Laois SFC Relegation Playoff – Stradbally v The Heath
In O’Moore Park at 1pm
Stradbally and The Heath open proceedings in O’Moore Park in today’s first game with the winners safe from relegation but the losers having to face Crettyard in the do-or-die clash in three weeks time.
For two traditional clubs, these relegation games have unfortunately become all too familiar.
It’s Stradbally’s fourth time in six years and it’s The Heath’s third time in four years to be here.
Play with fire for long enough and eventually you’ll get burned.
Stradbally arrive here on the back of an 11-point loss to Killeshin and a six-point loss to Emo.
The Heath were 12 points off Portarlington in their opening game but were much better against St Joseph’s even if they were disappointing in the second half having led at the break after playing against the wind.
Scoring has been The Heath’s biggest problem – and 0-19 over two games represents the worst scoring record of any team in the championship. They’re also the only side yet to score a goal.
The Heath, though, have a great record against Stradbally in recent championship games – winning the last three meetings in 2013, 2014 and 2017.
That trend can continue today.
Odds: Stradbally 1/2; The Heath 15/8; Draw 7/1
Prediction: The Heath
Laois SFC Round 3 – Emo v Graiguecullen
In O’Moore Park at 2.30pm
Graiguecullen have been semi-finalists in the last two seasons and ran O’Dempseys to three points the last time out, a similar result to when the sides met in last year’s semi-final.
Emo were only narrowly beaten by O’Dempsey’s in last year’s quarter-final which would lead you to thinking that there will be very little between these sides.
Who is going better now? Emo were unlucky enough to be beaten in a replay against Ballyroan-Abbey in Round 1 and then had too much for Stradbally a couple of days later.
Emo are outsiders with the bookies but appear to be going slightly better than Graiguecullen.
There won’t be much in it but Emo might sneak it.
Odds: Emo 13/8; Graiguecullen 8/13; Draw 13/2
Laois SFC Round 3 – St Joseph’s v Ballyroan-Abbey
In O’Moore Park at 4pm
Round 3 fixtures in the Laois SFC can be notoriously hard to predict and this is another one that the bookies can’t decide either.
Championship meetings between the two have been few and far between in recent years but they’re similar enough in profile and are both currently middle-of-the-road senior sides.
Ballyroan-Abbey won the minor title for the first time in almost half a century last year and an injection of young players is on the way to augment stalwarts like current county players Marty Scully and Diarmuid Whelan and former county men like Padraig McMahon and Michael Tierney.
But St Joseph’s have gobbled up U-21 titles in recent times and while the travel bug has bitten many of their players and they have lads scattered all over the globe, they’re still able to put out a competitive team.
They could do with scoring more but the likes of Dylan Doye and Josh Lacey have been in top form and Adam Campion, Aidan Brennan and Brian Daly bring a lot to the table too.
Another tight one but Joseph’s to shade it.
Odds: St Joseph’s evens; Ballyroan-Abbey evens; Draw 13/2
Prediction: St Joseph’s