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Junior football championship semi-final places up for grabs in Thursday’s Laois GAA action

With the Laois junior football championship quarter-finals down for decision this evening, we look ahead to the three games taking place.

The other quarter-final between Spink and Castletown will take place next week.

O’Dempsey’s v Kilcavan
In Mountmellick at 7pm*

* Note change of venue

One of the great rivalries of the Laois junior football championship over the past couple of seasons has been the one between O’Dempsey’s and Kilcavan.

And after doing battle in the last two semi-finals – with the extra time and a replay needed in 2017 – they meet this evening in the quarter-final in Portarlington.

In the three championship games over the two years, there’s been one win each and a draw, the first fixture in 2017 producing a classic. 

O’Dempsey’s won last year’s semi-final before losing the final to Annanough but they come back with a strong team again, with a number of them having senior experience, including the likes of Stephen O’Leary and Eoin Finlay.

O’Dempsey’s have reached this stage of the competition the most direct route, hammering Camross and then getting the better of The Heath to go straight through to the last eight.

Kilcavan lost their opening game to last year’s other beaten semi-finalists Park-Ratheniska before then easily overcoming Portlaoise last weekend, scoring 3-17 in the process.

This could go either way again – but Kilcavan might just edge it this time.

Prediction: Kilcavan

Park-Ratheniska v The Harps
In Laois GAA LOETB Centre of Excellence at 7.30pm

Park-Ratheniska and The Harps clash in the only all-junior meeting of the evening.

Park-Ratheniska arrive to the quarter-finals on the back of wins away to Kilcavan and Killeshin, though they did need a replay in the latter.

The Harps are enjoying a fine football season and have followed up their Division 5 league triumph with a good run in the championship, with narrow wins over Portarlington and Barrowhouse coming either side of a defeat to Ballyroan-Abbey.

Both sides are juggling hurling committments and while The Harps will no doubt be competitive, Park-Ratheniska look to be a level above.

Prediction: Park-Ratheniska

The Heath v Ballyroan-Abbey
In Laois GAA LOETB Centre of Excellence at 7.30pm

The wonderful LOETB Centre of Excellence will be a busy place this evening with games taking place simultanuously on the two main pitches.

Ballyroan-Abbey have recorded wins over two first teams – The Harps and Spink – to get here while The Heath hammered Stradbally in their first outing, then lost to O’Dempsey’s before booking their quarter-final place with a win over Camross last weekend. 

The Heath generally have a stronger second team than Ballyroan-Abbey but on this occasion, the Sky Blues seem to have the better form guide.

Prediction: Ballyroan-Abbey

SEE ALSO – Spink see off Killeshin in replay to book quarter-final place

SEE ALSO – Check out all the Laois JFC coverage here