The Laois U-20 hurlers will go in search of silverware tomorrow when they face Offaly in the Leinster League final.
The Faithful Fields in Kilcormac will be the venue for a 12pm throw in on St Patrick’s Day.
This competition is being used by counties to warm up for the championship and has gone very well for Ollie Hally’s charges.
It began last month away to Carlow in Round 1 where they proved far too strong for their hosts.
The first quarter was even enough with Cillian Dunne, Tomas Keyes and Dan Delaney finding the target for Laois but Carlow responded each time.
However, from that period to half time, Laois opened up their opponents and goals soon followed.
James Duggan continued his good form from 2021 with two goals while his Harps teammate Cathal Murphy also rattled the onion sack.
Ian Shanahan and Colin Byrne joined the point scorers as Laois took a 3-8 to 0-7 lead at half time.
That meant that a win over Kildare in their next match would put them through to the final.
Here, eight points from Podge Brennan and two late goals from sub Colin Byrne helped them to an 11-point win.
In a decent contest in cold conditions, Laois led from start to finish and although Kildare had the gap back to two points with five minutes remaining, Abbeyleix’s Colin Byrne struck for two goals in the space of a minute to make the game safe for Laois.
An impressive performance from Clough-Ballacolla’s Padraig Brennan, which saw him shoot seven points, three of them from play, from the half-back line was also a feature of Laois’s performance.
Offaly have reached the final following wins over Westmeath and Meath.
As was the case last year, Fionan Mahony of Abbeyleix captains the side. And he is assisted by Ballinakill’s Ian Shanahan and Castletown’s Tadhg Cuddy.
The Harps, who won the Laois minor championship in 2019, lead the way in terms of representatives with six players on the panel while Abbeyleix – minor champions in 2020 and U-20 champions last year – have five players included.
Clough-Ballacolla are next in line with four players included while Trumera and Borris-Kilcotton have three each.
Camross, Rathdowney-Errill and Castletown all have two players apiece listed while Ballinakill, Portlaoise, Park-Ratheniska/Timahoe, Ballyfin, Rosenallis and Clonaslee all have one.
In all 13 of the players that featured against Kilkenny in last year’s narrow Leinster championship loss are available and included again.
James Duggan, Ciaran Burke and Cathal Murphy from The Harps all started against Kilkenny as did Fionan Mahony (Abbeyleix), Danny Brennan (Park-Ratheniska/Timahoe), Niall Coss (Borris-Kilcotton), Ian Shanahan (Ballinakill), Tomas Keyes (Camross) and Tadhg Cuddy (Castletown).
Lawson Obular (Abbeyleix), Eddie Critchley (Portlaoise), Padraig Brennan (Clough-Ballacolla) and Dan Delaney (Camross) all came on as subs in that game.
Tomorrow’s game throws in at 12pm in the Faithful Fields.
LAOIS: Paddy Hassett (Rathdowney-Errill); Ian Shanahan (Ballinakill), Lawson Obular (Abbeyleix), Danny Brennan (Park-Ratheniska-Timahoe); Podge Brennan (Clough-Ballacolla), Niall Coss (Borris-Kilcotton), Bryan Bredin (Trumera); Cody Comerford (The Harps), Philip Tynan (Borris-Kilcotton); Tadhg Cuddy (Castletown), Dan Delaney (Camross), Adam Kirwan (Trumera); Colin Byrne (Abbeyleix), James Duggan (The Harps), Cillian Dunne (Clough-Ballacolla).
Subs: Finnian O’Connor (Trumera), Eamon Fitzpatrick (Abbeyleix), Cathal Murphy (The Harps), Fionan Mahony (Abbeyleix), Rian Edwards (The Harps), Eddie Critchley (Portlaoise), Diarmuid Dooley (Rosenallis), Shaun Fitzpatrick (Abbeyleix), Noah Quinlan (Borris-Kilcotton), Aaron Phelan (Castletown), Kevin Mulhall (Clough-Ballacolla), Darragh Hogan (Clough-Ballacolla), Tiernach Doheny (The Harps), Eoin Connolly (Ballyfin), Cian Conroy (Clonaslee), Ciaran Burke (The Harps), Tomas Keyes (Camross)