Reigning Laois SFC champions Portlaoise have been drawn to play Mountmellick in the opening round of the 2009 Campion-Sparrow Insurance Laois SFC after the draws were made in the Portlaoise Heritage Hotel on Tuesday night.
The meeting of the two town sides is the pick of the football draws as Portlaoise go for three titles in a row. It will be their third year in succession to meet Mountmellick in the championship but this time they’ll clash at an earlier stage as their last two meetings were in the semi-final.
Of the other SFC ties, the meeting of St Joseph’s and O’Dempsey’s grabs the interest, as does the clash between Leinster Club IFC champions Ballyroan-Abbey and Stradbally. This year’s championship will run on the same format as last year’s with the eight first round losers going into a qualifier system.
In the Laois IFC, Group A appears to be the tougher of the two sections with the last three beaten finalists - Park-Ratheniska, Courtwood and Annanough - all in together along with Ballinakill, the 2007 JFC champions. The other group is made up of the relegated Clonaslee-St Manman’s, the promoted Killeshin, Portlaoise and Kilcavan. Two from each group will progress to the semi-finals.
Further down the grades, the pick of the ties is the meeting of Stradbally Parish Gaels and Portlaoise in the preliminary round of the U-21 FC. It will be the seventh year in a row the sides have met in the grade and will also be a repeat of the corresponding minor final from three years ago, which Stradbally won. The winners of that game will play Mountmellick in the quarter-final so it would appear that that little corner of the draw is where the heavyweights are. The other interesting tie in the U-21 championship is the quarter-final clash between neighbours Portarlington and O’Dempsey’s.
In the minor championship, Portlaoise, who are also going for three in a row, will play Graiguecullen in the preliminary round and should they win that they’ll face a repeat of last year’s final as The Heath Gaels await in the quarter-final.
The draws in full are:
Round 1 (Weekend, August 7)
Ballylinan V Graiguecullen; The Heath V Crettyard; The Rock V Arles-Killeen; O’Dempsey’s V St Joseph’s; Portarlington V Arles-Kilcruise; Portlaoise V Mountmellick; Timahoe V Emo; Stradbally V Ballyroan-Abbey.
Round 2 (Weekend, August 21) – Eight Round 1 winners play each other; Round 1 Qualifiers (Weekend, August 21) – Eight Round 1 losers play each other; Qualifier Round 2 (Weekend, September 4) – Round 2 losers play Round 1 Qualifier winners; Quarter-finals (Weekend, September 18) – Round 2 winners player Qualifier Round 2 winners; Semi-finals on weekend of October 3; Final on Sunday, October 18
Group A – Annanough, Ballinakill, Park-Ratheniska, Courtwood
Ground B – Portlaoise, Clonaslee-St Manman’s, Kilcavan, Killeshin
Round 1 on August 7; Round 2 on August 21; Round 3 on September 5; Semi-finals on October 3; Final on October 18
Laois JFC ‘A’
Round 1 (July 4)
Stradbally V The Heath; Portarlington V Ballylinan; Mountmellick V Barrowhouse; Ballyroan-Abbey V Rosenallis; Ballyfin V Camross; St Joseph’s V Spink; The Rock V Graiguecullen; Round 2 and Round 1 Qualifiers on July 10; Round 2 Qualifiers on July 17; Quarter-finals on July 24; Semi-finals on August 12; Final on August 29
Laois JFC ‘B’
Round 1 (July 1)
Colt V Clonaslee-St Manman’s; Portlaoise V Timahoe; Killeshin V Emo; O’Dempsey’s V Mountrath; Arles-Kilcruise V Graiguecullen; Portlaoise V Crettyard; Courtwood V Arles-Kilcruise; Quarter-finals on July 8; Semi-finals on July 15; Final on July 29
Laois JFC ‘C’
Round 1 (July 2)
Mountmellick V O’Dempsey’s; The Heath V Shanahoe; Timahoe V Ballylinan; Ballyroan-Abbey V Barrowhouse; Errill V Annanough; Portarlington V Kilcotton; Park-Ratheniska V St Joseph’s; Portlaoise V Ballylinan; Quarter-finals on July 9; Semi-final on July 16; Final on July 30
Laois U-21 FC ‘A’
Round 1 (September 25)
Stradbally Parish Gaels V Portlaoise; Quarter-finals (October 7) – Stradbally Parish Gaels/Portlaoise V Mountmellick; The Heath Gaels V Ballylinan-Gleanmore; Graiguecullen V St Joseph’s-Barrowhouse; Portarlington V O’Dempsey’s; Semi-finals on October 24; Final - TBC
Laois U-21 FC ‘B’
Round 1 (June 29)
(1) Ballyfin-Castletown-Slieve Bloom V Emo-Courtwood; (2) Mountrath V The Rock; (3)Tinnahinch V Ballyroan-Abbey Gaels; Semi-finals (July 6) – 1 V Crettyard-Killeshin; 2V 3; Final on July 13
Laois MFC ‘A’
Round 1 (July 30)
Portlaoise V Graiguecullen; Quarter-finals on August 5 – Portlaoise/Graiguecullen V The Heath Gaels; Ballyroan-Abbey Gaels V Stradbally Parish Gaels; O’Dempsey’s V Mountmellick; Portarlington V St Joseph’s-Barrowhouse; Semi-finals on August 14; Final – TBC
Laois MFC ‘B’
Round 1 (July 30)
Ballylinan-Gleanmore V Ballyfin-Castletown-Slieve Bloom; Quarter-finals on August 5 – Ballylinan Gleanmore/Ballyfin-Castletown-Slieve Bloom V Camross; Emo-Courtwood V The Rock; Killeshin-Crettyard V Mountrath; Portlaoise ‘B’ V Tinnahinch
- Leinster Express
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