Laois SHC Round 2 – Clough-Ballacolla v Borris-Kilcotton
In O’Moore Park at 7.30pm
On paper anyway this is the standout fixture of the weekend though the new championship structure means that it won’t have the same bite as if it was knockout, or even under the old system where there was a backdoor in the early rounds.
In any case, both sides will want to maintain some momentum having won their opening round games.
Borris-Kilcotton recorded a first ever championship win over Camross though did have to endure a nervy final few minutes. Clough-Ballacolla were without the suspended Willie Hyland and John A Delaney but still had enough for Abbeyleix despite a sluggish start.
The winner of this game will be assured of a knockout place and if Borris-Kilcotton win then they’ll almost be guaranteed of the automatic semi-final place.
With Clough-Ballacolla facing Camross in their last game, they won’t want to be taking any chances and a win here would remove a lot of headaches.
Borris-Kilcotton’s win over Camross the last day will have been welcomed as they seek to win back the title they won for the first time in 2016.
They have been far too strong for Ballacolla in the last two championships and though Ballacolla can be a match for anyone when on their game, the disappointing performances have become more regular in the last couple of seasons.
The Borris-Kilcotton attack is a star-studded one and the Ballacolla defence will have to get their match-ups right, particularly who they put Darren Maher and Lee Cleere.
Expect it to be tighter than the last two years when there was 21 and 18 points between them – but Borris-Kilcotton should have enough to win.
Referee: Anthony Stapleton (Rathdowney-Errill)
Story so far: Borris-Kilcotton recorded a first ever championship win over Camross while Clough-Ballacolla proved too strong for Abbeyleix.
Previous meeting: The sides met in the quarter-final last year when Borris-Kilcotton recorded a comfortable 3-23 to 1-11 win
Odds: Borris-Kilcotton are 4/7 favourites with Clough-Ballacolla priced at 6/4 and the draw at 8/1.
Laois SHC ‘A’ – Ballyfin v Mountrath
In Trumera at 7pm
Two teams that won their opening round games go head to head in Trumera this evening with Ballyfin taking on Mountrath.
Ballyfin had just about enough for Clonaslee in the opening round while Mountrath got the better of Colt.
A year ago Ballyfin were playing senior and Mountrath were battling to avoid the drop to intermediate.
Mountrath might be going better this year – but Ballyfin should still be stronger.
Laois SHC ‘A’ – Clonaslee v Colt
In Ratheniska at 7pm
With both sides having lost their opening games, the loser here will almost certainly be in a relegation playoff.
It’s only two year since Colt were in the final at this grade (albeit with some help from Clonad and under the ‘Colt Gaels’ banner) but they’ve won only one of four matches since and the opening round loss to Mountrath was disappointing.
Clonaslee put it up to Ballyfin for long spells and that form line would suggest that they’re the more likely winners here.
SEE ALSO – Check out all the Laois SHC coverage here