LAOIS SHC 'A' 2017 - Club by Club Guide

Rory Delaney

Reporter:

Rory Delaney

Email:

rory@leinsterexpress.ie

LAOIS SHC 'A' 2017 - Club by Club Guide

A guide to all eight clubs in this year's Laois SHC 'A'.

With the Laois SHC 'A' set to get under way this Saturday night in O'Moore Park, here we take a look at all eight clubs who will go in search of championship glory this year.

BALLYFIN GAELS

Manager: Fintan Deegan

Captain: Ricky Quillinan

Team News: They hope to have Darragh Connolly and Eanna Lyons (right) fully fit for the opening round. Also have Keith Dunphy back from last year.

League Form: A strong run in ACHL Division 2 took them to the final, where they comfortably beat Clough-Ballacolla.

Prospects: Agonisingly beaten in last year's SHC 'A' final by Castletown, they are coming with a young side this year and look well placed to be in the mix again.

BORRIS-KILCOTTON

Manager: David Bergin

Captain: Chris Jones

Team News: DJ Kelly has a knee injury and Eoin Fitzpatrick is likely to get called up to the senior team. Willie Abbott and Mark Hanlon are two promising young players to keep an eye on.

League Form: Playing in Division 1A, they only won one game.

Prospects: Like any club's second team, could depend on who they lost to the senior side. Plenty of talent in the club, but a run at this title could be beyond them.

CLONASLEE ST MANMAN'S

Manager: Johnny Pilkington

Captain: TBC

Team News: A few niggling injuries in the camp, but they have been boosted by the return of Rory Conroy and Eoin Gorman from Australia.

League Form: Poor. Won only one game in Division 1A.

Prospects: League form was bad but they usually pick things up in the championship. John Rowney's form will be key.

COLT GAELS

Manager: Christy Dunphy

Captain: Gearoid Parkinson

Team News: Not good. Henry Keyes and Eoin Joyce are in the USA, and they have a whole host of injuries on top of that.

League Form: They had been going well, reaching the Division 1A final, only to concede the game due to fixture congestion and player unavailability.

Prospects: They will struggle unless the injury situation abates in the coming weeks. With a full pick they could be dangerous, but as it stands they will be in trouble.

ROSENALLIS

Manager: Declan Conroy

Captain: Brian Fitzpatrick

Team News: John Lennon (right) is struggling with a hamstring injury. Eoin Kelly and Cillian Callaly have gone to Australia, while Joe Dooley is gone from last year's side.

League Form: A mixed bag in Division 1A. They won four of their seven games to finish in mid-table.

Prospects: Confidence will be high after the success the club has enjoyed in recent years, but this will be a big jump up from the IHC last year. With the players missing, they will find it tough.

SHANAHOE GAELS

Manager: Damien Clear

Captains: Darragh McWey and Aidan Delaney

Team News: They are missing Fintan Bowe to a long-term knee injury, but have no major concerns outside of that setback..

League Form: Played together in the Leinster League, where they reached the final of Division 3, losing to Kilkenny side Windgap.

Prospects: The run through the Leinster League shows the promise in the side, and they will be hoping to build on that. Unlikely winners, but they should be competitive.

ST FINTAN'S MOUNTRATH

Manager: Peter Rice

Captain: TBC

Team News: Have lost a few of the elder statesmen involved, like Dan Russell, but still have a decent mix of youth and experience. No major injury worries at the moment.

League Form: Perfectly inconsistent. Of their seven league games, they won three, drew one, and lost three.

Prospects: Much like the league, they shouldn't be in trouble, but hard to see them in the mix either.

THE HARPS

Manager: David Cuddy

Captain: Tommy Moore

Team News: No major injury worries at the moment, with Kieran Freeman the only long-term absentee after an operation.

League Form: A perfect record in ACHL Division 1A, as they won all seven group games, which qualified them directly to the final. Unfortunately that game did not go ahead, but they are still the form team.

Prospects: Traditionally the team coming down from the SHC has done well in this competition, and that looks likely to happen again. They start as favourites, and it would be a shock if they did't go up