After recent successes of the Laois minor and senior footballers, today sees the U-20s go into battle for the third time.
Billy O’Loughlin’s men are in a difficult group – with Kildare, Wicklow and Meath.
This afternoon they are in Pairc Tailteann to face Meath where even a win may not be enough for Laois to advance.
If Kildare defeat Wicklow in the group’s other game, Laois will either have to beat Meath by three points more than whatever Kildare win by – or defeat the Royals by 12 points.
A tall order indeed and ahead of the game, we look at it in more detail:
The teams named ahead of today’s game are:
Laois: Matthew Byron (Courtwood); James Kelly (St Joseph’s), Diarmuid Bennett (Portarlington), Richie Hitchcock (Park-Ratheniska); Conor Brennan (Ballyroan-Abbey), Shane Bolger (Killeshin), Seán O’Flynn (Courtwood); Peter Kealy (St Joseph’s), Eoin Dunne (Rosenallis); David Connolly (Ballyfin), Jordan Fitzpatrick (Portarlington), James Phelan (The Heath); Alan Kinsella (Courtwood), Diarmuid Whelan (Ballyroan-Abbey), Evan Lowry (Killeshin)
Meath: Adam McDermott; Robbie Clarke, Conor Harnan, Kieran Slavin; Jason Scully, Eanna O’Kelly, James Cassidy; Darragh Campion, Adam Murphy; Eoin Smith, Ethan Devine, Frank O’Reilly; James Conlon, Conor Moriarty, Shane McDonnell
What Meath players should we watch out for?
Meath have scored eight goals in their wins over Kildare and Wicklow – so if Laois are to have any chance, they will have to find a way to curtail that.
Against Wicklow, wing back Sean Reilly hit two goals with Sean Ryan and Conor Moriarty chipping in with the others.
Darragh Campion hit the net in the closing stages and Frank O’Reilly added a sixth from the penalty spot in the game’s final act.
While against Kildare, two second-half goals from midfielder Darragh Campion and substitute Jordan Morris, turned a game that was tied six times by the 34th minute. All players who will need to be watched.
What’s Meath’s season been like so far?
It has been pretty much perfect. They began with a huge win over Wicklow and then followed that with a one point victory over Kildare.
They go into this game knowing that if they avoid defeat, they will reach the Leinster semi finals.
What’s the history between the sides?
As this is a new competition, this is the first meeting of these teams at this level.
However, Laois played Meath in the Leinster minor football championship last year in Navan and defeated them by a point.
For Laois, Seán O’Flynn, Rob Tyrell, Diarmuid Whelan and Alan Kinsella featured that day and are all likely to do so again today.
While on the Meath team, Seán Ryan, Robbie Clarke, Adam Murphy and Jordan Morris all played.
See teams and scorers from the day:
SCORERS – Laois: Diarmuid Whelan 0-4 (one free), Niall Dunne (two ’45s), Alan Kinsella (one free) 0-2 each, Mark Barry (free), Ronan Coffey and Ciaran Comerford 0-1 each. Meath: Shane Walsh 0-4 (three frees), Saran Ó Fionnagain 0-2, Conall Aherne 0-2, Jordan Morris 0-1, Sean Martin 0-1.
LAOIS: Thomas McCann (Ballyroan Abbey); Michael Dowling (Portlaoise), Sean O’Flynn (Courtwood), Daniel Comerford (The Harps); Colin Slevin (Portarlington), Seamus Lacey (Ballylinan), Gary Saunders (Portlaoise); Robert Tyrell (Camross), Diarmuid Whelan (Ballyroan Abbey); Alan Kinsella (Courtwood), Niall Dunne (Courtwood), Ronan Coffey (Portarlington); Mark Barry (O’Dempsey’s), Ciaran Comerford (The Harps); Dean Brophy (St Joseph’s). Subs: PJ Daly (The Heath) for Brophy, Jack Owens (Emo) for Whelan (injured), Whelan for Barry, Damien McCaul (Annanough) for C Comerford
MEATH: Andrew Beakey; Sean Ryan, Dan Devine, Robbie Clarke ; Adam Murphy, John Keane, Jack Hetherington; Cian Swaine, Liam Byrne; Paddy Conway, Sean Martin, Conall Aherne; Jordan Morris, Shane Walsh, Conor Frayne. Subs: Saran Ó Fionnagain, Sean Bannon, Pauric Nulty
What are the odds?
Meath are overwhelming favourites for this. They are 1/6 while Laois are 4/1 with the draw 12/1.
When, where and how much?
2pm on Saturday, June 16 in Navan.
Juveniles (U-16): Free
Students/Senior Citizens:- €5 with appropriate I.D.