The third Team of the Week from Round 3 SFC and IFC action from 2021 is here.
We had six senior games, three intermediate games and a handful of Junior A games taking place over the weekend.
With such a volume of games, there are always going to be some who are unlucky to miss out.
In total, there are 11 clubs represented on the team this week.
Courtwood, Clonaslee-St Manman’s, Portlaoise and Stradbally all provide two players each.
Check out our selection below:
1 – Matthew Byron (Courtwood)
In a game of tight margins that goes all the way to extra time, you need your keeper to have a stormer in order to win and Matthew Byron certainly did that.
He pulled off two incredible saves – one in each half – and also kicked a super 45 as Courtwood reached the quarter finals for the first time since 1990.
2 – Eamonn Delaney (Stradbally)
Stradbally are also back in the quarter finals for just the second time since they won the championship in 2016.
Teenager Eamonn Delaney suffered a broken jaw playing for Laois U-20s in the summer but is back to full fitness now and showed his worth in the win against Killeshin. Made a number of immense blocks and also got up to score a crucial point near the end too.
3 – Sean O’Flynn (Courtwood)
Sean O’Flynn showed the two sides to his game in Saturday’s win over Clonaslee.
He was tasked with marking the dangerous Niall Corbet in normal time and held him to a point from play. Then he was released up the field in extra time where he continually rampaged forward and was rewarded with a goal.
4 – Gary Saunders (Portlaoise)
After missing Round 1 against Courtwood, Gary Saunders returned to the Portlaoise side for games against Ballyfin and St Joseph’s where their fortunes have changed.
He was a rock at the back in the latter – making a number of key tackles and had the cuteness to take a late black card at the end which led to victory.
5 – Padraig Kirwan (Emo)
When Padraig Kirwan plays well, Emo tend to win and that was the case against Rosenallis.
His goal in the first half was a solo effort following a run from midfield and he was a constant threat in that department throughout.
6 – Cian Conroy (Clonaslee-St Manman’s)
A Laois minor hurler last year, Cian Conroy may well find himself with the Laois U-20 footballers next year if he can continue to perform like this.
Tasked with marking the tricky Niall Donoher, Conroy held him to just a point and was always by his side whenever he got possession. Cian was also very composed whenever he had the ball and looks a right prospect for the future.
7 – Ger Dunne (Clonaslee St-Manman’s)
Ger ‘Buster’ Dunne is as honest as they come and it was that honesty which brought Clonaslee back into the game against Courtwood.
The match looked over until he scored a brilliant goal and was then fouled for a penalty which put his side ahead. Went off injured shortly after and his side were worse off without him as they couldn’t hold on.
8 – Darren Maher (Stradbally)
Operating at full forward in the first half, Maher plundered in for two crucial goals for Stradbally.
Was moved out around midfield for the second half where he won kick-out after kick-out at crucial times for his side. The most influential player on the field in the win over Killeshin.
9 – Kieran Lillis (Portlaoise)
Laois captain Kieran Lillis was up against inter-county colleague Brian Daly in midfield at the weekend.
The pair slogged it out for much of the game but Lillis finished the stronger as his fielding ability gave Portlaoise the platform to go on and win.
10 – Ross Munnelly (Arles-Kilcruise)
Has now scored 1-19 in his last two matches and is coming into form at just the right time for Kilcruise.
Crettyard couldn’t get to grips with Munnelly in this one as his haul of 1-7 proved crucial in the end.
11 – Michael Doran (Killeshin)
A Laois U-20 in 2020, Michael Doran is a dangerous forward who showed his quality at the weekend.
He finished the game with four points and was unlucky not to have a goal too only for a great save from Wayne Comerford.
12 – Colum Dunne (Timahoe)
After back to back relegation finals in the last two years, Timahoe are motoring now and breezed into the semi finals.
Colum Dunne was their main man in the ten point win over O’Dempsey’s as his 1-6 included a number of fine scores.
13 – Eoin Finlay (O’Dempsey’s)
Missed a lot of time through injury but is back now and flying for the O’Dempsey’s Intermediates.
Eoin Finlay scored 2-7 in the defeat to Timahoe and with this team now out, the forward may be capable of forcing his way into the senior set up.
14 – Sean Moore (Ballyfin)
Ballyfin saved themselves with a big win over The Heath but the one disappointing thing for Laois GAA fans is that we will have to wait until 2022 to see this man play again.
Sean Moore is a joy to watch and his first half goal was a thing of beauty – as he ended up with a tally of 2-8.
15 – Colin Dunne (Arles-Killeen)
Another team who are finished for this year is Arles-Killeen after they defeated Ballylinan at the weekend.
There were plenty of fine performances for Killeen but teenager Colin Dunne caught the eye with 1-2 from play. U-20 for another two years, he certainly has a big future ahead.