Laois GAA Senior Hurling Championship contenders - Snapshot profiles

Club Profiles - Group A

Rory Delaney

Reporter:

Rory Delaney

Email:

sport@leinsterexpress.ie

Laois GAA Senior Hurling Championship condders - Snapshot profiles

Borris in Ossory Kilcotton get ready for action .Picture: Alf Ha

Laois GAA Laois Shopping Centre Senior Hurling Championship team profiles

ABBEYLEIX

Manager: Donie Franks

Captain: Enda Rowland

Team News: Jamie Coffey has broken a finger so will miss the next few weeks, while Mark Cahill is away travelling. Eoin Reilly moved to the Middle East late last year, but there's hope he'll make it home for a few games.

League Form: Worrying ahead of the championship. They won just one game out of seven in the league format which left them in a relegation playoff. A win over Portlaoise kept them up for 2019, but it wasn't ideal preparation for wha tis to come.

Prospects: They should get out of the group, and after the win over Camross last year they could beat anyone on their day. Consistency the problem though.

BALLINAKILL

Manager: Anthony Coffey

Captain: John Walsh

Team News: Hit with retirements to Brian O'Mara and Seamus Walsh, but boosted by some exciting youngsters coming through, namely Seamus Fitzpatrick and twins Cathal and Cian O'Shaughnessy.

League Form: Missed out on a place in the Division 1A final to Rosenallis and Rathdowney-Errill's second team, which wouldn't have been the plan. Will need to pick things up from there to make an impression.

Prospects: The infusion of youth is needed, but still lacking in depth and tend to be reliant on Cha Dwyer from open play, which is understandable. A semi-final would be a big achievement for them.

BALLYFIN GAELS

Manager: Chris Hartnett

Captain: Darragh Connolly

Team News: They can no longer call on the likes of Sean Lowry, JJ McHugh, Dermot McGill or Sean O'Neill, so the panel is losing a lot of experience at a crucial stage. No major injury concerns at present at least.

League Form: Won just two of seven games in ACHL Division 1A, so on that basis, they are the lowest ranked team heading into the championship. That was without a full squad though, so should pick it up a bit from here.

Prospects: They look the likely contender for bottom spot in Group A in truth. Senior football commitments won't help preparations either. Hard to see them making the knockout stages at the moment.

BORRIS-KILCOTTON

Manager: Terence Fahy

Captain: Matthew Whelan

Team News: They welcome back Paddy Whelan and Stephen Phelan from injury, and haven't suffered any major losses from the panel, so will hope to be at full strength for Round 1.

League Form: Just missed out on a semi-final spot by a point, having won five and lost two in Division 1. Nothing spectacular in the league, but solid enough considering they had a good few players in with the county.

Prospects: Didn't make a good fist of defending their title last year, but should be in better shape this time around. Not the biggest side at the back, but have no glaring weaknesses and have some dangerous forwards. Semi-finalists at least.