A round up of news and events from the clubs in the county.
Best wishes to the club's intermediate football team as they play their final group game against Courtwood in Emo this Saturday. Although qualification for the semi-final is already assured, the team will be hoping to complete their programme of games with unbeaten and thus take top place in the group. All support will be greatly appreciated. Meanwhile, hard luck to the Stradbally Parish Gaels minor team that were beaten by Portarlington in the county final last Saturday.
Our Summer draw will take place on Saturday, September 5. Tickets are currently on sale and the draw has a top prize of €400. Tickets cost €5 each and they are available from committee members.
Juvenile Coaching Course
A mandatory course for those wishing to coach juveniles will take place in September. It is a 3 hour course and anyone wishing to coach juveniles in the future will have to take part in this course. Those interested are encouraged to give their names to any committee member.
The final of the juvenile blitz will take place in Annanough on September 13 at 12.30pm.
Our Junior A footballers were unfortunately beaten in the county final on Saturday evening. Cathal Brophy opened the scoring after five minutes but The Heath dominated the next 20 minutes where they scored 1-5 without reply.
Ballyfin finished the half stronger and points from JJ McHugh and a James Finn free left us trailing by five points at the break. Ballyfin were much better in the second half and driven on by Damien Holohan who was superb all through at midfield and Jason Horan we started to come back into the game, however we weren't getting the scores our approach play deserved.
With 10 minutes left we still trailed by four points when Cathal Brophy had a shot deflected and it ended up in the Heath net. James Finn's subsequent free had the teams level but a lapse in concentration from a quickly taken Heath free saw them get the winning point. Ballyfin tried everything in the five minutes injury time to draw level but a number of opportunities were missed and The Heath were champions on a 1-7 to 1-6 scoreline.
This was hard luck on this bunch of players who prepared very well and worked hard all year to get to this final. We will still go on to represent Laois in the Leinster Junior Championship which starts in the next few weeks. Damien Holohan at midfield was the best player on view on the night followed by Jason Horan. Alan Strong put in a fine hour while Eoin Dunphy and Ricky Quillinan were prominent in the second half but over the hour our forwards didn't penetrate a resolute Heath defence enough.
Our Intermediate hurlers had their second championship win of the season when accounting for The Harps on Wednesday last. After 15 minutes, down to 14 men and trailing by 2-6 to 0-3 things looked bleak but from here till half-time Ballyfin played well and started eating into the lead mainly through Sean Lowry frees but also a brilliant long range JJ McHugh point.
When Sean Lowry buried a 25 yard free to the back of The Harps net Ballyfin trailed by just a goal at the break. Ballyfin gave an excellent performance in the second half and were rewarded with some lovely scores, particularly brilliant goals from Matt Duff at the start of the half and Jason Horan.
Chris Dunne also scored three fine points and we ran out winners by 3-15 to 2-13 to qualify for the quarter finals. Niall Keenan dealt very calmly with anything which came his way in goals, Andy Bergin excelled at full back ably assisted by Richie Downey and Jason Horan in defence, Dermot McGill lorded midfield while up front Matt Duff, Chris Dunne and Donncha Phelan when introduced caused The Harps lots of problems. This win sees us safely through to the knockout phase where we will take on Shanahoe.
BALLYFIN TEAM: Niall Keenan, Paul Dunphy, Gary Dunne, Mick McHugh, Richie Downey, JJ McHugh, Jason Horan, (1-0) Dermot McGill 0-1, Sean Lowry, (1-9 1-8f)George Lanham 0-1, Ciaran Fingleton, Chris Dunne(0-3) Louis Duff, Andy Bergin, Matt Duff (1-1). Subs: Donncha Phelan for Ciaran Fingleton, Daniel Dunne for Louis Duff
Our U-12 hurlers qualified for the championship final when defeating The Harps last week in the semi-final. Two early goals from Eanna Lyons settled the team and frees from Eanna Lyons and Paul Connolly followed by a Daniel Grehan goal left us 3-2 to 0-0 ahead at half time.
A further 45' from Paul Connolly and a Buri Heffernan goal put us clear before the Harps finished with two late goals to leave the final score 4-3 to 2-0. In a very good team performance Kevin O Rourke and Eanna Lyons excelled along with Cillian Dunphy, Max Connolly, Cormac Ryan and Daniel Grehan.
This team are unbeaten so far this year but face two very tough finals against Portlaoise in the league and championship. The league final takes place this Saturday at 12am in Abbeyleix while the championship final is fixed for the 19th September.
The U-12s also went to Dublin last Saturday for a four team blitz. This was an excellent days hurling with three good games where we defeated Clontarf and Naomh Mearnog from Dublin but were beaten by a strong Taghmon/Camross team from Wexford in the last game. The players were presented with medals on the day. Our U-10 and U-11 players also played Clontarf in a practice match which finished level.
Our U-16 hurlers play the championship semi-final this Saturday at 4.15 in Ballacolla against Naomh Eamann. Best of luck to these lads who won the league and are chasing the double.
Camross senior hurlers qualified for the quarter-final stage of the championship where they will play Ballinakill on September 13,after they beat Abbeyleix 1-17 to 0-12 in Rathdowney on Saturday evening last.
On Sunday evening, our JHC 'A' team beat Borris-in-Ossory 5-9 to 0-9, at the quarter-final stage. They are now due to play Kyle in the semi-final next weekend. Our intermediate team drew Clonaslee in the quarter-finals (September 19).The Camross-Kyle U-21 A team were due to play Mountrath in the semi-final on Monday evening in O'Moore Park, but was postponed due to the weather.
Junior A Championship
Kyle contested the Junior A quarter final against The Harps in Borris in Ossory last Saturday evening at 6pm. This was definitely a game of two halves with Kyle playing some great hurling in the first half before The Harps took over in the second half. The Harps opened up the scoring with a point from play before adding another from a free.
Kyle responded well and when a fine ball was delivered in by Tony Fitzpatrick it was duly dispatched to the net by Gearoid Walshe. This gave Kyle the platform to drive on and they duly did with a point from play from Gearoid before Brendan Bergin also added a point from play. The Harps responded with a point before Gearoid pointed four in a row, the first from play and the following three from frees.
The Harps got a point back before Adrian Kelly finished off a fine move with a well taken point to leave the score at half time 1-7 to 0-4. The second half saw The Harps slowly get back into the game and they hit three unanswered points before Gearoid pointed. However The Harps drove on and were rewarded for their efforts with 1-1 from play to go ahead by a point.
Michael Gilmartin leveled with a point before The Harps hit two points in a row and it seemed they had done enough. However in the dying moments Gearoid soloed through and hit a rasping shot which was goal bound only for The Harps goalkeeper to stop it on the line before Brendan Bergin was quickest to the break and duly dispatched it to the net.
Kyle hung on after that to come away with a one point victory 2-9 to 1-11. This was a hard fought win, slightly fortuitous but we live to fight another day. The team hurled well under severe pressure especially in the second half when their backs were against the wall. Brendan and Gearoid in the corners worked tirelessly whilst Tony Fitzpatrick gave his all despite carrying a heavy flu into the game.
Paul Maher drove on the backs well and was unlucky not to score in the second half (The bet lives on). Luke Maher gave a new dimension when introduced whilst Mark Delaney managed to unsettle The Harps defense when introduced. Hard luck to The Harps, on the day Lady Luck smiled on us. The semi final is due to be played next Saturday (see fixtures for time and opponents).
Team: Mark Teehan, Ray Clarke, Barry Grady, Eamonn Fletcher, Shane Gilmartin, Aidan Moloney, Paul Maher, Niall O Lone, Michael Maher, Adrian Kelly (0-1], Tony Fitzpatrick (C], Darren Gilmartin, Brendan Bergin(1-1], Michael Gilmartin (0-1], Gearoid Walshe (1-6], Mark Delaney, Luke Maher, Pat Delahunty, Tom Delaney, Tadgh Teehan, Kevin Carey
Paddy Sheeran RIP
Before the quarter final there was a minutes silence for our president Paddy Sheeran who passed away recently. Paddy not only was our president but was also a past player and in later years secretary of Kyle GAA. Paddy was part of our '51 team that won our only senior championship to date whilst also picking up intermediate and junior medals prior to this.
Paddy always kept a great interest in Kyle and was delighted when the junior championship was won back in 2006. May he rest in peace.
Tony Forrestal Under 14 All Ireland
Comhghairdeas to Desmond Daly and Conor Quinlan who were part of the Laois A side and Laois O Moore side which played on Saturday in O Moore Park and Portlaoise GAA grounds. Des was part of the A side which won the final outright beating Antrim and before that Kerry, Roscommon & Down.
Incidentally Des amassed a total of 7-9 in these games. Conor was part of the O Moore side which was narrowly beaten by Carlow in their respective final.
Despite the weather, spirits were good last Sunday after our quarter final win and we had a successful Barbecue in The Racket Hall with music by Martin Delaney. There was a good turnout for this fundraiser which brought some much needed funds into the clubs coffers.
Kyle GAA would like to sincerely thank all those who bought tickets on the day, to Ger England for organizing the event and a special word of thanks to The Racket Hall for their hospitality, for laying on the food and of course not forgetting The Bouncy Castle and face painting.
Congratulations to Angela Mulvey on winning the spot prize of an overnight stay in the executive suite in The Racket Hall with dinner included—kindly donated by The Racket Hall. There were various other winners on the evening with Jim Quinlan winning a coveted make up set!
We are running this draw once again with the first draw starting at the end of September. Details can be obtained from any committee member or alternatively contact JP on 086 8222388. Your support would be greatly appreciated.
Mountmellick's Intermediate hurlers exited this year's championship after they were defeated by Borris-in-Ossory at Shanahoe on Thursday 27. Mountmellick trailed by one point at the interval with the score line of 1-5 to 0-7. They continued to perform well and went down gallantly in the end by 3-11 to 1-12.
Team: Donie O'Mahony, Laurence Kenny, Tom Gormley, Patrick Murphy, Darren Young, Bernard Rochford, Paddy O'Brien, John O'Loughlin, Michael Bermingham, Killian Murphy, Jarlath Challoner, John McEvoy, Michael Ennis, Aidan Challoner, Patrick Keating, Sean Gorman, Paddy Simms, Ciaran Rochford and Seamus Stapleton.
All in Mountmellick wish the senior footballers the best of luck in their quest for a quarter final place as they play Stradbally on Friday night next in O'Moore Park. In preparation for this they had a useful challenge against Corraclare on Sunday evening.
Ballyfin/Mountmellick under 12 hurlers are due to play Portlaoise in the Division One league final on Saturday 5 September in Abbeyleix at noon. All support welcome. The under 16 hurlers are also out on Saturday in Ballacolla at 4.15pm. The under 10 and 12s had an enjoyable trip to Dublin on Saturday, 29 August.
The under 12 Footballers were beaten by Portlaoise in the A semi final on Wednesday 26 August. The team battled bravely but came off second best against a well drilled Portlaoise team. Thanks to Joe Conroy who has put a major effort into this team over the past number of years. The 2nd u12 team was beaten by Camross in the shield on Sunday 30 August. It was a great achievement to field the 2nd team this year.
The highlight of the year was beating Rathdowney in the championship. The club wishes to thank parents, kids and particularly the contribution of Joe Moore who put a lot of time into this team. Hopefully the benefits will be reaped in the years ahead.
Park/Ratheniska's Junior hurlers put their second big win on the board in this years Championship when they overcame Slieve Bloom in the Championship Quarter Final last Friday night.
A minutes silence was observed before the throw in Following the recent death of Park/Ratheniska hurler Padraig Doyle in the United States, and the Park/Ratheniska players all wore black armbands in memory of their team-mate.
Brendan Fingleton started scoring with two early placed balls and the first nail in the Bloom coffin was drilled home early on when Ger Ramsbottom picked up on a loose ball around the opposition goal, to drill low and hard to the back of the Slieve Bloom net. Jamie Cahill pushed home the advantage for the Park/Ratheniska men immediately after when he collected in the corner and took off towards goal, before rifling an unstoppable shot past the keeper at the near post.
Slieve Bloom had a penalty expertly saved by Park/Ratheniska keeper Shane Nolan, but he was eventually beaten before half time when a high speculative ball into the square was expertly flicked on to the back of his net. Nonetheless it was the Ratheniska men who went to the break leading by five points.
Slieve Blooms challenge was effectively ended 10 minutes into the second period when they lost their centre half back to a second yellow card, and when Cahill raced through for his second goal of the game. Park/Ratheniska tagged on a few more points and emptied their bench for the bigger challenges that lay ahead.
Upcoming fixtures sees the Intermediate footballers attempt to salvage their Championship season this Saturday evening at 6pm in Timahoe. Their opponents are Ballinakill and with score difference ensured of playing a vital role in their hopes of advancement, the Ratheniska players must firstly attempt to win the game, secondly attempt to bolster their scoring difference by as much as they can, and thirdly hope Annanough manage to overcome Courtwood in the groups other game. A tall order overall, but one the players must overcome to continue their season.
The Park/Ratheniska GAA Club would like to pass on our deepest sympathy and condolences to the Doyle family, Cremorgan on the recent passing of Padraig Doyle, who hurled with Park/Ratheniska. Ar dheis d go raibh a anam.
For more news, fixtures, results and information, please see www.parkratheniskagaa.com, which carries regular updates for the GAA Club and you can also find the Club on Facebook and Twitter, just search for Park/Ratheniska GAA Club.
Congratulations to all our Minor A winning side who brought home the minor cup for the first time in 18 years. Well done lads. To the management team of Martin Roycroft, Tom Moran, Barry Rainbow, Shane McCauley and trainer Seamus Hunt well done and thanks from all the club members and supporters.
Best wishes to the senior team who play Ballylinan on saturday 5th
The club committee would like to inform all club members and players that following a recent make over of our bar facilities that our premises are available for all parties no matter what the occasion, its an ideal place to hold your functions, close to the town, car parking spaces, and an ideal venue to hold your party. To book your upcoming parties contact Peter O Neill on 087-9342357.
The club would like to thank our great supporters and friends of the club who have contributed in any way to get the development at our new club grounds at Rathleague back on track.
Weather permitting the development committee hope to have a least four pitches ready for use by next June. This is great news and despite all the set backs at the start of this development the club has united and hopefully we will see the fruits of this project bloom by next summer. Well done to all involved
Well done to our senior footballers on reaching the quarter finals of this year's championship hopefully the can go all the way and make it three in a row
The club would like to wish Craig Rogers a speeding recovery following a bad injury he received in our recent championship match.
Our Senior Hurlers have drawn The Harps in the Quarter finals of this years championship, the news of Cahir Healy's return from his travels will help boost the side and hopefully the return of injured players will help also.
Portlaoise had several teams in action over the last week first up was the under 16 B football team who played Ballylinan Gleann Mor in the championship semi-final in Ballylinan on Tuesday Night.
This was always going to be a tough game for the Portlaoise boys and Ballylinan ran out winners on a scoreline of 2-17 to 3-4 , but it has been a good year for the Portlaoise team getting to both the league and championship semi-finals well done to mentors Michael Nerney, Ger Cullen and Ollie Ryan.
Portlaoise U-16 A team played St Joseph's-Barrowhouse in the A Football semi-final on Wednesday night in Timahoe. Portlaoise completely dominated this game from start to finish and ran out very comfortable winners they will play either Stradbally Parish Gaels or Mountmellick in the final in two weeks.
Portlaoise U-12 Footballers were in action also on Wednesday Night against Mountmellick in The Rock and once again the "Town" came out on top winning on a scoreline of 2-10 to 0-9 , they will play Graiguecullen in the final in two weeks also.
Portlaoise U-12 Hurlers had two teams in action in a tournament in Dublin on Saturday with both teams contesting the final well done to all involved there. Portlaoise U-12 Hurlers take on Ballyfin-Mountmellick in the U-12 Hurling League Final in Abbeyleix next Saturday morning at 12 pm check fixtures for further details.
Well done to Laois U-14 hurlers on winning the Tony Forristal competition at the weekend which included several Portlaoise players and selectors Paul Bergin and Mick Loughnane, and well done to Laois U-16 Hurlers on winning the All-Ireland B competition in Westmeath on Saturday also which included some Portlaoise players and selector John Glesson, and also well done to Laois U-15 Hurlers who beat Kilkenny at the weekend which included several Portlaoise players and selectors Kevin Lynch and Kevin Cullition
Sarsfields Ladies won the replayed Laois Junior Football Championship with a excellent display against Ballyroan in Stradbally on Saturday. Unlike the drawn game in July, Sarsfields got stuck in from the start and a Shannon Conroy goal after two minutes laid the foundations for a remarkable win. Although Ballyroan were ahead by 2-2 to 1-2 at half time Sarsfields forwards added 2-6 in a terrific second half to win convincingly. Final score: Sarsfields 3-8; Ballyroan 3-3.
They will now play the Offaly champions in the first round of the Leinster Junior championship in a few weeks. Team: Aoife McEvoy, Fiona Burke, Clodagh Dunne, Colette Cashin, Daphne Behan, Sinead Walsh, Becky Dowling, Jenny O'Shea, Casey Conroy, Lauramarie Maher (0-6), Joyce Dunne, Mairead McEvoy Ruth Williams, Carol Hughes , Shannon Conroy, Ciara Burke (1-0), Louise Jones, Laura O'Shea, Avril Westman, Niamh Coss, Niamh Williams, Aoife Grennan.
In the Laois U-16 Championship Sarsfields defeated Killeen by 2-18 to 5-5 in the opening round on Tuesday 25 August.
Last week was a busy week for The Harps in championship fare. The intermediates played the highly fancied Ballyfin in a group decider and lost by three points. Despite the loss of key players through injury The Harps led at half time and had given a good account of themselves. Some odd refereeing decisions particularly against The Harps allowed Ballyfin gain a foothold and with crucial scores at crucial times they capitalised and went onto win. Pat Dunne, Justin Brophy and Albert Townsend were to the fore.
The Junior A team suffered defeat at the hands of Kyle through a last minute goal on Saturday evening in Borris in Ossory. It was a heartbreaking way to go out of the championship.
The seniors played Rathdowney- Errill in the group decider in Portlaoise on Sun evening. In a rip roaring contest the harps started well aided by a strong breeze. A goal by John Brophy mid way through the first half put the Harps up by eight points at half time.
Rathdowney- Errill rejigged their team at half time and this seemed to steel them for the battle ahead. They gained a foothold in the half back line and continued to press forward. This paid off with 10 minutes to go when their full forward scores the decisive goal which drew them level and they kicked on from there to win by three points.
Quarter final draw
Harps V Porlaoise ( SHC)- Weekend of 12/13 September
Harps V Clonad( IHC)- Weekend of 12/13 September
U8: The Rock U8's are playing in a blitz in Ballylinan on Saturday 5 September.
U12: The Rock U-12's were defeated in the semi-final of the championship by a strong Park-Ratheniska side at Emo on Wednesday 26 August. Park-Ratheniska were always in control in this game against a Rock team that tried hard all the way.
Well done to all involved for all their hard work throughout the year. Playing for The Rock: Fionn Kirwan, Sean Bergin, Aaron Cullen, Niamh Allen, Daniel Murphy, Christopher Gorman, Katie Murphy, Anavil Storey (capt), Lorna O Sullivan, Conor Lacken, Aaron Dowling, Jack Carroll, Lauren Dooley, Cormac Joyce, Eoghan McGrath, Aine O Neill, Eimear Carroll, Dawn Behan, Fiona Brew.
U14: The Rock U-14's are playing Clough-Ballacolla in the championship semi-final on Sunday 6 September at 11am in Ballyroan. On Friday 28 August they had a good workout at home to Portlaoise B and will play away to Camross in another challenge match on Tuesday 1 September.
Minor: The Rock minors were defeated in the county final by an amalgamation of Killeshin/Crettyard at O'Moore Park, Portlaoise on Thursday 27 August. The Rock had the early chances but failed to convert as their opponents were proving much more clinical in front of goals and raced into an interval lead of 4-5 to 0-3.
The Rock tried hard to reduce the deficit at the restart but staunch defending by Killeshin/Crettyard denied the Rock the early scores they badly needed to force their way back into the game. The Rock had some good spells during the second half but were not rewarded on the scoreboard as Killeshin/Crettyard proved too strong on the night and were convincing winners in the end.
The Rock as ever battled to the end but it was not to be their day. Well done to all involved for their efforts during the year. Final score Killeshin/Crettyard 7-12, The Rock 0-6. The Rock panel: Richard Westman, Niall Dunne, David Allen, Kurt Clover, Ben Storey, Danny McGurk, Keith Storey, Bryan Croke, Jonathan Allen, Michael Gorman, David Pedro, Daire White, Robert Byrne, Rory Doyle, Kevin Jones, Aaron Lynch , Paul Allen, Dylan Baxter, Chris Kelleher.
Coaching: Coaching continues for U8, U10, U12 and U14 on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 7pm
Dog Night Fundraiser
The Rock GAA Club is running a major fundraising event on Saturday, September 26, in Mullingar Greyhound Stadium. Tickets for this ''Dog-Night Fundraiser'' cost €25 each and are available from all committee members.
The ticket includes entry to the stadium on the night, automatic entry into a €1,000 raffle, a €5 voucher (redeemable on the night at the bar, Snack Bar or tote), free admission to children U-14 years old (when accompanied by parents), free face-painting for children. Complimentary buses will run from the Clubhouse on the night.
Why not come along for a good night out, an alternative to your usual Saturday night. Fun and craic are assured while at the same time supporting your local club.
Deepest sympathy is extended to the Doyle Family on the recent passing of Padraig, the local community was saddened to hear of their bereavement, our thoughts and prayers are with the family, May he rest in peace.
Following our defeat to Portarlington, Timahoe were drawn with O'Dempseys in the semi final of the relegation playoff. This is very disappointing for the club, however all minds must be on this game and ensure our Senior Status. Check this paper for date and venue.
Hard luck to the parish team last Saturday against Portarlington in the Minor County Final.
Best of luck to the Timahoe Ladies in their championship bid.
Please all support our Mock Wedding this September 12, all hands on deck to ensure a great night is had by all. Tickets on sale now. The wedding will be in The Heritage Hotel and is followed by a full four course meal and music.