This Sunday sees the Laois LGFA footballers take the first step in their 2019 All-Ireland intermediate championship campaign.
Here is what you need to know before the game:
When, where, what time?
Laois play Clare in Round 2 of Group 3 of the All-Ireland intermediate championship in O’Moore Park at 2pm on Sunday.
The Laois team for today’s game shows three changes from the one that was defeated by Meath in the Leinster quarter final last month.
Aine Haberlin, Jane Moore and Sinead Cullen drop out of the starting 15 with Aimee Kelly, Andrea Moran and Shannon Costelloe coming in.
LAOIS: Fiona Kelly (Park Ratheniska); Aimee Kelly (St. Conleths), Clodagh Dunne (Ballyroan), Maureen Young (Timahoe); Mary Cotten (St. Conleths), Ellen Healy (Portlaoise), Laura Nerney (Foxrock-Cabinteeley); Andrea Moran (Ballyroan), Anna Healy (Park-Ratheniska); Erone Fitzpatrick (Park-Ratheniska), Shannon Costelloe (St. Paul’s), Caoimhe Simms (St. Brigids); Mo Nerney (Timahoe), Aisling Kehoe (Portlaoise), Emma Lawlor (St. Paul’s)
What way does this competition work?
The teams played for seeding in the groups via their provincial competitions and Laois have been placed in Group 3 alongside Clare and Wexford where two teams advance to the All-Ireland quarter finals.
The former clashed last weekend with Wexford winning 3-10 to 0-16 meaning that a Laois win today will see them join their Leinster counterparts in the All-Ireland quarter finals before they meet in the last group game next weekend.
If Laois lose to Clare, they will have to defeat Wexford next weekend and then points difference would come into play.
What have Laois been like at this grade in recent seasons?
Laois recorded an unforgettable victory in the final last year over Wicklow to take home the Leinster title.
In the lead up to this, they defeated Offaly and Wexford in the quarter-final and semi-final stages.
They bowed out of the All-Ireland intermediate championship against Roscommon in the quarter-final stages of the national competition.
A new, emerging Laois side were less lucky in this year’s division 2 league. David Gibson’s side came away from tough battles failing to record a win, although against many strong senior teams.
These battles from the group above could prove beneficial to the side this coming Sunday.
What are Clare like?
Clare were in Division 2 alongside Laois this year and they defeated Laois by three points when they met in the league.
The very dangerous Niamh O’Dea who operates at full forward will be the player that Laois will have to pay most attention to.
Who is the referee for the game?
The man in the centre of the field for this game is Stephen McNulty (Wicklow).