Home Gaelic Football Club Football Place in the 2021 Laois Junior ‘A’ football final up for grabs...

Place in the 2021 Laois Junior ‘A’ football final up for grabs in today’s semi finals

Laois GAA

Barrowhouse v St Joseph’s 
Laois JFC Semi Final in Crettyard at 3.30pm

Neighbours Barrowhouse and St Joseph’s are set to collide in Crettyard this afternoon.

The last time these teams clashed in a match of this magnitude – it was the 2018 IFC relegation final.

St Joseph’s won that and Barrowhouse have been Junior ever since – albeit that St Joseph’s were relegated themselves a year later.

St Joseph’s were drawn in a three team group alongside Camross and Kilcavan but qualified from it without kicking a ball as Camross gave two walkovers.

St Joseph’s then hammered Kilcavan to top the group and reached this stage after a win over Killeshin in the quarter final.

Barrowhouse, who are managed by Arles-Killeen footballer Sean O’Shea, were in a four team group alongside Ballyroan-Abbey, The Heath and Errill.

They received a walkover from Errill, lost to Ballyroan-Abbey but triumphed in a winner-takes-all clash with The Heath.

This set up a quarter final with the team who defeated them last year – Portlaoise.

But Barrowhouse enjoyed a 3-15 to 0-17 win to secure their semi final place.

St Joseph’s have quality in the form of Donal Ramsbottom, James Fleming, James Smith, Dan Dunne, David Brennan, Cathal Fleming and Peter Kealy who have all played senior in the past.

While youngsters like Tomas Byrne, Eoin Cahill, Adam Delaney and Joe Morrin are all very capable at this level.

Barrowhouse are without Andrew Baldwin and Emmet Malone through injury but they have freshened up their team in recent years.

Alex Robinson, Loughlin Kelleher, TJ Burke, Fergal Murphy, Alex Kenny and Lee Day are all exciting young players while the likes of Martin Murphy, Tom Page and James Baldwin are very talented too.

Local derbies are hard to call but Barrowhouse may just have enough.


Annanough v Ballyroan-Abbey 
Laois JFC Semi Final in Stradbally at 6pm

The second semi final will see Annanough and Ballyroan-Abbey meet in Stradbally at 6pm.

Annanough, who won this competition in 2018, came back down from Intermediate in 2020 and will be looking for an immediate return once again.

They were drawn in Group D along with Spink and Killeshin. They defeated the latter but lost to the former.

However, that was good enough to progress to the quarter finals as group winners where they faced Kilcavan.

Damien McCaul scored four goals in the first half of that one as they won by 5-12 to 1-12 in the end.

As mentioned above, Ballyroan-Abbey’s second string topped a group involving Errill, Barrowhouse and The Heath with three straight wins.

The Harps were their opponents in the quarter final where a second half surge led them to a six point win.

Like their senior team, this outfit is backboned by players who have won Minor football crowns in recent years.

Ned Fitzpatrick, Fionan Mahony, Sam Quinn, James McWey, Alan McWey, Ben McDonald, Lawson Obulor and Odhran Delaney have all won at least one minor in the last three years.

Liam Delaney, Jamie Whelan and Ruairi Dunne have all played senior in the past too.

Annanough are without Shane Stapleton while there are also injury concerns over John Scully.

Damien McCaul will cause the Ballyroan defence plenty of problems while so too will Killian Horgan and Elliott Scully – with Conor Donlon also looking to use his pace from the back.

This is also hard to call but perhaps Ballyroan’s blend of youth and experience could be the difference.

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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.