Local derbies are always a highlight of the championship season and when the Laois footballers are paired with Offaly there is no town where it matters more than Portarlington.
The river Barrow divides the town between the two counties and so the tribal bragging rights that will be on offer this Saturday night in O’Moore Park will be hugely important for the fans of these two progressive teams when they meet in Round 3 of the All Ireland SFC Qualifiers.
This rivalry is particularly evident in a small private estate called Barrow View.
Despite containing only 20 houses, Barrow View is home to Laois players Paddy O’Sullivan and Robbie Pigott and the life-long friends also have Offaly forward and Rhode native Anton Sullivan among their neighbours.
To balance things up, Offaly midfielder Peter Cunningham is a regular visitor to the estate where his sister Liz lives!
The build up to Saturday’s showdown started in Barrow View as soon as the draw was made on Monday morning with the children in the estate staging mock matches on the green and fighting for prime space to display their county flags.
They have been joined by their county heroes for kick arounds and this has helped to build the atmosphere to fever pitch ahead of the big game.
The players and neighbours will have to put their friendships to one side on Saturday when they do battle in the All Ireland Qualifiers but one thing is for sure – Barrow View will be represented in the draw for the next round.
The big question is, will it be the Queens County men or The Faithful who march on.