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Top of the class! Four teachers at Laois secondary school end 2021 as championship winners

Portlaoise College GAA

Four teachers at one Laois secondary school are set to end 2021 as GAA championship winners.

Portlaoise College are fortunate to have an extremely diverse and talented staff – and among them are four people who have excelled away from the classroom.

Maths teacher Colm Murphy helped Portarlington claim two Jack Delaney Cups in the same calendar year.

The full forward, who also finished as top scorer in Laois this year, was excellent at the weekend too as Port defeated St Loman’s to reach the Leinster senior semi final in Croke Park on Saturday week.

But Murphy is not the only teacher in the school to win two senior championships in the same year.

Clough-Ballacolla’s Darren Maher also lifted the Bob O’Keeffe on two occasions as his team won the 2020 and 2021 senior hurling championship this year.

Both of the 2020 competitions were delayed due to Covid-19 and Clough-Ballacolla defeat Borris-Kilcotton in both that and the 2021 final.

The guidance and geography teacher was a rock at full back throughout and was also excellent against Rapparees of Wexford in the Leinster quarter final.

Clough-Ballacolla won their first ever provincial game and now host Kilmacud Crokes of Dublin on Saturday in O’Moore Park.

Another of Portlaoise College’s maths teachers was also successful of the playing field this year.

MJ Lalor was on the Ballypickas team who claimed Laois Junior ‘A’ hurling glory in October.

He scored 1-1 in the final as they saw off Abbeyleix in the decider to make an immediate return to the Intermediate grade.

Meanwhile, art teacher Clodagh Dunne also joins the party as she captained her side to championship glory.

Ballyroan Ladies defeated Graiguecullen last month to reach the Senior grade for the first time in their history.

Does any school in the country have teachers who have enjoyed such sporting success this year? We highly doubt it.

Fair play to all!

SEE ALSO – PJ Kelly: ‘I sincerely am privileged and honoured’ to be new Laois GAA chairman

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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.