At a well attended awards night held in Portlaoise Rugby Club, players and officials gathered to look back on the many great individual and team performances during the past season. The evening hosted by club President, Stradbally man Tom Cosby and quiz master Jack Ozenbrook, from Mountrath , is an annual event enthusiastically looked forward to by all club members.
On display last Friday evening were three major trophies. The YMCA Cup won by the 2nd XI, captained by Willie Lawlor, this is an all Leinster Trophy won in style in a thrilling final last August. The Dick O’Neill Cup won by the 3rd XI, captained by Adrian Tudor, is the main Midland Cricket Association Cup, a trophy won many times in the past by Laois CCC.
The most important piece of Silver on display was the Leinster League Div 6 Trophy won again by the 2nd XI, a major achievement in any club is a Leinster Legue win. While the 1st XI had nothing to display on the night, their continued presence in the lofty heights of Leinster League Div 4 is a tribute to any midlands cricket club and shows Laois CCC can play up there with the best of Leinster cricket.
Tariq Islam, a local Health Board Psychologist, was honoured for his record breaking score of 239 not out in a league clash last May. The highest ever score in Leinster league cricket (previous is 210 ) and the 11th highest score in any form of organised cricket in ireland.. Tariq also won the Player of The Year Award for his overall performance with both bat and ball.
Portlaoise man Rashid Meraj won the award for top wicket taker for the 1st XI. Shiva Katta from Portarlington, last years player of the year, followed up this year with top run scorer for the 3rd XI
After 22 years playing cricket with Laois, Monasterevin nurseryman, William Blackley, received an award for a hat trick of wickets, completed with the last ball of the game against Rush in July. William has been the winner of many awards, but as an all rounder this was particularly special.
Young player of the year went to Louis Hofmeyr from Ferbane Co. Offaly. Louis represented Leinster at under 17 level this season and is the opening bowler for the 1st XI, while his cousin Matthew Auret was the top run scorer for the 1st XI.
A special award was given to David Murphy from Tipperary, the first ever club member to represent Ireland. David was selected for the All Ireland under 14 team last August after playing for Leinster and a Southern Ireland XI during the season. David was also top wicket taker on the 3rd XI.
With three recently qualified level one coaches from Laois CCC, Tom Morris, Usama Raees and Tariq Islam the club is well set for the coming season and underage indoor training is set to start in the New Year.