O’Moore Park

Laois SFC Final
(Winner on the Day if necessary)

  • Ballyfin or Portarlington v Emo or Graiguecullen in O’Moore Park

Weekend August 7-8 or August 14-15

Laois SHC Final
(Winner on the Day if necessary)

  • Borris-Kilcotton v Clough-Ballacolla in O’Moore Park

Laois Premier IHC Final
(Winner on the Day if necessary)

  • Portlaoise v The Harps in O’Moore Park

Key 2021 Competition Dates

  • Week of June 11 – Start of Hurling Leagues
  • Week of June 18 – Start of Football Leagues
  • Week of July 27 – Start of Junior ‘B’ and ‘C’ Football Championships
  • Week of August 2 – Start of Junior ‘B’ and ‘C’ Hurling Championships
  • Week of August 27 – Hurling Championship Round 1
  • Week of October 22 – Intermediate and Junior ‘A’ Hurling Finals
  • Week of September 3 – Football Championship Round 1
  • Week of September 10 – Junior ‘B’ and ‘C’ Hurling Finals
  • Week of September 17 – Junior ‘B’ and ‘C’ Football Finals
  • Sunday, November 7 – Senior and Premier Intermediate Hurling Finals
  • Sunday, November 14 – Senior and Junior Football Finals

SEE ALSO – Laois woman stars on latest episode of hit Channel 4 dating show ‘Naked Attraction’

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Stradbally native Alan Hartnett is a graduate of Knockbeg College who has worked in the local and national media since 2008. Alan has a BA in Economics, Politics and Law and an MA in Journalism from DCU. His happiest moment was when Jody Dillon scored THAT goal in the Laois senior football final in 2016.