Eddie Brennan has handed three Laois players their first championship start for tomorrow evening’s Leinster championship quarter-final clash with Dublin in Croke Park.
Clough-Ballacolla’s Ronan Broderick starts at wing-back, Fiachra C-Fennell from Rosenallis in midfield and Colt-Shanahoe’s James Keyes at corner-forward.
There is also a return to the Laois colours in championship action for Sean Downey from Ballinakill, Clough-Ballacolla’s Stephen Maher and Rathdowney-Errill’s James Ryan, all of whom either missed last year’s championship campaign or the league earlier this season.
Lee Cleere also returns to the senior county team after missing all the league through sickness.
Free-taker Mark Kavanagh hasn’t recovered in time from injury to take his place in attack.
From the team that won last year’s Joe McDonagh Cup, the likes of Jack Kelly, Matthew Whelan and John Lennon don’t start while Eanna Lyons is recovering from injury, Joe Phelan opted off the panel at the start of 2020 and Cha Dwyer wasn’t recalled after initially opting to go travelling this year and not being called back in after the club campaign.
The game takes place in Croke Park at 6pm on Saturday evening.
Laois manager Eddie Brennan confirmed this week that two of his panel won’t be in a position to play as they have been deemed close contacts of confirmed Covid cases.
The players in question have tested negative but must restrict their movement for 14 days.
The winners of tomorrow’s game qualify for a Leinster semi-final against Kilkenny – which will be played in Croke Park next Saturday. Wexford and Galway meet in the other semi-final.
While no spectators can attend the game is being shown live on Sky Sports Mix, which is available to all Sky customers, even those who don’t have a Sky Sports subscription.
Sky Sports Mix is available in approximately 900,000 homes in Ireland, on Sky channel 416 and Virgin channel 409.
Laois stunned Dublin in last year’s championship in the All Ireland qualifiers a week after winning the second tier Joe McDonagh competition. It meant Laois reached the All Ireland quarter-finals for the first time since 1979.
But despite that win, Dublin are still the hottest of 1/8 favourites with Laois 6/1 and the draw at 14/1. Dublin are -7 on the handicap betting.
- Enda Rowland (Abbeyleix)
- Lee Cleere (Clough-Ballacolla)
- Sean Downey (Ballinakill)
- Donnchadh Hartnett (Mountmellick)
- Ronan Broderick (Clough-Ballacolla)
- Podge Delaney (The Harps)
- Ryan Mullaney (Castletown)
- Fiachra C Fennell (Rosenallis)
- Paddy Purcell (Rathdowney-Errill)
- Aaron Dunphy (Borris-Kilcotton)
- Willie Dunphy (Clough-Ballacolla)
- James Ryan (Rathdowney-Errill)
- James Keyes (Colt-Shanahoe)
- Ross King (Rathdowney-Errill)
- Stephen Maher (Clough-Ballacolla)