Home Gaelic Football Club Football Previewing tonight’s Minor ‘A’ football final which is an all South Laois...

Previewing tonight’s Minor ‘A’ football final which is an all South Laois affair

Aodhan Lowry and Jack Byrne
Aodhan Lowry and Jack Byrne

Graiguecullen v Na Fianna Og 
Laois MFC ‘A’ Final – In O’Moore Park at 7.30pm

Plenty of neighbours are set to collide as Graiguecullen face Na Fianna Og in O’Moore Park this evening.

Na Fianna Og comprise of Arles-Killeen, Arles-Kilcruise, Barrowhouse and Crettyard so this will be very much a South Laois affair.

Martin Kelly, Joe Nolan and Edwin Harte make up the Graiguecullen management team and they have worked extremely hard with this group over the years.

Portlaoise have been their kryptonite all the way up – as they lost both league and championship finals to The Town at U-15 level in 2019.  

However, they finally got that particular monkey off their backs when they topped Portlaoise in the semi final a few weeks ago.

Na Fianna Og were originally just Arles-Killeen, Arles-Kilcruise and Barrowhouse but were joined by Crettyard two years ago following their split from Killeshin.

They are managed by James Conway (Arles-Kilcruise), Kevin Phelan (Barrowhouse), John Langton (Barrowhouse) and Tommy Brennan (Crettyard).

They reached the minor semi final last year where they were beaten by eventual champions Ballyroan-Abbey. 

Eight teams entered the ‘A’ championship this year but Portarlington subsequently withdrew after the draw.

That left three teams in Group B – where Portlaoise topped it and advanced to the semi finals with Mountmellick Parish Gaels and Emo-Courtwood taking quarter final spots.

Group A was far more competitive and when tonight’s opponents met in Round 1 back in July, they drew 5-8 to 4-11.

Na Fianna Og subsequently defeated St Joseph’s and Ballyroan-Abbey to finish top while Graiguecullen also defeated Ballyroan-Abbey but drew with St Joseph’s to finish second.

They then received a walkover from Emo-Courtwood in the quarter finals before, as already mentioned, defeating Portlaoise in the semis.

Na Fianna Og faced St Joseph’s once again in the semi final where a late Josh Kelly goal sent them through to a first ever minor final under this name.

Both clubs were well represented with the Laois minors this year as Graiguecullen had Aaron Dorgan, Conor Harte, John O’Shea, Mikee Horohan and captain Jack Byrne.

They also have impressive players like Sean McGrath, Jamie Murphy, Scott Roycroft and Jamao Salvador for Na Fianna Og to contend with.

Fergus Langton, Joshua Deveraux, Darragh Kelly and captain Aodhan Lowry make up Na Fianna Og’s county contingent while Andrew Wall and Josh Kelly will also take plenty of minding.

Graiguecullen are seeking their first minor success since 2015 and they may edge this but it will be very close and don’t rule out extra time.

SEE ALSO – 10 clubs represented as latest hurling Team of the Week revealed following conclusion of group stages

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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.