Today is one of the quieter days of the championship week, but it is a case of quality over quantity with three very good games of football to be decided.
Two vital clashes take place in the senior championship, one of which could spell a relegation scrap for one of the stronger sides. Near-neighbours also go to battle for a spot in the quarter-finals.
A relegation battle awaits either Portlaoise of St Joseph’s in the intermediate championship, as the two best second teams in the county go head to head.
Check out the previews below.
Ballylinan v Killeshin at 6pm
Laois Shopping Centre SFC Round 2 – Winners
Two first round winners, both with good attacking options and a strong defensive units and that makes this match a very enticing prospect. Many of these players will know each other too, which could add to the intensity of this affair.
Ballylinan fell at the final hurdle last year, but that was the only blotch on what was a brilliant championship campaign. In round one they overcame a stiff Crettyard Gaels challenge, and looked to have regained some form after a dismal league campaign.
Killeshin looked in bother against Clonaslee St Mamman’s Gaels but a second half resurgence saw them claim victory in the end, despite the sending off of Adam Deering. They will be hoping to recall Stephen Attride back to their line-up too, and with him back in the fray this Killeshin side could be another team that could try contest a county final.
Arles-Killeen v O’Dempsey’s in O’Moore Park at 7.30pm
Laois Shopping Centre SFC Round 2 – Qualifier
Killeen and O’Dempsey’s would be consider two of the stronger teams in the senior championship, but it didn’t quite pan out that way for them in the opening round, with Emo beating Arles Killeen after a replay and Graiguecullen reigning over O’Dempsey’s.
Killeen were without Donie Kingston the first day, and Michael Leigh seen red early on but they still managed to get a draw, albeit it was Emo who drew level. The second day was a different story as Emo were in a dominant mood and claimed the victory well in the end.
O’Dempsey’s would have been fancying themselves for an opening round win over Graiguecullen but that never came to fruition when they went down by four points. They were impressive in the league final and if they can repeat that form then they should have too much for a Killeen side that heavily depend on the two Kingstons.
Portlaoise v St Joseph’s in Ratheniska at 7pm
Laois Shopping Centre IFC Round 2 – Qualifier
These are two teams that have had contrasting starts to the championship when they began this time last year. Portlaoise put together a great run which nearly ended in them capturing the intermediate title, while St Joseph’s romped through the junior championship. But both found themselves on the wrong end of results in the opening round, with Portlaoise being downed by Rosenallis, and St Joseph’s being pipped by Timahoe.
Portlaoise have an impressive second team, one that is capable, as shown last year, of competing or this grade but they didn’t show and of that the first day out and Rosenallis eventually made the most of it.
St Joseph’s went in against a weakened Timahoe side as outsiders but made a good game of it and were only just beaten at the death. This game should be a tight one, but these Portlaoise players have experience and that should see them over the line.