Portarlington GAA U13 hurlers who won the Laois Championship A Shield
Laois hurling strongholds may be rooted in the south of county but there are green shoots of a new urban force on the Laois Offaly border.
The hurling year ended for Portarlington GAA hurlers on Sunday, October 13 with an historic win over Castletown - one of the most traditional nurseries of hurling in Laois.
The Portarlington's U13 team took on Castletown in the Laois Championship A Shield final and won on a scoreline of 2-10 to 1-8.
The momentous win was achieved by a club in one of Ireland's fastest-growing towns more associated with Gaelic Football than hurling.
"Every lad on the pitch for Portarlington played their part in getting us over the line and taking home the Championship A Shield. This was a major achievement for Portarlington GAA hurling as hurling only commenced in the club in 2014," says the club PRO Darren Bracken.
The U13 team have been hurling since 2014, with some only taking up the sport in the last few months.
"They are a great bunch of lads and really define the term ‘teamwork’," reported Darren in his club notes.
"The final was a lovely game of hurling showcasing their skills, determination stamina and teamwork. Some lovely points and goals from play and frees, offloads and assistance and great goalkeeping skills to keep Castletown from scoring.
"To say we, in Portarlington GAA, as proud of the achievements of the U13 hurling team is an understatement. They are now up there with the Laois A hurling teams and hopefully long may it last," he says.
Darren says the U11 hurlers also had a fantastic year and almost came away with a full clean sheet of wins. Some of these players were part of the U13 hurling panel.
The PRO says the U9s also showed developing skills and love of hurling at every match they attended while many of the U7s stepped up to help out the U9 team with all training in great numbers this year.
Port GAA hopes to field a U15 hurling team next year.
"If any lads would be interested in starting hurling at any age group U7-U15, contact Port GAA,” said Darren.