News from Laois

News from Laois….

Michael O’Loughlin Laois PRO

Laois All-stars 2011

Laois were rewarded with six places out of the total list of 45 nominations for the 2011 All-star team; Ciamh Dollard, Grainne Dunne, Alison Taylor, Tracey Lawlor, Mary Kirwan and Martina Dunne. Two of these, Tracey Lawlor  and Mary Kirwan eventually received the nod from the selectors and made it into the final fifteen. For Tracey it was her fourth award and came after another memorable year in which she was selected on the ‘Team of the Decade’ and  BGE Div 1 Team of the League as well as picking up another Leinster Senior medal with Laois.  With her club Sarsfields she won the Laois Senior championship, the Leinster Senior League and the Leinster 7’s with her club Sarsfields.                         

For Mary Kirwan, who made her intercounty debut in 1996 and was receiving her first accolade, it was the culmination of 15 years of dedication to the Laois cause during which she won four Leinster titles and three National Leagues.  This year was one of her best in the blue jersey as she played an important role in Laois’ League and Leinster campaigns and also starred with her club Shanahoe when they won the inaugural Laois Senior B Championship.

The awards are generally expected to reflect the pecking order of counties within the world of Ladies Football and, based on Laois’ performance in League and championship, two positions on the 2011 All-star team just about satisfies the expectations of Laois supporters. This year Laois reached the BGE League Div 1 Final but lost out to Cork, they regained the Leinster title with a late blitz of scores against Meath in Carlow and subsequently lost the All-Ireland Semi-final, again to Cork.


Laois Ladies Football Player of the Year

Laois GAA’s Annual Awards Night, held in the Heritage Hotel Portlaoise on Friday November 25, recognises excellence in all spheres of Gaelic sports activity including Hurling, Football, Handball, Rounders, Camogie, Ladies Football and the Hall of Fame award. The Laois Ladies Football Player of the Year for 2011 went to Grace Weston of Sarsfields who had an outstanding year for both Club and County. As a member of the Laois Senior squad she won a Leinster Senior medal and BGE Div 1 League Runners-up award while Sarsfields won the Laois Senior Championship, the Leinster Senior Club League and the Leinster Senior 7’s. She was also the only Laois player to receive a ‘Player of the Match’ award during 2011, for her performance against Tyrone in the All-Ireland Quarter final in Birr in August.  

Graiguecullen – Laois Ladies Junior Football Champions 2011

Graiguecullen L.G.F.C reformed a few years ago and after a number of years in the wilderness and it has now firmly established itself as a force to be reckoned with in Ladies Football in the O’Moore County.  The Club is separated from Carlow town by the width ‘The Bridge’ and as is the norm in border areas the sense of identity and loyalty is suitably heightened in all concerned.  In 2011 Graigue Ladies Football Club experienced its best year ever when they captured the Laois U-12 B and the Junior Championship titles with victories over Sarsfields and Killeshin.

The Junior Final on Sunday the 28th of August, against neighbours and fellow parishioners Killeshin, attracted one of the biggest crowds ever to Ladies Junior match in the county.

As with all neighbourly confrontations the game generated huge local interest. The buzz and build-up to this Graigue-Killeshin  ‘Battle of the Parish’ showdown was a wonderful occasion for the locality with Green & Red colours of Graigue all over the urban end of the parish while the green and white of Killeshin dominated the rural hinterlands. And further afield,  the Laois Finance Committee couldn’t wait to set up stall to collect at this one. The meeting of the two traditional arch rivals on the GAA field was a heaven sent opportunity to harvest badly needed cash for the Board and it certainly lived up to its billing. A ‘Gate’ of over €2,000 saw a rip roaring match which ended in an impressive victory, on a 4-5  to  1-7 scoreline, for the Graiguettes.   Celebrations began immediately. In 2012 Graiguecullen will compete at Intermediate level and there is little doubt within the county but that they will eventually progress to Senior status.

Unfortunately for the Laois girls  the fairy tale did not extend to Leinster as  the “Graiguettes” went down to Offaly champions Clara,  3-9 to 3-2, in the Quarter Final of the Leinster Club Championship.

Graiguecullen Panel: 2001:  Tracie Scully, Chiara Corocran, Susan Quigley, Mary Delaney,Louise Dowling, Emma Doogue, Evelyn Smith, Sarah Kearns ,Mary Patricia Kearns, Lydia Cullen, Mary Ann Doogue, Hilda Dooley, Grace O’Shea, Laura Byrne, Kylie Murphy (Captain) Jane Moore, Maggie Doogue, Deirdre Hurley, Tammy Delaney, Mary Jo Hurley, Clara Hayden, Amy Corcoran, Ciara Hurley, Sarah Branagan, Megan Walsh, Nessa O’Farrell, Donna Byrne, Ciara Hutchinson, Louise Maher, Cornelia McAssey.

Management: Joe Nolan, Fergal Hurley, Stephen Ryan, Paul Hurley, Barry Regan.

Laois Ladies Footbal l    Roll of  Honour  2011

Competition                                   Winners              Runners-up

Senior A    C/ship                            Sarsfields               Timahoe

Senior B    C/ship                             Shanahoe              Park-Ratheniska

Senior A    League                            Sarsfields             Timahoe

Intermediate   C/ship                    Killeen                   Ballyroan

Junior  C/ship                                   Graiguecullen    Killeshin

Minor                                                   Sarsfields               Park-Ratheniska

U-16 A C/ship                                  Pk-Ratheniska    St Conleths

U-16 A League                                  Sarsfields              Timahoe/Ballyroan

U-16 B C.ship                                    Portlaoise              Killeen              

 U-14  A  C/ship                                Portlaoise             St Josephs

 U-14 A League                                  Pk-Ratheniska    The Heath

 U-14  B  C/ship                                St Conleths           Borris-in-Ossory

 U-14 B League                                 Sarsfields              Shanahoe

 U-12 A C/ship                                  St Conleths           St  Josephs

 U-12  B C/ship                                 Graiguecullen     Sarsfields

 U-12  C  C/ship                                St Pauls                   Portlaoise

 U-12  D  C/ship                                Shanahoe               Ballyfin


Leinster Senior Club Final

Na Fianna (Dublin) 3-3  Sarsfields  (Laois)  0-10

Dublin champions Na Fianna held out to win by two points against a gallant Sarsfields outfit in the Leinster Senior Club Final in a rain soaked Newbridge Sarsfields Ground on Ocrober 23.  Sarsfields had use of the strong wind in the opening half but failed to make headway against a no nonsense Na Fianna defence as their early attacks were repulsed.  They then suddenly found themselves five points in arrears as Na Fianna’s first two attacks netted two goals against the run of play. 

The Laois girls fought back to draw level 0-7 to 2-1 at the break. With wind advantage in the second half Na Fianna were in the driving seat and they pushed on to eventually snatch their first Leinster Senior crown.

Teams: Na Fianna: Sorcha Turnbull, Eimear Cassidy, Lorraine O’Sullivan, Arlene Cushen, Sarah Quinn, Bronagh O’Donnell, Claire O’Hara, Alma O’Donnell, Ciara McDermott(1-2), Mary Nevin, Nadine Doherty, Laura Walsh, Muireann O’Gorman(1-0), Bernie Finlay (1-1), Orlath Egan. Sub Nora Stapleton(O’Gorman).

Sarsfields: Clodagh Dunne, Siobhan Fitzpatrick, Jenny McEvoy, Amy Grehan, Aisling Dunphy, Mags McEvoy(C)       Louise Bergin, Alison McEvoy,Olwyn Farrell, Tracey Lawlor, Grace Weston, Hazel O’Connor,  RM Bermingham, Ciara O’Loughlin, Fiona Whelan, Daphne Behan, Rachel Williams, Clare Conlon, Emma McEvoy, Becky Dowling, Sinead Walsh, Lauramarie Maher, Casey Conroy,  Joyce Dunne, Anne Lawlor, Shannon Conroy, Ruth Williams, Niamh Coss, Mairead McEvoy. 

Management:   Alan George, Liam O’Connor;  Physio: Niamh O’Loughlin

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