It is win or bust for the Laois minor hurlers as the Leinster championship reaches the knock-out stages this afternoon.
At 1pm today, they will go head to head against Offaly in O’Connor Park in the quarter final of the competition.
But that was Tier 1 of the newly revamped competition and regardless of where Laois ended up, they were always heading for the last eight.
But by finishing bottom it means they play the top team from Tier 2 – Offaly.
But ahead of that, we take a more in depth look at the game:
The teams named ahead of Saturday’s game are:
Laois: Lorcan Fitzpatrick (The Harps); Keilan Kelly (Borris-Kilcotton), Danny Brennan (Park-Ratheniska), Ben Shore (Castletown); Fionan Mahony (Abbeyleix), Conor Cosgrove (Rosenallis), Thep Fitzpatrick (Rathdowney-Errill); Tadhg Cuddy (Castleown), Niall Carey (Portlaoise); Mark Hennessy (Clough-Ballacolla), Allan Connolly (Ballyfin), Evan Hawkes (Clough-Ballacolla); Adam Kirwan (Mountrath), Cathal O’Shaughnessy (Ballinakill), Ciaran Byrne (Abbeyleix)
What Offaly players should we watch out for?
Offaly have been imperious so far with big wins in all three games – albeit against lower quality opposition.
The likes of Danny Flanagan, Cathal Kiely, Ciaran Teehan and DJ McLoughlin have all scored well and will need to be minded by the Laois backs.
What’s Offaly’s season been like so far?
It has gone very well. Big wins over Meath, Kildare and Antrim left them top of Tier 2 and meant they avoided the preliminary quarter finals.
Offaly go into this game off the back of three comprehensive wins but they really haven’t been tested so it is hard to say just how good they are yet.
What’s the history between the sides?
The most recent meeting between these two actually came in Round 1 of the Leinster championship last year.
And Laois were comprehensive winners on a scoreline of 2-22 to 0-14.
Here are the teams and scorers from that day:
SCORERS – Laois: Oisin Bennett 1-6 (0-6 frees), Ciaran Comerford 0-6, Joe Phelan 1-0, James Keyes 0-3, Padraig Delaney 0-3 (one ’65, two frees), PJ Daly, Daniel Comerford, Liam Senior, Brandon McGinley 0-1. Offaly: Aaron Kenny 0-4 (all frees), David Nally 0-3 (both frees), Oisin Hickey 0-2, Conor Langton, Joey Keenaghan, Lochlann Kavanagh, Aaron Maher and Shane O’Toole 0-1 each
LAOIS: Cathal Dunne (Clough-Ballacolla); Daniel Breen (Camross), Diarmuid Conway (Clough-Ballacolla), John Maher (Rosenallis); Ryan Murphy (Galmoy), Padraig Delaney (The Harps), Eoin O’Connor (Portlaoise); PJ Daly (Clonad), Liam Senior (Clonaslee-St Manman’s); Ciaran Comerford (The Harps), Joe McCormack (Castletown), Daniel Comerford (The Harps); James Keyes (Colt), Oisin Bennett (Camross), Joe Phelan (Castletown). Subs: Brandon McGinley (Rathdowney-Errill) for Phelan (41 mins), Eoin Gaughaun (Camross) for O’Connor (53 mins), Cathal Duggan (Portlaoise) for McCormack (54 mins), Padraig Dunne (The Harps) for Murphy (57 mins), Cormac Rigney for Bennett (59 mins)
OFFALY: Ciaran Flynn (St Ryanagh’s); Luke O’Connor (St Ryanagh’s), Cathal O’Meara (Clara), Aidan King (Carrig and Riverstown); Ciaran Guinan (Drumcullen), Barry Keeley (Seir Kieran), Ryan Hogan (Carrig and Riverstown); Conor Langton (Clodiagh Gaels), Kevin McDermott (Durrow); Aaron Maher (Ballinamere), Oisin Hickey (St Ryanagh’s), David Nally (Belmont); Lochlann Kavanagh (Kilcormac-Killoughey), Aaron Kenny (St Ryanagh’s), Shane O’Toole (Shamrocks). Subs: Joey Keenaghan for O’Toole (26 mins), Hogan (35 mins)
When, where and how much?
1pm on Saturday in O’Connor Park, Tullamore
Juveniles (U-16): Free
Students/Senior Citizens:- €5 with appropriate I.D.