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The Big Five: Here’s the games worth keeping an eye on this weekend

The Big Five

Brought to you in association with Downey’s Autostop

There is a relatively quiet weekend of sport ahead of us compared to the jam-packed weekends that have gone by recently.

There are some enticing games, with these five games below being the most intriguing of all.

SATURDAY

Shanahoe Gaels v Abbeyleix, 5pm
Laois Shopping Centre Palmer Cup 

This is the final game to be played in this year’s Palmer Cup, and it is straight forward. If Abbeyleix win or draw, they have the title. Lose, and Camross are crowned champions.

Last weekend, Abbeyleix beat Camross by seven points, but so far in the league they have failed to pick up any points. Shanahoe are third in Division 2, but they will be boosted by the Ballypickas contingent, and so far in the Palmer Cup, they have performed well, winning two games. So this will be another chance for them to get a game under their belt.

SUNDAY

Gentex v Towerhill Rovers, 11am
John Farrell Combined Counties Cup Quarter-Final

Towerhill Rovers travel to Athlone this Sunday in search of a spot in the John Farrell Cup Semi-Final. So far they have had a steady league campaign, winning five, drawing one and losing five.

That has placed them mid table, and five points off the top three. Gentex are also in the CCFL Division 1, but they sit bottom of the teams who are still competing in the league, as two of the ten teams withdrew. Towerhill should be able to come away with a win, but this is a cup competition so anything is possible.

Laois v Wexford, 2pm in Annanough
Leinster U-16 ‘B’ Ladies Football Semi-Final

Laois maintained their 100 per cent start in the U-16 championship with a convincing 13 point win over Offaly three weeks ago, which allowed them book their place against Wexford this Sunday.

Dela Doherty and Grainne Lalor were the two star performers that last day out, and if they are to book their place in the final, those two will be hoping to repeat their performances.

Portlaoise Ladies RFC v Navan Ladies RFC, 2.30pm 
Paul Cusack Cup Semi-Final 

Portlaoise Ladies had a very successful season in the league, but unfortunately lost the final to the North Midlands Falcons. Having dominated most of the matches to date on the scoreboard, it was no different against Arklow in the quarter-final of this competition, beating the Wicklow side 34-10.

Rosie Palmer, Louis Cody, Emma Brophy and Shauna Carroll have all performed outstandingly so far this season and if they want to overcome a very good Navan side this weekend, who finished in the top two of the Leinster Division 3, one above Portlaoise. Arklow were also in that division, finishing just behind Navan.

Arles-Kilcruise v O’Dempsey’s, 7pm
Laois Shopping Centre Kelly Cup Semi-Final

With Courtwood giving Stradbally a walkover in the Kelly Cup semi-final, the main football game down for decision this weekend is the meeting of Arles-Kilcruise and O’Dempsey’s in the other semi-final.

Both teams have been going relatively well in the league but with county players available again, Arles-Kilcruise are likely to be hit hardest – and O’Dempsey’s can book a final place.

SEE ALSO – Three Portlaoise girls named on Ireland basketball squad 

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A former Knockbeg student, and is currently a student in the University of Limerick trying to scrape a BA in History and Politics. A marquee player in the goals for Annanough, but well capable of doing a job in full-forward and has the knack to turn his hand to any sport (except running). Only starting out in his journalistic career but already the specialist farming and property reporter. Happiest when Liverpool and Laois are winning!