Home Sport GAA Preview of Sunday’s four Laois SFC games

Preview of Sunday’s four Laois SFC games

Oisin Morris will be hoping Mountmellick Gaels can beat Arles-Killeen
Oisin Morris will be hoping Mountmellick Gaels can beat Arles-Killeen

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There are four more Laois SFC ties down for decision today.

A double header in the morning followed by another in the evening with all four games.

We begin with two qualifier games. At 12pm, Crettyard Gaels face Clonaslee-St Manamn’s and then Arles-Killeen play Mountmellick Gaels at 1.30pm

The final qualifier game is at 5.30pm and sees neighbours Arles-Kilcruise clash with Killeshin.

While there is a quarter final place at stake in the last game as Portarlington take on Ballyroan-Abbey at 7pm.

Here, we take a look at each of the games:

SFC R2 Q – Clonaslee-St Manman’s Gaels v Crettyard Gaels

The clash of two Gaels teams seems rather straight forward to work out.

Crettyard Gaels reached the semi-final last year and had several chances to get off to a winning start against Ballyroan-Abbey in Round 1.

They kicked four wides in the closing stages and went down by a solitary point in the end.

Clonaslee-St Manman’s Gaels started four Annanough players in their defeat to St Joseph’s in Round 1.

And they would have been very concerned to see two of those, Donal Miller and Rory Stepleton, limp out of Annanough’s defeat to Timahoe on Friday night.

If they are out, and the likes of Evan O’Carroll and Cormac Murphy click up front, it is hard to see anything other than a Crettyard win.

ODDS: Crettyard Gaels 4/11, Clonaslee-St Manman’s Gaels 5/2, Draw 15/2

Verdict: Crettyard Gaels

SFC R2 Q – Arles-Killeen v Mountmellick Gaels

Like the first game, this one also seems reasonably straight forward to work out.

Arles-Killeen come into the game after playing two times against Portarlington in Round 1 before eventually going down after extra time.

Mountmellick Gaels were extremely disappointing in their defeat to Ballylinan and it will take a lot for them to turn things around.

Arles-Killeen have fallen back from what they once were but they still have Donie and Paul Kingston and if they click, it will be enough to get the win.

ODDS: Arles-Killeen 1/6, Mountmellick Gaels 4/1, Draw 12/1

Verdict: Arles-Killeen

SFC R2 Q – Arles-Kilcruise v Killeshin

A bit like the clash of Portarlington and Arles-Killeen in Round 1 – there are two strands of thought for how this one will go.

One is that the younger legs of Killeshin will have too much for Kilcruise – especially in the latter stages of the game.

But the other strand is that since Killeshin’s promotion to the senior ranks a number of years ago – they have failed to beat any of the more established teams.

And Kilcruise are one of those. They have bags of experience and were not disgraced in their loss to Portlaoise two weeks’ ago.

They have added John Michael McDonald, Mikey Wall, Jason McLaughlin and David Lawlor to their bench from the last day and if any of those are available to manager Johnny Irwin, they will improve their side.

This game is likely to be won and lost in midfield. Against Graiguecullen, Killeshin had Eoin Lowry and Stephen Attride in midfield and the pair struggled in the air against Shane O’Neill and Aaron Forbes.

Kevin Meaney and Dermot Nolan will hope to enjoy similar dominance and if that happens, Kilcruise will win.

ODDS: Arles-Kilcruise 4/11, Killeshin 5/2, Draw 15/2

Verdict: Arles-Kilcruise

LSFC R2 W – Ballyroan-Abbey v Portarlington

This is a game between two teams who eeked out narrow victories in Round 1.

Ballyroan-Abbey defeated Crettyard Gaels although they were probably somewhat lucky to do so.

Their opponents squandered four opportunities in the dying moments to draw the game and could even have won it.

As for Portarlington, they needed two games and extra time to get the better of Arles-Killeen.

Noel Coss’ men showed great fitness levels to win and they will be hoping that stands to them here.

However, they have injury problems. Eoin McCann is certainly out after he suffered a cruciate knee ligament injury in the first half of the replay against Killeen.

Meanwhile, there are also injury doubts over Robbie Piggott and Seán Byrne.

MJ Tierney and Diarmuid Whelan were in fine form for Ballyroan-Abbey the last day and if Portarlington are without all of the aforementioned players, perhaps the bookies will be upset again.

ODDS: Portarlington 3/10, Ballyroan-Abbey 3/1, Draw 8/1

Verdict: Ballyroan-Abbey

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