Home Hurling Club Hurling Survival on the line as neighbours The Harps and Abbeyleix meet in...

Survival on the line as neighbours The Harps and Abbeyleix meet in SHC relegation playoff

Harps Abbeyleix

Abbeyleix v The Harps
Laois SHC Relegation Final – In O’Moore Park 7.30pm

It is the final that nobody wants to be in – but Abbeyleix and The Harps will contest it tonight.

Survival will be the prize as these two neighbours clash and go in search of their first wins of the season.

2021 began really well for The Harps as they defeated Portlaoise to win the 2020 Premier IHC title in the summer.

But life at this level has proved difficult for them. Covid issues saw their first round game against Clough-Ballacolla delayed by a week.

They lost that and then were narrowly edged out by Castletown in Round 2 before suffering the same fate against Rosenallis.

Fintan Deegan’s charges have been hampered by the loss of key players from their Premier IHC win – Ciaran Burke (injury), Fionn Whelan (abroad) and Gavin Dunne (abroad).

From the minute the draw was made, Abbeyleix knew they were going to be up against it if they were to avoid an appearance here.

They were very unfortunate not to defeat Borris-Kilcotton in Round 1 as they were caught right at the end by a PJ Scully free for a draw.

Abbeyleix were then level with Rathdowney-Errill heading into the final quarter only to concede an unfortunate goal before losing.

But worryingly for them they looked well off it against Camross two weeks ago and went down heavily.

Abbeyleix have had the tougher games and that should stand to them.

But last year, Ballinakill came into the game in a similar position and ended up being pipped by a Castletown side who had shown little form before that.

The Harps will be hoping James Duggan can catch fire and that Micheal Lanigan can remain steady on frees.

Abbeyleix will be hoping for the same from the likes of Aaron Brennan and Ciaran Byrne.

A tight encounter is anticipated and we’ll bring you all of the action as it happens later on our live blog.

Odds – Abbeyleix 8/11, The Harps 5/4, Draw 8/1

SEE ALSO – 11 clubs represented on latest LaoisToday football Team of the Week

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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.