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All you need to know as the Laois hurlers and footballers head north to face Antrim and Down

It is a busy day on the GAA front as the Laois hurlers and footballers face trips to Ulster to face Antrim and Down.

Below, we will preview both games:

Laois v Antrim 
National Hurling League Division 1B Round 5

When, where, what time?

The game throws in at 3pm in Antrim’s temporary home venue in Corrigan Park in Belfast.

Team news

Laois manager Seamas Cheddar Plunkett named his starting team on Friday – the same one that began the game against Kilkenny last week.

However, we believe that as many as five changes are set to be made to this team before throw in.

Lee Cleere, Ryan Mullaney, Cha Dwyer, Willie Dunphy and Eanna Lyons are all expected to start the game.

Antrim have not yet named their team for this game.

What’s Laois’s recent history like against Antrim?

Laois haven’t played Antrim since 2019 when they beat them 2-24 to 1-19 in the Joe McDonagh Cup.

In 2018, Laois managed to ground out a one point win over Antrim in the Joe McDonagh Cup and also Laois saw them off to maintain their Division 1B status for 2019.

Who’s the referee?

The man in the middle for this game is John Keenan from Wicklow. He last officiated a game involving Laois back in 2017 when Dublin beat them in the Leinster championship.

What are the odds?

Antrim are 8/15 favourites with Laois at 7/4 and the draw priced at 10/1.

Where can I follow the action?

We will be providing minute-by-minute updates on our Live Blog and there will also be coverage on Midlands 103. While the game is on GAA Go.

Laois v Down 
National Football League Division 3 Relegation playoff

When, where, what time?

The game throws in at 6.15pm in Down’s home venue in Newry, Pairc Esler.

Team news

Laois manager Mike Quirke named his team to face Down last night and it shows four changes from the side that lost to Kildare two weeks ago.

Colm Begley and Donie Kingston have returned from injury and come into the team in place of Alan Farrell and Gary Walsh.

Danny O’Reilly misses out through injury with Sean Byrne in for him while there is a first appearance of the season for fellow Portarlington man Colm Murphy who is in Brian Byrne.

On the bench, Marty Scully is named for the first time this season and he’s in for the aforementioned O’Reilly who drops out of the 26 altogether.

The Laois team in full is: Niall Corbet; Robbie Pigott, Mark Timmons, Gareth Dillon; Seamus Lacey, Colm Begley, Paddy O’Sullivan; Kieran Lillis, John O’Loughlin; Sean Byrne, Paul Kingston, Eoin Lowry; Colm Murphy, Donie Kingston, Evan O’Carroll. Subs: Matthew Byron, Brian Daly, Mark Barry, Brian Byrne, Benny Carroll, Gary Walsh, Sean O’Flynn, Eoin Buggie, Ross Munnelly, Marty Scully, Alan Farrell

Down have not yet named their team.

What’s Down’s form like?

Following Division 3 promotion last year, Down have found it tough going in Division 2 thus far.

Defeats to Meath and Mayo meant that even that win against Westmeath the last day still meant they were in relegation trouble.

What is Laois’s record against Down like?

Laois’s last visit to Newry was a good one as the then John Sugrue managed team recorded a 2-15 to 1-12 win in Division 3 in 2019.

Before that, Laois’s last clash with Down was in the last round of Division 2 in 2015 when Laois lost in Newry but had just enough to stay up.

Laois won the 2014 meeting between the two in O’Moore Park but lost away in 2012 and 2010 – as well as All Ireland Qualifier games in 2009 and 2008.

Who’s reffing it?

Jerome Henry from Mayo is in charge. His last time to officiate a Laois game was the 2019 Division 3 league final against Westmeath.

Before that, his most game involving the county was the 2-18 to 0-14 loss to Clare in the 2017 All Ireland Qualifiers.

What are the odds?

Down are favourites at 4/9 with Laois at 5/2 and the draw at 15-2. On the handicap, Down -3 are evens while Laois +3 are evens.

Where can I follow the action?

The game is live on GAA Go and you can expect radio updates from Midlands 103 and RTE. As always, LaoisToday will be live blogging the entire game.

SEE ALSO – Warmest day of the year forecast for Sunday – and we better make the best of it!

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Stradbally native Alan Hartnett is a graduate of Knockbeg College who has worked in the local and national media since 2008. Alan has a BA in Economics, Politics and Law and an MA in Journalism from DCU. His happiest moment was when Jody Dillon scored THAT goal in the Laois senior football final in 2016.