After a weekend of club hurling action, attention turns back to football this weekend with a full schedule of games in Round 2 of the local senior, intermediate and junior championships as well as the latter stages if the Junior ‘B’ and ‘C’.
Here we look ahead to this evening’s Laois SFC Round 1 replay between Emo and Ballyroan-Abbey.
When, where, what time?
Tonight in O’Moore Park at 8pm.
Story so far?
The sides met last Tuesday in the championship when they played out an exciting draw – when a Nigel Murphy goal in injury time forced a replay. It finished 2-10 to Emo, 1-13 to Ballyroan-Abbey.
With a number of the Ballyroan-Abbey footballers playing hurling at the week – three with Abbeyleix and two with Park-Ratheniska/Timahoe – it means it’s a busy time and they’ll feature in their third championship game in eight days.
The prize for the winners is a Round 2 game against Portarlington this coming Saturday at 7.30pm in O’Moore Park. The winners will also be safe from relegation.
For the losers they’ll have a day extra to prepare before facing Stradbally at 7.30pm in O’Moore Park on Sunday.
Just like the drawn game, it’s another hard one to call. With Diarmuid Whelan hitting 0-5 and Padraig McMahon 1-4 in the drawn game, and Scott Conroy and Michael Tierney also in their forward line, Ballyroan would appear to have greater scoring power.
They recovered from a slow start in the drawn game to take the lead in the second half before Murphy’s late strike.
Both sides won a replay in last year’s championship – Emo against Arles-Killeen, Ballyroan-Abbey against Arles-Kilcruise – and both were defeated in the quarter-finals.
There’s little to choose between them – and don’t rule out extra time – but Ballyroan-Abbey are a team on an upward graphy and they might just have enough to pull through.