Following two dramatic draws in the Laois SFC during the week, the action resumes in O’Moore Park this evening with an attractive double header of Round 3 games.
Laois SFC Round 3 – Crettyard Gaels v Graiguecullen
In O’Moore Park at 6pm
The first game this evening sees Crettyard Gaels and Graiguecullen do battle.
Both sides have been recent championship semi-finalists – Graiguecullen last year and Crettyard Gaels in 2016 – and arrive at this stage of the championship with a win and a loss each.
Graigue caused a bit of a shock in the opening round when two goals from Aaron Forbes saw them get the better of O’Dempsey’s – but they were ten points off Portlaoise in Round 2, despite competing well for the opening 20 minutes.
The reality, however, is that perhaps that’s as good as it gets against Portlaoise – Graigue did, after all, get closer to The Town last year than anyone else, losing by only four points in the semi-final.
Evan O’Carroll hit ten points in that win over Ballyfin while Cormac Murphy was his main supplier. If Graigue aren’t tuned in that duo could do damage.
Crettyard Gaels (they’ve a few Spink lads on board) will fight to the end but Graigue are a bit stronger and they should make it tell.
Laois SFC Round 3 – Portarlington v Stradbally
In O’Moore Park at 7.30pm
Back in the mid 90s this was one of the most hard-hitting rivalries in Laois club football, a clash that led to more than one dust up when the sides are among the top challengers in Laois club football. They also met in a famous draw and replay in the final in 2001, the last time Port claimed the Jack Delaney Cup – or indeed were in the final.
Stradbally have won two championship since then, most famously in 2016 – but they’ve struggled to get anywhere close to that form since. Hitting Clonaslee Gaels for 4-12 was a good response to their narrow loss to Arles-Kilcruise in Round 1 and while they enter this as outsiders, they’re not without hope.
They were porous at the back in that Arles game but they’ve hit 6-27 in two games, with no other side in the county finding the net as often. They’re well able to score and if they can tighten up at the back they can still go places in this championship.
Port – who were semi-finalists last year and have an amount of young talent – haven’t impressed in this championship. They struggled past Ballyroan-Abbey in Round 1 and were then well beaten by St Joseph’s the last day.
They might have a couple of players to welcome back into the fold but we have a hunch that Stradbally might do it.