Portlaoise Camogie club and Portlaoise Ladies football club created their own piece of history in the last couple of weeks as both U14 teams won their respective Feile competitions earning the right to represent Laois in the upcoming National finals in June.

The Camogie girls got the ball rolling as they won the group stage they were in which included great wins against St.Brigids of Rathdowney and The Harps of Durrow. Having topped their group they went into the final against the mighty Camross camogie team. It is also worth noting that Camross have dominated this competition in recent history and it was widely accepted that prising the title away from them was always going to be a huge ask for any club. However Portlaoise Camogie has gathered momentum in the past few years and has some of the finest camogie players in the county and if proof were needed of this it was displayed in abundance in Errill, when the two teams came head to head in the final.

Portlaoise won their first ever Feile title on a score line of 2-02 to 1-01. The Camogie that was played by both teams made for an enthralling match in what were difficult conditions and it was Portlaoise that came out on top, for the first time in the club’s history. Portlaoise mentors, players and supporters could not contain their joy as the final whistle went.

It is worth noting that this success did not happen overnight. This particular group of girls are the product of some outstanding work done by their coaches, Mick Ryan, Teresa O’Reilly, Irene Fleming and Colm O’Sullivan.

The Portlaoise Ladies football team began their journey by winning their group with hard fought victories against Sarsfields and Park/Ratheniska. Then it was Ballyfin that provided the next test at the semi-final stage of the competition.

In really testing conditions Portlaoise came out on top against a very good Ballyfin side. On to the final and it was the old enemy Graiguecullen who Portlaoise always seem to meet in finals.

The final was played in Timahoe in front of a large attendance. The football was played in difficult conditions which made any flowing football difficult to come by. Portlaoise, who were many people’s favourites, were quickly out of the blocks and took control of the game. Despite a late rally in the first half by a very committed Graiguecullen side it never looked like Portlaoise were going to let go of the title which they had won the previous year. Portlaoise went on to win with a score line of 4-09 to 1-02.

Again, at the final whistle, the scenes of celebration and joy were evident as supporters and mentors raced onto the pitch to congratulate the Portlaoise team.

Portlaoise Ladies mentors are Ivan Byrne, Teresa O’Reilly, George Phelan and Sandra Hanniffy.

These are great times for Portlaoise Camogie and Portlaoise Ladies football. Both clubs can be extremely proud of the girls, and appreciate the time and effort that goes into competing and winning at this high level.  We are extremely fortunate to have so many talented athletes in our ranks and this fact is most evident when you consider that twelve girls competed on both the Camogie and football teams.

Best of luck to Portlaoise in the National Finals in June.