Exactly one year ago today, Paul Kingston scored a hat-trick in Tullamore against Westmeath to see Laois into a Leinster championship semi final.
This will be the fourth competitive meeting between the two counties in the last 12 months and although Laois prevailed in this venue last time, they have since lost in Mullingar and Croke Park to Westmeath.
The winner of this Leinster quarter final will face Meath in two weeks time.
Here, we will guide you through all you need to know ahead of today’s big game.
Laois manager John Sugrue named his team for this game on Friday evening and it shows six changes from the side that lost the Division 3 final to Westmeath in April.
Captain Stephen Attride, defender Trevor Collins and key forward Donie Kingston are all out with injury while Eoin Lowry, Marty Scully and Paul Cahillane also miss out.
In their places come Denis Booth, Paddy O’Sullivan, Damien O’Connor, Danny O’Reilly, Colm Murphy and Paul Kingston.
Paddy O’Sullivan, Sean O’Flynn and Colm Murphy are all named to start, marking three intercounty championship debuts.
LAOIS: Graham Brody (Portlaoise); Denis Booth (The Heath), Mark Timmons (Graiguecullen), Gareth Dillon (Portlaoise; Sean O’Flynn (Courtwood), Colm Begley (Stradbally), Paddy O’Sullivan (Portarlington); John O’Loughlin (St Brigid’s), Kieran Lillis (Portlaoise); Daniel O’Reilly (Graiguecullen), Conor Boyle (Portlaoise), Damien O’Connor (Timahoe); Paul Kingston (Arles-Killeen), Colm Murphy (Portarlington), Evan O’Carroll (Crettyard)
While Westmeath make just one change as Callum McCormack comes in for Luke Loughlin.
WESTMEATH: Eoin Carberry; Kevin Maguire, Boidu Sayeh, Ronan Wallace; James Dolan, Noel Mulligan, Killian Daly; Sam Duncan, Denis Corroon; David Lynch, John Heslin, Callum McCormack; Ronan O’Toole, Kieran Martin, Ger Egan
What has Westmeath’s season been like so far?
Westmeath began the year well by defeating Dublin in the O’Byrne Cup final and they carried that form into the league.
They saw off Laois in Mullingar in Division 3 and were once again winners when the sides met in Croke Park in the final in April.
Both victories were by a margin of three points so Laois will need to turn that around today.
What’s the history between the sides?
In terms of championship history, before last year, we have to head back to 14 years ago when Laois and Westmeath played a two-part thriller Leinster Final, which saw Laois lose their crown and Westmeath claim their first Leinster title ever under the guidance of Paidie O Sé.
That game was the build up of almost 10 years of rivalry where Laois and Westmeath battled for Leinster minor and U-21 titles.
Most of those games were played out in Tullamore as well, and on those occasions Laois came out on the losing side, a theme which Laois reversed last year and will be hoping to do again.
Who’s the referee?
Fergal Kelly of Longford is the man in the middle for this game. He officiated Laois’s Leinster semi final championship win against Carlow last year.
What are the odds?
Westmeath are slight favourites for this game at 10/11 while Laois are 6/5. The draw is 15/2.
When, where and how much?
2pm on Sunday, May 26 in O’Connor Park, Tullamore. It’s €25 for adults for stand while terrace is €20, while students and senior citizens will be able to claim €5 rebate upon entrance with relevant I.D. – Stile No: 8 (Stand) and Stile No: 18 (Terrace). U16s are €5 to both stand and terrace.
Where can I follow the game?
We’ll be live-blogging the game on LaoisToday.ie.
Is there a curtain raiser?
No but there will be half time entertainment involving some up and coming Laois players.
1. Sam Lynch – Ballyadams
2. Cillian Tynan – The Heath
3. Evan Brophy – Holy Family, Portlaoise
4. Manus Dunne – Clonaslee
5. Pauric Ramsbottom – Timahoe
6. Niall Lalor – Clonaghadoo
7. Danny McGrath – Graiguecullen
8. Ryan Phelan – Killenard
9. Liam Ward – Rath
10. Cathal Buggie – Stradbally
This game is also part of a double header with Kildare facing Longford at 4pm in the last of the Leinster quarter finals.