There was plenty of drama in the opening week of the 2021 Laois hurling championships.
We had Round 1 action in the SHC, Premier IHC and IHC last week.
A total of 11 clubs are represented this week – while our subs of the week also make an appearance.
Rathdowney-Errill lead the way with three representative while Abbeyleix, Castletown and Borris-Kilcotton have two each.
Check out our selection below:
1 – Tommy Tynan (Clonaslee)
Once a sharpshooting forward, veteran Tynan has returned to the Clonaslee fold and now finds himself in the goals.
And if last week’s display is anything to go by, he could be there for a while. He made a host of stunning saves and was almost perfect with his puck outs too.
2 – Paddy Whelan (Borris-Kilcotton)
A very dependable player, Paddy Whelan always puts in consistent performances for Borris-Kilcotton.
He scored a fine point in the draw with Abbeyleix at the weekend and will be an important player for his team again this year.
3 – Kevin O’Dea (Rathdowney-Errill)
Starring on the team that won 2020 IHC glory during the summer, O’Dea has been promoted to the senior ranks.
Was very composed against Camross on Thursday evening and marshalled the dangerous Liam Delaney very well.
4 – Frank Flanagan (Portlaoise)
Found opportunities hard to come by with the Laois seniors this year, but Flanagan is most certainly one of Portlaoise’s main players.
Came out with an ocean of ball in Portlaoise’s big win over Camross and set up many attacks.
5 – Padraig Brennan (Clough-Ballacolla)
Padraig Brennan is just out of minor but has already played for the Laois U-20s on three occasions.
He has carried that good form into the club season where he scored three points for the Clough-Ballacolla
6 – Ryan Mullaney (Castletown)
Castletown pulled off the ‘shock’ of the weekend by defeating last year’s surprise package Rosenallis.
Ryan Mullaney was titanic at centre back as he snuffed out several Rosenallis’ attacks and delivered some great ball into the forwards.
7 – Rian Edwards (The Harps)
Another member of this year’s U-20 team, Rian Edwards put in a dominant performance against Mountmellick at the weekend.
He covered every blade of grass in Durrow in what may prove to be a crucial win for his side.
8 – Rhys Murphy (Trumera)
Blocked, hooked, hassled and harried every single Mountrath player – Trumera’s Rhys Murphy was excellent.
He made a crucial interception which set up the first Trumera goal and his work rate throughout the game was phenomenal.
9 – Liam Delaney (Abbeyleix)
Abbeyleix went on so close to shocking Borris-Kilcotton on Saturday evening and Liam Delaney’s heroics alongside Fionan Mahony was crucial for them.
He slammed over four points from play too and could not have done much more over the hour.
10 – Brendan Reddin (Castletown)
The second Castletown player to make the selection this week is forward Brendan Reddin.
He scored two goals, one in either half, and they were expertly taken too.
11 – Eanna Lyons (Ballyfin)
The return of Eanna Lyons and Gareth Dunphy to the Ballyfin forward line proved crucial as they triumphed against title favourites Ballinakill.
Lyons scored a free, an excellent sideline cut and three points from play in a simply stunning display.
12 – Ray Bowe (Rathdowney-Errill)
Man of the match in the recently played 2020 IHC final, Ray Bowe consistently shines on Rathdowney-Errill’s second team.
They faced Slieve Bloom in Round 1 of the Premier IHC at the weekend and he finished the game with a haul of 1-5 and was unmarkable throughout the game.
13 – Brandon McGinley (Rathdowney-Errill)
The third Rathdowney-Errill player to make the list this week, and second from their senior team, is Brandon McGinley.
A tricky customer at the best of times, his pace and clever stick work gave Camross defenders a torrid time as he finished the game with three points.
14 – PJ Scully (Borris-Kilcotton)
The old saying that ‘pressure is only for tyres’ certainly applies when you are talking about PJ Scully.
The Borris-Kilcotton ace finished the game against Abbeyleix with 16 points – including a 60 metre free with the last puck to draw the game.
15 – Ronan Murray (Rosenallis)
Concluding our team for this week is Rosenallis’ Ronan Murray.
Although he came out on the losing side, his five points from play were very impressive but ultimately not enough.
Subs of the Week
David Mortimer (Camross)
Camross were disappointing in defeat against Rathdowney-Errill last week but one player who certainly did themselves justice was David Mortimer.
Sprung from the bench in the second half, he scored a spectacular goal and a fine point to put himself in with a chance to start in Round 2
Tadhg Cuddy (Castletown)
With the game in the melting pot, Tadhg Cuddy was thrust into action with about 25 minutes to play.
The Laois U-20 was in fine form and he fired Castletown to glory with five great points.