Round 3 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.
We are now down to the knock-out stages in each competition.
Following all the games, we have managed to whittle our team down to 15 players.
While we also have the return of our subs of the week.
In total, 10 clubs are represented this week – with Camross leading the way with three.
Check it out below:
1 – Tadhg Doran (Camross)
There’s not too many players who lose their place on a club senior team in their mid 30s but win it back again a couple of years later.
But that’s what Tadhg Doran is after doing and he was excellent in Camross’s crucial win over Abbeyleix, making a number of brilliant stops including an excellent double save in the second half. Puckouts are good too and he’s a reassuring, experienced operator as Camross’s Number 1
2 – Joe Phelan (Camross)
An inter-county standard corner back and rarely has a bad game for Camross. A really good defender, good on the ball, makes life difficult for any forward and was brilliant against Abbeyleix.
Pulled off one great last-gasp tackle when Abbeyleix were through on goals in the second half
3 – Daire Tobin (Castletown)
Castletown were very competitive in the first half against Clough-Ballacolla and this young man was integral to much of that.
He defended excellently and won numerous long Clough-Ballacolla balls that landed in his vicinty.
4 – John Maher (Rosenallis)
Playing as a sweeper is a role that is often taken for granted – but when someone does it well, it is really effective.
John Maher was Rosenallis’ sweeper against The Harps and he was outstanding. He intercepted 12 Harps attacks in the first half alone and consistently appeared in the right place.
5 – Donnchadh Hartnett (Mountmellick)
Mountmellick, some people’s pre-tournament favourites, were in deep trouble against Mountrath last week in what was effectively a relegation semi final.
But their county man Donnchadh Hartnett was the difference in the end as he was deadly on frees – firing over 1-9.
6 – Fiachra C-Fennell (Rosenallis)
Fiachra C-Fennell started at midfield for Rosenallis but you could actually select him anywhere because he popped up all over the field.
He scored some crucial points and then, with the game up for grabs in the final minute, he produced a searing run and a fine pass for Brian Fitzpatrick to settle the game.
7 – Paddy Whelan (Borris-Kilcotton)
Was given the job of tracking Paddy Purcell in Borris-Kilcotton’s win over Rathdowney-Errill and he did that to good effect, limiting both his influence on the game and his scoring power – he finished with just a point.
A very solid club player who consistently contributes a lot to this Borris-Kilcotton team
8 – Fionn Holland (Clonad)
Clonad sprung something of a surprise against Park-Ratheniska-Timahoe as they defeated them to preserve their IHC status for another year.
Fionn Holland was the difference too – as he scored nine points and popped up all over the field.
9 – Aidan Corby (Clough-Ballacolla)
Aidan Corby has been one of Clough-Ballacolla’s most consistent performers and he was at it against against Castletown.
His partnership with Willie Hyland continues to blossom with the latter sitting deeper and releasing Corby forward to set up and take scores.
10 – Aaron Dunphy (Borris-Kilcotton)
Dunphy has been excellent for Borris-Kilcotton in this championship to date and he finished with five points from play in their win over Rathdowney-Errill.
Though Borris-Kilcotton’s shooting was erratic in that game, Dunphy was on target at crucial stages in both halves and his running and scoring power make him a real handful.
11 – Zane Keenan (Camross)
When Keenan is on form and at his best, then Camross are a serious team.
Has struggled a bit with injury in recent years but was centre-forward against Abbeyleix, dictated the play and finished with 1-12, a mixture of frees, play, sideline cuts and the goal a bullet from a penalty.
12 – Cha Dwyer (Ballinakill)
It was a must win game for Ballinakill against Slieve Bloom, and their talisman was up to the task.
Cha Dwyer finished with the encounter with 2-12 – his two goals coming from frees that were struck so hard they almost broke the net.
13 – Gary Hoffmeister (Ballyfin)
Like Ballinakill above, Ballyfin had to defeat Rathdowney-Errill’s second team in order to guarantee their passage to the semi finals.
And they did that without much fuss – as Gary Hoffmeister scored two brilliant goals to ensure the win.
14 – Stephen Maher (Clough-Ballacolla)
After another huge haul at the weekend and Stephen Maher has to be the favourite for player of the year already.
He is on fire at full forward in an electric Clough-Ballacolla team as his 2-10 helped them to a third straight win.
15 – Cormac Rigney (Portlaoise)
Portlaoise have shown no ill effects of losing the 2020 Premier IHC final a few months ago – winning all three games easily.
They lost Aaron Bergin to injury early in the first half against Clonaslee but Cormac Rigney stepped up and fired 1-5 to guarantee the win.
SUBS OF THE WEEK
Bernard Rochford (Mountmellick)
Injury had robbed Mountmellick of Bernard Rochford’s services up to last week when he was sprung from the bench in the dying embers against Mountrath.
Rochford scored two crucial points as Mountmellick struck very late to win and preserve their IHC status.
John Lennon (Rosenallis)
John Lennon was named to start against The Harps but it was clear from the way he was hobbling in the warm up that this would not happen.
However, he did come on with 15 minutes to go and scored a crucial point for his side that ultimately helped them to a priceless win.