2020 Football Championship Draws
By Denis J. Croke
THE draws for this year’s senior football championship has thrown up more than a fair smattering of choice games.
The big question is, is there any team out there who are capable of unseating the reigning champions Portlaoise. The Town, who are sporting a new manager in Kevin Fitzpatrick take on Ballylinan. On the face of it this looks a fairly innocuous pairing apart from the fact these two met in the 2017 final.
What makes it so interesting this time around is that Ballylinan too have a new manager in the form of Mick Lillis so it is going to be father versus son, and not for the first time.
Last year Ballyfin were the surprise package making it all the way to the semi-final where they took Killeshin to a replay. For this year’s opener their opposition will come from a lot closer to home when promoted Rosenallis will provide the opposition.
And talking of neighbours, there is one more mouth-water encounter envisaged. Only a few miles separate O’Dempsey’s and Courtwood but these sides have not met at senior level for several decades and this one will surely bring the crowds out when it takes place.
Another near neighbour encounter sees Arles Killeen take on Graiguecullen while Stradbally face a tough task with Portarlington providing the opposition. The remaining draws are The Heath v Arles Kilcruise, Killeshin v Emo and Ballyroan Abbey v St Joseph’s.
Crettyard, who were relegated to intermediate last year, will not relish having to take on Timahoe in their opening game even if the Round Tower men just avoided relegation to junior 12 months ago.
Last year’s beaten intermediate finalists Clonaslee/St Manman’s face Mountmellick who they beat to make into last year’s final.
Laois Shopping Centre SFC
Round 1 – Portlaoise v Ballylinan; Courtwood v O’Dempsey’s; Rosenallis v Ballyfin; Stradbally v Portarlington; Arles Killeen v Graiguecullen; The Heath v Arles Kilcruise; Killeshin v Emo; Ballyroan Abbey v St Joseph’s
Laois Shopping Centre IFC
Round 1 – Portlaoise v O’Dempsey’s; Timahoe v Crettyard; Annanough v The Rock; Mountmellick v Clonaslee
Laois Shopping Centre JFC ‘A’
Group A – Killeshin; Ballylinan; Ballyroan Abbey; Portlaoise
Group B – Errill; Barrowhouse; Camross; St Joseph’s
Group C – Portarlington; Kilcavan; The Heath
Group D – Park/Ratheniska; Castletown; The Harps
Laois Shopping Centre JFC ‘B’
Group A – Graiguecullen; Arles Kilcruise; Mountmellick; Rosenallis
Group B – The Rock; Timahoe; Stradbally; Emo
Group C – Arles Killeen; Slieve Bloom; Spink
Laois Shopping Centre JFC ‘C’
Round 1 -Annanough v Shanahoe
Round 2 – Annanough or Shanahoe v Rathdowney; Mountrath v Borris-in-Ossory; The Heath v Colt; Killeshin v Ballyroan Abbey; Park/Ratheniska v St Joseph’s; Kilcotton v Ballyfin; O’Dempsey’s v Kilcavan; Courtwood v Clonaslee
Laois Shopping Centre U-20 ‘A’ FC
Group A – Sarsfields; St Joseph’s; The Heath; Courtwood-Emo; Portlaoise
Group B – Stradbally Parish Gaels; O’Dempsey’s; Graiguecullen; Portarlington; Ballyroan Abbey
Laois Shopping Centre U-20 ‘B’ FC
Group A – The Harps; Rosenallis; Ballylinan; Na Fianna Óg
Group B – Killeshin; Clonaslee; Park-Ratheniska/Spink