SPORT REVIEW OF THE YEAR - Busy end to the year in December

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If you thought things would slow down in December then you were sadly mistaken, as it was as busy as any other month.

The GAA, in their bid to shorten the 2019 season, hit on the brilliant idea of starting it in 2018. The sharp minds who came up with that plan probably didn't have to go out and play in the middle of a storm, but the Laois senior footballers did against Meath, as they lost their opener to the Royal County. They would lose their second round game to Wexford later in the month.

The hurlers opened with a win over Offaly but lost to Carlow, as Eddie Brennan was already voicing his disappointment over some players not committing to the panel for 2019.

On the club scene, the season still trundled on, as Camross won the Laois U-21 hurling title, but lost out in the U-19 final to The Harps. Killeshin-Crettyard won the U-21 B football title.

At the county convention, no major surprises reared their heads, but a week later Laois clubs did vote to impose sweeping restrictions on Gaels teams for 2019.

Away from GAA, Shane Ryan's brilliant year got even better as he won a bronze medal at the World Championships in China for the 50m backstroke, while Cheryl Nolan and Avril Deegan made it a Laois one-two at the All-Ireland Novice Cross Country.

Late in the month, kudos were reserved for the Portlaoise AFC U-15s and Laois footballers and hurlers, who both visited the Peadiatric Unit in Portlaoise hospital to spread some Christmas Cheer for those less fortunate.