Home Sport GAA Your guide to Laois’s Round 6 Allianz Football League clash v Offaly

Your guide to Laois’s Round 6 Allianz Football League clash v Offaly

Laois senior footballers - Paul Dargan

Brought to you in association with The Cellar Pub, Mountmellick

Laois take on Offaly in Round 6 of their Allianz Football League Division 3 campaign this afternoon.

Here we guide you through what you need to know:

When, where, what time?

The game throws in at 2pm in O’Connor Park, Tullamore.

Team news

Laois senior football manager John Sugrue named his team to face Longford on Thursday night.

Following on from the comeback victory over Longford last time out, manager Sugrue has made three changes to the starting team.

Trevor Collins, Eoin Lowry and Colm Murphy are in from the start in place of Robbie Pigott, Sean Byrne and Conor Boyle.

This leads to a number of positional changes with Collins coming in at wing back and Colm Begley moving to centre back.

Eoin Lowry comes in as a straight swap for Conor Boyle but the inclusion of Colm Murphy sees Donie Kingston move to centre forward with Benny Carroll going to the wing.

LAOIS: Graham Brody; Stephen Attride, Mark Timmons, Gareth Dillon; Trevor Collins, Colm Begley, Marty Scully; John O’Loughlin, Kieran Lillis; Eoin Lowry, Donie Kingston, Benny Carroll; Ross Munnelly, Evan O’Carroll, Colm Murphy

Offaly have also named their team:

OFFALY: Paddy Dunican; Declan Hogan, Eoin Rigney, David Dempsey; Cian Donoghue, Johnny Moloney, Paul McConway; Eoin Carroll, Cathal Mangan; Shane Horan, Peter Cunningham, Niall Darby; Bernard Allen, Anton Sullivan, Ruairi McNamee

What has Offaly’s form been like this season?

Offaly have been somewhat unlucky with their results this season – losing by a point to Westmeath in Round 1 having been eight points up at one stage and then drawing with Longford in their second outing. They then lost by two points to Louth after conceding a late freak goal before getting their first win against Carlow in Round 4.

They lost to Down away in their last game and sit second from bottom and badly need a win today or they could be relegated, depending on results elsewhere.

What have Offaly been like in the last couple of seasons?

Since gaining promotion and winning Division 4 by defeating Longford back in 2015, Offaly have operated in Division 3 of the league.

They were unlucky not to achieve promotion in 2016, finishing third in Division 3, but they haven’t really threatened to do that since.

In last year’s Leinster championship they were beaten by Wicklow in the opening round of Leinster before losing to Clare in Round 2 of the Qualifiers having earlier beaten Antrim.

Who’s managing Offaly and what players should we watch out for?

Veteran John Maughan is in charge of Offaly having taken over from Paul Rouse who came in in a care-taker capacity last year following the removal of Kerry native Stephen Wallace. Maughan is a long time on the intercounty circuit having managed Clare, his native Mayo and Fermanagh previously.

In terms of players, Bernard Allen is a consistent source of scores from frees and play while Rhode’s Anton Sullivan, former Colaiste Iosagain student Peter Cunningham, Niall Darby, Ruari McNamee and big midfielder Eoin Carroll are decent players too.

What’s Laois’s recent history like against Offaly?

This time two years ago, Laois and Offaly played out a hugely entertaining game in Tullamore.

The counties had rarely met at such a low level with Offaly’s narrow one-point win consigning Laois to Division 4 football for the first time in 50 years.

Donie Kingston scored a whopping 3-4 that day but ended up on the losing side with Laois narrowly missing out on a draw as Darren Strong’s late effort tailed just wide. In the end Laois lost 3-15 to 4-11.

Laois were under the management of Peter Creedon at the time and while they recorded a decent championship win over Longford, they later suffered big losses to Kildare and Clare and Creedon stepped down after just one year in the role, to be replaced by John Sugrue.

Who’s the referee?

Paul Faloon from Down will be the man in the middle. Faloon will be a new enough name to Laois players and supporters having never taken charge of a Laois game previously. He has been on the championship linesman panel for the last couple of seasons – but has taken charge of a number of league games in that time, including the 2017 Division 4 league final between Westmeath and Wexford.

This year he has refereed the Derry v Antrim Division 4 game and the All Ireland junior club final between Beaufort of Kerry and Sligo side Easkey.

What other Division 3 games are on this weekend?

With St Patrick’s Day on Sunday, all of the Division 3 games take place on Saturday.

Longford host Sligo at 2pm while Louth and Westmeath also clash at the same time. While at 3pm, Down travel to Carlow.

What are the odds?

Laois are 8/13 favourites with Offaly 13/8. The draw is 15/2.

How much is it to get in?

Adults are €10 while U-16s go free. Students/OAPs are €5

Is there a curtain raiser?

No there is not.

SEE ALSO – Gardaí issue warning for drivers this St Patrick’s weekend – as 34 killed so far in 2019 on Irish roads

Brought to you in association with The Cellar Pub, Mountmellick

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Stradbally native Alan Hartnett is a graduate of Knockbeg College who has worked in the local and national media since 2008. Alan has a BA in Economics, Politics and Law and an MA in Journalism from DCU. His happiest moment was when Jody Dillon scored THAT goal in the Laois senior football final in 2016.