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18/09/2021

All you need to know about the eight teams challenging for the Laois senior hurling championship

All you need to know about the eight teams challenging for the Laois senior hurling championship

ABBEYLEIX
Manager: Lorcan Mahony
Selectors: Pj Corby, Tom Carroll, Brian Bergin, Chris Murray.
Captain: Declan Phelan.
New player: Lawson Obulor.
Long term injury: David Bonham.

Prospects: While they look to be a bit away from challenging for a County title, they are a mid rank team that, if they get the best out of themselves, could push hard to be in the last four.
Enda Rowland is a key man for them and the natural leader of the group. With a minor success last year, they are a club on the rise and they could ruffle a few feathers this year.

CASTLETOWN
Manager: Patrick Mullaney.
Selectors: Ger Cuddy and Fionan Cuddy.
Captain: Ryan Mullaney
New Players: Jamie Conroy & Matthew Peters.
Long term Injury: Dylan Conroy.

Prospects: Staved off relegation last year with a relegation play off win over Ballinakill. They struggled against the big guns last year and shipped some heavy totals but a new year brings renewed hope. Keeping Ryan Mullaney fit will be crucial for their chances and a win in the opening round could be the shot of confidence they need to kick on and have a decent year.

ROSENALLIS
Manager: Brian Troy
Selectors: Nicky Dunne, James Dooley
Captain: Ruaidhri C Fennell
New Players: Last year Laois minor full back Aodh Bowes is now part of the panel.
Long term Injuries: Jack Conroy recovering from cruciate suffered last year semi-final while last year's captain Cillian Callally has just taken up a role with Arsenal youth teams.


Prospects: They were one of the stories of last year's championship getting to the semi final in their first year back at the top tier. Their win over Camross was a massive fillip for them but can they back it up? Fiachra C Fennell had a good year for Laois while Paddy Keating is a lively forward and one of the most accurate free takers around.

CLOUGH-BALLACOLLA
Manager: Declan Laffan
Selectors: Pat Cleere, Shane Maher and Pat McEvoy
Captain: Stephen Picky Maher
New Players: Cillian Dunne, Padraig Brennan, Lochlainn Conway & Joe Corby.
Long term injuries: Ronan Broderick.

Prospects: As the reigning champions, they will have bulls eye on their back. They are the beat that everyone will want to beat this year but the fact that they have had a tough County final win under their belts in the last few weeks should stand to them, particularly in the early rounds.
Stephen Maher was in fine form in that final and they have leaders and youth integrated well into the team.
You would expect them to be in the shake up again.

CAMROSS
Manager: David Cuddy
Selectors: John Kennedy, Tomas Moloney
Captain: Mark Dowling
New Players: None
Long term injuries: None

Prospects: After a hugely disappointing 2020 campaign, they will be gunning to silence their critics. The loss to Rosenallis last year derailed their championship hopes but they should be excited to put that behind them and kick on this year.
Zane Keenan is still one of the best club hurlers around while the speed and all action style of Mark Dowling is another big asset.
Their opening round game against Rathdowney-Errill will tell a lot about where they are at this year.

RATHDOWNEY-ERRILL
Managers: Shane Keegan & Kevin Power
Selectors: Eoin Fitzpatrick, Brian Campion, John Delaney
Captain: Jimmy Corrigan
New Players: Liam O'Connell, Padraig Rafter, Shane Madden
Long term injuries: Joe Fitzpatrick, Eric Kileen, Mark Kavanagh are all on the road to recovery from long term injury but all are expected to feature at some stage.

Prospects: Mark Kavanagh is expected back from injury in the next few weeks and that is a serious boost for Shane Keegan's charges. With County experience and quality on every line of the field, they look to yet again be serious contenders to the throne.
They have a point to prove as well will feel that they under achieved last year given the pool of talent available to them.

BORRIS-KILCOTTON
Manager: Ciaran Comerford
Selectors: Trevor Moore, Eoin Bergin
Captain: To be confirmed.
New Players - Philip Tynan and Noah Quinlan
Long term Injuries: Stephen Phelan and Stephen Dunphy hamstring injuries, Conor Kilbane fractured ankle.

Prospects: How they deal with losing a County final only a few weeks ago will be the big test for Ciaran Comerford and his management team. They weren't that far away from Clough-Ballacolla and they will need to bounce straight back on the horse for 2021.
PJ Scully is a scoring machine of late while Aaron Dunphy is also a player that can easily fire five or six points from play on any given day.
They have injury worries to deal with but they the personnel to be back in contention this year again.

THE HARPS
Manager: Fintan Deegan
Selectors: Albert Townsend, David Shaughnessy, Noel Delaney and Liam Phelan
Captain: Daniel Comerford
New Players: Cathal Murphy has made the step from the minor grade

Long term injuries: Ciaran Burke has been trouble with a knee injury in the last few months.

Prospects: Last years Premier Intermediate champions having beaten Portlaoise a few weeks ago will be hoping to emulate what Rosenallis did last year. If they can take a scalp in the opening couple of rounds, they will fancy their chances of getting to the knockout stages.

Their opening game is against champions Clough-Ballacolla so it will be straight into the lions den for a side that boast the likes of Podge Delaney and James Duggan who lit up the Leinster U20 hurling championship.

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