Stradbally celebrate their SFC success over Portlaoise. Pic: Alf Harvey/HRPhoto.ie
Stradbally's first championship game as reigning Laois SFC champions will be against local rivals The Heath.
The 2016 champions shocked the county last year when they beat Portlaoise in the final, thanks to a last-minute Jody Dillon goal. They will be looking to retain the title for the first time since 1997/1998, but face a tricky local derby to get going. For The Heath, it means they have been drawn against the reigning champions for the last two years in a row.
Portlaoise face familiar opposition in the form of Arles-Kilcruise, while last year's surprise package Crettyard Gaels take on Ballyroan Abbey. Arles-Killeen will take on Portarlington, while newly promoted O'Dempsey's face Ballyfin Gaels.
Another interesting local derby sees Graiguecullen, now under the guidance of Padraig Clancy, take on Killeshin. Clonaslee Gaels, now with players from Annanough in tow, meet St Joseph's, while Ballylinan take on Mountmellick Gaels.
Emo, SFC finalists in 2015 and relegated in 2016, get life in the IFC up and running against Annanough. Timahoe, beaten in last year's final, face a tricky opener against last year's junior champions Rosenallis. Courtwood take on The Rock, while Barrowhouse play Portlaoise.
The full list of draws is below.
LAOIS SHOPPING CENTRE SFC
Weekend of July 28
O’Dempsey’s v Ballyfin Gaels; Portarlington v Arles Killeen; Portlaoise v Arles Kilcruise; Stradbally v The Heath; Graiguecullen v Killeshin; Ballyroan Abbey v Crettyard Gaels; Clonaslee Gaels v St Joseph’s; Ballylinan v Mountmellick Gaels.
LAOIS SHOPPING CENTRE IFC
Weekend of July 28
Courtwood v The Rock; Timahoe v Rosenallis; Annanough v Emo; Portlaoise v Barrowhouse.
LAOIS SHOPPING CENTRE JFC ‘A’
Group A: The Heath, Park-Ratheniska, Stradbally, Camross.
Group B: Ballylinan, Killeshin, St Joseph’s, The Harps.
Group C: Portarlington, Kilcavan, Ballyroan-Abbey, Graiguecullen.
Group D: Spink, Portlaoise, O’Dempsey’s.
LAOIS JFC SHOPPING CENTRE ‘B’
First round games on July 5
Group A: Arles-Kilcruise, Emo, Rosenallis.
Group B: Arles-Killeen, The Rock, Timahoe.
Group C: St Fintan’s, Mountmellick, Errill.
LAOIS SHOPPING CENTRE JFC ‘C’
First round games on July 19/20
Slieve Bloom v O’Dempsey’s, winners play Rathdowney; Crettyard v Barrowhouse; Kilcotton v Borris-in-Ossory; Park-Ratheniska v Annanough; Ballyroan-Abbey v Clonaslee; Castletown v Shanahoe; Ballyfin v Courtwood.
LAOIS SHOPPING CENTRE U-21 FC ‘A’
St Joseph’s v Courtwood-Emo-The Rock (1); Ballyroan Abbey Gaels v Graiguecullen (2).
Winners of 1 v Portlaoise; Winners of 2 v The Heath; Sarsfields v Portarlington; Killeshin-Crettyard v Stradbally Parish Gaels.
LAOIS SHOPPING CENTRE U-21 FC ‘B’
Park-Rathenisk v Rosenallis (1); Castletown-Slieve Bloom v Ballylinan (2).
Winners of 1 v Na Fianna Og; Winners of 2 v O’Dempsey’s.
LAOIS SHOPPING CENTRE MFC ‘A’
Monday, July 24
Sarsfields v Stradbally Parish Gaels; Portarlington v Portlaoise; St Joseph’s v The Harps; Ballyroan-Abbey Gaels v Emo-Courtwood-The Rock.
LAOIS SHOPPING CENTRE MFC ‘B’
Park-Ratheniska v Clonaslee (1)
Ballylinan v O’Dempsey’s (2)
Castletown-Slieve Bloom v St Fintan’s Mountrath (3)
Graiguecullen v The Heath; Winner 1 v Killeshin-Crettyard; Winner 2 v Camross; Winner 3 v Rosenallis.