Home Sport GAA Blow for Laois footballers as forward departs panel ahead of Leinster championship

Blow for Laois footballers as forward departs panel ahead of Leinster championship

Benny Carroll - Photo Paul Dargan

Laois senior football manager John Sugrue has been dealt a blow ahead of the Leinster championship quarter final against Westmeath as one of his forwards has left the panel.

Portlaoise’s Benny Carroll is heading to America for the summer and has left the squad as a result.

He played in the majority of Laois’s championship games, starting in the Leinster quarter final win over Westmeath last year, but was struck by injury for the majority of 2019.

He made just four league appearances this term – the latter of which came as a second half substitute against Westmeath in the Division 3 league final defeat.

His loss takes the number of players who are not part of the current panel, that played in last year’s championship, to ten.

Darren Strong, David Conway and Niall Donoher have retired while Finbarr Crowley, Gary Walsh, Ruaidhri C-Fennell, David Holland, Eoghan Keogh and Brian Glynn are also no longer part of the squad.

It hasn’t been all bad news for Laois though as 2019 has seen the emergence of a number of new players along with the return of some older ones.

Brendan Quigley and Kevin Meaney are back after injury and retirement respectively while young players like Sean O’Flynn, Sean Byrne, Mark Barry and Marty Scully have also broken through.

Laois will face Westmeath in the quarter final of the Leinster championship on Sunday May 26 in Tullamore at 2pm.

This will be the third time that the sides will meet this year and Westmeath are looking for their third straight win.

Both sides achieved promotion and after Westmeath defeated Laois in Mullingar in the early rounds, they repeated the trick in Croke Park in the Division 3 final.

The sides met in the quarter final last year at the same venue where a Paul Kingston hat-trick sealed a Leinster semi final place for Laois.

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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.