Clough Ballacolla stay on title course

COUNTY champions Clough Ballacolla remain hot favourites to retain the Laois SHC crown as they booked their place in the quarter-final.

Willie Hyland was to the fore and top scored in their 1-17 to 2-11 win over Borris-Kilcotton. Not even some good performances from Brian Stapleton and Matthew Whelan could save Borris-Kilcotton from elimination.

Ballinakill will join Clough Ballacolla in the quarter-final from this group as they limped over the line against Camross.

The suspension handed down to Zane Keenan after the last round hurt Camross, under the management of former Offaly player Brian Whelahan, and the once powerful south Laois side’s chances went up in smoke with their second defeat.

Ballinakill were worthy winners of this game with the youngster Cha Dwyer, along with James Walsh top scoring for the winners.

Meanwhile, Group B is still wide open with Castletown-Slieve Bloom, The Harps and St Fintan’s Mountrath all fighting it out for a place in the knockout stages.

Castletown-Slieve Bloom were 2-12 to 0-11 winners over relegation threatened Abbeyleix with three superb saves from Eoin Reilly keeping the scoreline respectable.

The Harps were also big winners with a 3-17 to 1-7 win over St Fintan’s Mountrath as Laois stars John Purcell and Seán Bourke were prominent.

It was one-way traffic for the majority of this clash with Dan Russell doing his best to reduce the margin for his side.

But in the end it wasn’t enough and The Harps all but ensured their passage to the knock-out stages.

Clough Ballacolla are still heavy favourites to lift the Bob O’Keeffe Cup but The Harps and Rathdowney Errill will look to have a major say in the outcome of the 2011 championship.

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