Home Sport GAA Your guide to Laois’s Round 7 Allianz Football League clash v Carlow

Your guide to Laois’s Round 7 Allianz Football League clash v Carlow

Trevor Collins

Brought to you in association with Cllr Ben Brennan

The Laois senior footballers take on Carlow in Round 7 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’Moore Park, Portlaoise.

Team news

Laois senior football manager John Sugrue named his team to face Carlow on Saturday morning and it shows three changes from the side that beat Offaly last weekend. 

Robbie Pigott, Conor Boyle and Paul Cahillane all come into the side with Marty Scully, Ross Munnelly and Colm Murphy making way.

The personnel changes also lead to a couple of positional switches with Pigott in at centre-back where he started against Down, Louth and Longford and Colm Begley moving to the wing.

Conor Boyle returns to the starting team having only come on as a sub against Offaly and he goes to centre-forward with Donie Kingston moving back into the full-forward line alongside top scorer Evan O’Carroll and Paul Cahillane.

LAOIS: Graham Brody; Stephen Attride, Mark Timmons, Gareth Dillon; Trevor Collins, Robbie Pigott, Colm Begley; John O’Loughlin, Kieran Lillis; Eoin Lowry, Conor Boyle, Benny Carroll; Evan O’Carroll, Paul Cahillane, Donie Kingston.

Carlow have not yet named their team.

What has Carlow’s form been like this season?

Carlow fans consider themselves to have been somewhat unlucky with their results this season that leave them in a position where a loss here today could send them back to Division 4.

They got off to a great start by defeating Sligo and then were possibly unlucky not to defeat Westmeath – having to settle for a draw.

Defeats against Longford and Offaly followed before they recovered well to defeat Louth in Round 5.

They thought they had secured a draw against table toppers Down last weekend when they levelled matters after the allotted injury time had been played – but referee James Bermingham added on more time and a late Donal O’Hare point broke Carlow hearts.

A loss here today, couple with an Offaly win over Sligo, will see Turlough O’Brien’s men relegated.

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

Carlow had languished in the bottom tier of league football for 33 years before gaining promotion from Division 4 last year.

Turlough O’Brien’s men defeated Antrim, Wicklow, Waterford, London, Limerick and Leitrim to seal promotion before they played Laois in the final round robin game in Netwatch Cullen Park last year.

After losing that game and the subsequent league final, they defeated Louth and then famously Kildare to reach the Leinster semi final where once again Laois defeated them.

Carlow’s journey came to an end in Round 2 of the Qualifiers at the hands of eventual All-Ireland runners-up Tyrone.

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

Turlough O’Brien is the manager of Carlow once again this year and he is assisted by Down native Stephen Poacher – who was fairly outspoken against Colm Parkinson recently. 

Carlow’s style of play is well documented at this stage and it relies heavily on an ability to turn over ball and counter-attack at pace.

This is something that the likes of Sean Murphy and Jordan Morrissey have in spades and they will be two men that Laois will be hoping to limit the influence of this afternoon.

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

Laois and Carlow met three times last year with John Sugrue getting the better of Turlough O’Brien on each occasion.

Laois won all three encounters but between Twitter/Instagram spats, horrific injuries and dramatic endings – the games were far from boring.

You can look back at each of the three games by clicking here.

How can Laois be promoted to Division 2 today?

Right now, the only way that Laois can be guaranteed of promotion by 4pm on Sunday is if they win, Longford beat Westmeath and Down defeat or draw with Louth.

That would mean that Laois and Down would be promoted on 10 and 12 points respectively and would play in the final on March 31.

An explanation of all the permutations can be found here.

Who’s the referee?

Monaghan’s Martin McNally is the man in the middle this afternoon. He was the referee when Laois defeated Down in Round 1 up in Newry and will be well familiar with Laois having been in charge of last year’s Division 4 final against Carlow as well as the championship opener against Wexford.

What other Division 3 games are on this weekend?

This weekend’s other games see Sligo play Offaly, Down face Louth and Longford meeting Westmeath – all games at 2pm.

What are the odds?

Laois are 1/3 favourites with Carlow 3/1. The draw is 8/1.

How much is it to get in?

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

Is there a curtain raiser?

There is actually. The Laois First Year School’s Football Final between Knockbeg and Portlaoise CBS is on at 12.30pm.

SEE ALSO – Well-known Portlaoise business honours 20-year-old gift voucher

Brought to you in association with Cllr Ben Brennan

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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.