Round 2 of the Laois hurling championships has come to an end and another Team of the Week is here.
We had significant games in the SHC, Premier IHC and IHC over the weekend.
All that remains to be determined in the IHC is who will contest the relegation final as the semi finalists are now confirmed.
The Premier IHC and SHC are still open with all four teams in one Premier IHC group deadlocked on two points each.
Following all the games, we have managed to whittle our team down to 15 players.
In total, 11 clubs are represented this week – with Castletown leading the way with three.
Check it out below:
1 – Enda Rowland (Abbeyleix)
Came out on the losing side against Rathdowney-Errill but there was little more he could do to prevent it.
Rowland pulled off three stunning saves over the hour and also sent over two long range frees.
2 – Diarmaid Conway (Clough-Ballacolla)
A breakthrough year with Laois was cut short by injury but Diarmaid Conway returned for the 2020 SHC final and has been brilliant since.
He is a top quality inter-county standard defender who helped hold Rosenallis to just 1-10.
3 – Liam O’Connell (Rathdowney-Errill)
His re-emergence has been a big plus for Rathdowney-Errill and on a day when a number of his teammates didn’t play that well, O’Connell was consistent.
He holds the centre of the Rathdowney-Errill defence together and continues to improve with each game.
4 – Mark Cahill (Abbeyleix)
The Rathdowney-Errill full forward line is electric but it struggled to function against the Abbeyleix full back line at the weekend.
Mark Cahill’s pace is a real asset for Abbeyleix and he mopped up an ocean of ball thoughout the game.
5 – Ian Shanahan (Ballinakill)
A star with the Laois U-20s earlier this year, Ian Shanahan was at his very best for Ballinakill against Rathdowney-Errill at the weekend.
Starting at wing back, Shanahan marauded forward at will and finished the game with three excellent points.
6 – Adam Kirwan (Trumera)
Trumera qualified for the IHC semi finals at the weekend with a win over Mountmellick and this young man’s display was integral.
He fired over five points and then spent the last quarter of the game at centre back as Trumera repelled their opponents and Kirwan excelled.
7 – Jack Kelly (Rathdowney-Errill)
As so often is the case, whether it is for club or county, when the chips are down, Jack Kelly comes up with scores.
With the game in the melting pot against Abbeyleix, Kelly popped up with two brilliant points in the closing stages to ensure the win.
8 – Shane Phelan (Castletown)
Castletown have now won three championship games in a row dating back to the 2020 relegation final and this man has played a huge role.
In a titanic tussle with the Harps, Shane Phelan scored three brilliant points – including a gorgeous sideline cut – and covered every blade of grass.
9 – Aaron Bergin (Portlaoise)
Aaron Bergin has been Portlaoise’s best player for the last number of years and he was at it again against Colt-Shanahoe at the weekend.
He finished with 11 points to his name and his accuracy from frees is a key asset.
10 – Aaron Dunphy (Borris-Kilcotton)
Aaron Dunphy struggled for game time with Laois this year and it hard to see why when you watch the displays he is putting in for Borris-Kilcotton this year.
He scored eight points from play and set up PJ Scully for a goal in a faultless performance against Camross.
11 – Martin Phelan (Castletown)
There were three hat-tricks last weekend and one of them went the way of Castletown’s Martin Phelan.
A dynamo from centre forward, Phelan showed his pace for all three of his goals and he managed to create the space to score.
12 – Darren Gilmartin (Camross)
It has been a tough start to the season for Camross but Darren Gilmartin was very impressive against Borris-Kilcotton.
He fired over five points from play before he was substituted and looked Camross’ main scoring threat.
13 – Willie Dunphy (Clough-Ballacolla)
The second player to score a hat-trick in a senior match this weekend is Clough-Ballacolla’s Willie Dunphy.
Although we initially gave two of his goals to Stephen Bergin, we’re now happy to report that it was in fact the dynamic Dunphy who rattled the onion sack and top scored in a brilliant win over Rosenallis.
14 – Ben Conroy (Slieve Bloom)
Slieve Bloom blew the Premier IHC wide open by defeating neighbours Ballyfin by three points on Sunday.
Ballyfin had no answer to Ben Conroy who scored eight points from play, seven frees and also curled over a beautiful sideline cut in a stunning man of the match performance.
15 – Joe Phelan (Castletown)
The third Castletown player to make the selection and deservedly so after an electric performance.
Joe Phelan scored five points and was a real livewire throughout as his side marched into the knockout stages.