The Laois minor footballers will be looking to reach the Leinster semi finals when they face Kildare this evening.
At 7.30pm today, they will go head to head against their opponents in St Conleth’s Park Newbridge in the fourth round of the Leinster championship.
Donncha Phelan’s side are in a group with the aforementioned Kildare plus Wexford, Carlow and Longford.
This is Group 1 of the newly revamped Leinster minor championship and Laois must finish in the top two spots to make the semi final.
Wins over Longford and Wexford, along with a draw against Carlow, have them top of the group on five points.
Kildare sit second on four but have played a game less.
If Laois finish third or fourth, they will head into the Shield section of the competition.
Anyway, we will now take a look at the match ahead:
The Laois team named ahead of tonight’s game is:
LAOIS: Tom Wright (Ballylinan); Sean Greene (Emo), Mikey Bennett (Portarlington), Ciaran Byrne (Ballyroan-Abbey); Niall Carey (Portlaoise), Cathal Bennett (Portarlington), Seth Burns Mooney (Courtwood); Sean Michael Corcoran (Portarlington), Ben Conroy (Portlaoise); Daragh Galvin (Portarlington), Damon Larkin (Portlaoise), Cathal Doyle (Ballyroan-Abbey); Seamus Farrelly (St Joseph’s), Seán O’Neill (The Rock), Ross Bolger (Killeshin)
What Kildare players should we watch out for?
Kildare won three of the previous five minor football titles before the age grade changed to U-17 and are always strong.
They comfortably defeated Wexford and Carlow in their two games so far and a number of players have shone.
Muiris Curtin kicked nine points between the two games while Alex Beirne helped himself to 1-7.
Their defence is equally impressive as they held Wexford scoreless from play for all of that game.
What’s Kildare’s season been like so far?
Perfect really. A 1-17 to 0-7 win over Wexford was followed by a 1-13 to 0-2 defeat of Carlow.
They have not played a competitive game since May 23 though so this may test them slightly. But a win here will see them qualified for the semi finals with a game to spare.
What’s the history between the sides?
The most recent meeting between Laois and Kildare at this level came in the 2016 Leinster final.
It was a first provincial final appearance in this grade for Laois since 2007 and while full-forward Diarmuid Whelan contributed seven points, they were outclassed by a more powerful Kildare outfit.
Kildare ran out 1-18 to 0-10 winners on the day. Here is the teams that played on that day:
Laois: Ross McGrath (Portarlington); James Kelly (St Joseph’s), Diarmuid Bennett (Portarlington), Richie Hitchcock (Park-Ratheniska); Shane Bolger (Killeshin), Sean Byrne (Portarlington), James O’Connor (Timahoe) (0-1); Liam Delaney (Ballyroan-Abbey), Max Connolly (Ballyfin); Ciaran Comerford (The Harps) (0-1), Adam Deering (Killeshin) (0-1), Finbarr Crowley (Emo); Alan Kinsella (Courtwood) (0-1), Diarmuid Whelan (Ballyroan-Abbey) (0-6, 0-4f), Johnny Kelly (O’Dempsey’s). Subs: Rob Tyrrell (Camross) for Delaney h/t, John Kavanagh (Portlaoise) for Johnny Kelly h/t, Mark McDermott (Killeshin) for Comerford 35, Eoin Lowry (Killeshin) for Kinsella 42, Dylan Feane (Portlaoise) for Crowley 47, Conor Brennan (Ballyroan-Abbey) for O’Connor 49.
Kildare: Luke Mullins; John O’Toole, Mark Dempsey, David Shaw; Tony Archbold (0-2), James Gibbons, Sam Doran; David Marnell, Aaron Masterson; Kevin Foley (0-1), Jimmy Hyland (0-7, 0-4f), David Kelly; Ciaran Kelly (0-2), Brian McLoughlin (0-3), Jack Robinson (1-1). Subs: Cian Costigan (0-1) for D Kelly 21, Paddy Woodgate (0-1) for Foley 45, Danny O’Sullivan for Archbold 50, James Burke for McLoughlin 59.
What are the odds?
There doesn’t seem to be any odds available from any of the bookmakers for this game.
When, where and how much?
7.30pm on Wednesday, June 27 in St Conleth’s Park, Newbridge
Juveniles (U-16): Free
Students/Senior Citizens:- €5 with appropriate I.D.