By Denis J. Croke
Laois ladies exploits on the playing fields so far this year have been recognised. It was announced today that no fewer than seven Laois players have been named on the 2021 Division 3 team of the season.
This was due in no small part to the fact that they had played extremely well throughout their league campaign which culminated in them winning the title a couple of weeks back. Nor is no great surprise that the league final opponents Kildare have six players on the team. The remaining two players come from Wicklow and Sligo.
While a lot of the time the focus centres on the forwards, much of Laois’s success this year has come from an outstanding defence where goalkeeper Eimear Barry has been in superb form. In the final she frustrated Kildare forwards making a number of top class saves.
In front of the custodian has been Amy Potts. He has fantastic all year and was duly recognised for her exploits by winning the player of the game in the final.
Shoring up the centre of the Laois defence has been Ellen Healy. And when not playing defensively Ellen poses a huge threat when raging forward.
And what can you say about Laura Nerney. This year’s captain has led by example and thoroughly deserves her place on this team.
Another player who could not be left out is Jane Moore. Her midfield performances have been top drawer. Just where she gets her energy from is a mystery because she covers every blade in every game she plays.
And up front we have two extremely competent forwards. Erone Fitzpatrick is one of the youngest players on the Laois team but has a wealth of experience at school’s level and it shows.
On the other side we have one of the most experienced and well respected footballers in the country, and Laois’s top scorer, Mo Nerney.
With the league title under the belt Laois get their Intermediate All-Ireland championship campaign underway with a mouth-watering contest against Kildare on Sunday week, 18 July.
Ladies National Football League Division 3 Team of the Year
Eimear Barry (Laois)
Claire Sullivan (Kildare) Amy Potts (Laois) Jacqui Mulligan (Sligo)
Lauren Murtagh (Kildare) Ellen Healy (Laois) Laura Nerney (Laois)
Grainne Kenneally (Kildare) Jane Moore (Laois)
Erone Fitzpatrick (Laois) Lara Curran (Kildare) Grace Clifford (Kildare)
Mo Nerney (Laois) Nessa Dooley (Kildare) Marie Kealy (Wicklow)