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The Big Five: Another big weekend for county teams, cup final for a Laois club and a big game in ACHL Division 1 relegation battle

The Big Five

The weather is to be superb this weekend, which means it will be a great time to get out and see as much sport as possible. There will be some exciting game to look forward to as there is a number of games, including three county sides, Rosenallis take on Birr in a cup final while two Laois clubs battle to secure their faith in the ACHL Division one.

Here is those games in full:

SATURDAY, MAY 26

Laois v Westmeath – 5pm in O’Connor Park
Leinster Senior Football Championship Quarter-Final 

Following the epic comeback win over Wexford two weeks ago, there is a lot optimism surrounding Laois’ prospects when they take on Westmeath this weekend. It is the first time Laois will take on the Lake County since the 2004 Leinster Final replay loss, surprisingly enough Westmeath are the only team that Laois haven’t faced in the Leinster championship since that year. John Sugrue’s men will also put their 100% on the line, having not lost a game since the beginning of the National Football League. Westmeath have reached two Leinster Finals in the last three years and with players such as John Heslin and Kieran Martin, they won’t be easy opponents.

Laois v Dublin – 2pm in O’Moore Park
Leinster Under 21 Hurling Championship Round 1 

The Laois U-21 hurlers begin their Leinster championship campaign this weekend, against a Dublin side who are tipped to challenge for the title this year. A tough ask but they have some quality players including Aidan Corby, Lee Cleere, Mark Kavanagh, Eric Killeen and Ciaran Comerford, meaning they will certainly have the capacity to cause Dublin problems. Senior manager Eamonn Kelly is also at the helm for this side, so there should be good organisation around the team.

Birr Town v Rosenallis AFC – 5pm in Leah Victoria Park Tullamore 
John Farrell Combined Counties Cup Final

Rosenallis have had a great run in the cup this season, highly contrasting to their league form. What other form is contrasting is that of these two teams. Birr finished second in the Senior Division, while Rosenallis were in the bottom two of the same league. When both teams have met this season in the league, Birr Town have had the upper hand as they beat Rosenallis on each occasion. The cup dramatics were on display in the semi-final where they faced Gentex. The game ended level at 2-2 after extra-time, the tie went to penalties and it was Rosenallis who came through 4-3. Birr Town were 1-0 winners against Derry Rovers.

SUNDAY, MAY 27

Abbeyleix St Lazarians V Castletown – 6.30pm in Abbeyleix
Laois Shopping Centre ACHL Division 1 Round 6

The winners of this game give themselves a fighting chance of surviving the relegation battle. Both sides have lost every game, but neither have been blown away by their opponents with the exception of Castletown’s first day out against bitter rivals Camross. Their other relegation rivals, Portlaoise, had to concede their last game against Camross and that leaves them within touching distance. Their final game will be against Castletown, which means this game will give both sides plenty of encouragement to get a win.

MONDAY, MAY 28

Laois v Kildare – 7pm in Newbridge
Leinster U20 Football Championship Round 1

The Laois U20s head to St Conleth’s Park this Monday facing a very good Kildare side. This year’s U20 side will hold a good number of players that were apart of a Laois Minor side that lost to Kildare in the 2016 Leinster Final. But there are a number of players that would have been expected to make the squad that did not commit, including players doing their Leaving Cert which clashes with many of the championship games. Laois will also face Wicklow at home before they head to Navan to take on Meath, who are also being tipped as one the favourites to challenge for the title along with Kildare and Dublin. Two teams will qualify from the group for the quarter-finals.

SEE ALSO – Stalwart Begley impressed by impact of younger Laois players