Home Hurling Club Hurling New additions to Laois hurling panel as 2022 season set to begin...

New additions to Laois hurling panel as 2022 season set to begin this weekend

The Laois senior hurlers will get their 2022 season underway against Wexford in Rathdowney on Sunday afternoon.

After a Covid and injury hit first year in charge in his second coming, manager Seamas ‘Cheddar’ Plunkett will be hoping for smoother sailing this year.

While there has been a high turnover of players in the Laois footballer’s ranks, the attrition rate is not so high here. 

From last season, it is understood that Ciaran Collier, James Ryan, Aaron Dunphy and Lee Cleere are not part of the panel.

While All-Star nominee Paddy Purcell and goalkeeper Paul Simms are not in training at present so it is unlikely they would feature at the weekend.

Manager Plunkett will also have to make do without Ballinakill’s Cha Dwyer for the early part of the season.

The forward underwent surgery after Ballinakill’s Premier Intermediate championship win and is currently rehabilitating.

The rest of last year’s panel are believed to be available while several players who impressed for their clubs in the recent championships have been drafted in.

Back-to-back county champions Clough-Ballacolla now have eight players on the squad.

Willie Dunphy, Stephen Maher, Ronan Broderick, Diarmaid Conway and Stephen Bergin have all returned and they are joined by keeper Cathal Dunne, midfielder Aidan Corby and forward Jordan Walshe.

While defenders Pauric Dunne (The Harps) and Liam O’Connell (Rathdowney-Errill) have also been called up along with Camross forward Mark Dowling.

Laois begin their 2022 campaign in Round 1 of the Walsh Cup on Sunday against Wexford in Rathdowney at 2pm.

They then face Kilkenny away the following week. Should they win both of those games, the final will be played on January 30.

Their Division 1B National League campaign then gets underway at home to Tipperary on February 5.

SEE ALSO – Garda appeal for information after cash stolen following robbery from house in Laois

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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.