The game of hurling got another boost in Laois last week, as a new club has been formed, and will enter both adult and juvenile competitions in 2015.
The club will be called Slieve Margy, and is drawing players from six clubs - St Joseph’s, Barrowhouse, Arles-Killeen, Crettyard and Ballylinan, while players from Arles-Kilcruise will also be available.
The idea was mooted back before Christmas, and after a positive reaction from the clubs in the area, the details for the new club were rubberstamped last week.
The club will enter teams from U-8 up to Junior B, excluding U-21, with the juvenile setup based out of Milltown, and the adult games rotating depending on the availability of pitches.
Speaking to the Leinster Express yesterday, St Joseph’s chairman Míchael Condron, who is currently joint chairman of the new club, was delighted with the progress made so far. “It is great for all the clubs involved. We (St Joseph’s-Barrowhouse) were hurling on our own up to U-16, and we have two lads on the county minor panel this year. We wanted adult hurling for them but we weren’t able to hurl on our own, so we approached the other teams in the area.”
Ballylinan Chairman Walter Hovendon, who is currently co-chairing the new club along with Condron, admitted the reaction from the county board has been positive so far. “We have had great support from Niall Handy, and he said he will help us out as best he can with fixtures. It will be tricky with all the clubs involved playing in all the football leagues but if we can get a gap in the fixtures we should be ok.”
The formation of the club has seen adult hurling return to the area, with Ballylinan having fielded at Junior C level up to recently, while the Milltown club drew in players from the area back in the 70s and 80s. They won two JHC titles and contested an IHC final in that time, before the club wound up in the late 1980s.
A full committee has yet to be put in place, but a further meeting is due to be held this Thursday night. The club will play in navy and royal blue jerseys, with a white trim.