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All you need to know as the Laois footballers face Westmeath in Leinster championship quarter final

The Laois senior footballers go in search of their first win of 2021 in today’s Leinster quarter final against Westmeath.

Laois have won their last two championship encounters with Westmeath – both in this venue.

But they have lost their last three league meetings – so there is very little between the sides.

When, where and what time?

1.30pm on Sunday, July 4 in O’Connor Park, Tullamore.

A limited number of supporters are permitted to attend and no tickets will be available on the day.

Team News

Laois manager Mike Quirke has named his starting 15 for Sunday’s Leinster quarter final against Westmeath.

They Kerry native has made two changes to the starting team from the side that lost the Division 2 relegation playoff to Down two weeks ago.

Graiguecullen’s Mark Timmons and Portarlington’s Robbie Pigott drop out of the team with Trevor Collins and Danny O’Reilly replacing them.

Collins is gone in as a straight swap for Pigott while Seamus Lacey has been named at full back with O’Reilly going to wing back.

The rest of the team is unchanged with Timmons and Pigott dropping to the bench in place of Marty Scully and Benny Carroll.

LAOIS: Niall Corbet; Trevor Collins, Seamus Lacey, Gareth Dillon; Danny O’Reilly, Colm Begley, Paddy O’Sullivan; Kieran Lillis, John O’Loughlin; Sean Byrne, Evan O’Carroll, Eoin Lowry; Paul Kingston, Donie Kingston, Colm Murphy

Subs: Matthew Byron, Mark Timmons, Robbie Pigott, Mark Barry, Ross Munnelly, Brian Daly, Eoin Buggie, Finbarr Crowley, Sean O’Flynn, Diarmuid Whelan, Gary Walsh

Westmeath have also named their team:

WESTMEATH: Jason Daly; Jack Smith, Kevin Maguire, Boidu Sayeh; James Dolan, Ronan Wallace, Jamie Gonoud; Ray Connellon, Sam Duncan; Denis Corroon, Ger Egan, David Lynch; Lorcan Dolan, John Heslin, Ronan O’Toole

Subs: Trevor Martin, Tommy McDaniel, Sam McCarten, Darren Giles, Nigel Harte, Fola Ayorinde, Noel Mulligan, Conor Slevin, Conor Coughlan, Ned Cully, Robert Forde

What has Westmeath’s season been like so far?

As disappointing as Laois’s really – albeit the defeats have been by a smaller margin.

Mayo, Down and Meath got the better of them in the league while, despite scoring 25 points against Cork, they also lost the relegation playoff to drop to Division 3 for 2022.

What’s the history between the sides?

In terms of championship history, Laois defeated Westmeath in 2018 and once again in 2019.

Before that, we have to head back to 14 years ago when Laois and Westmeath played a two-part thriller Leinster Final, which saw Laois lose their crown and Westmeath claim their first Leinster title ever under the guidance of Paidie O Sé.

That game was the build up of almost 10 years of rivalry where Laois and Westmeath battled for Leinster minor and U-21 titles.

Most of those games were played out in Tullamore as well, and on those occasions Laois came out on the losing side, a theme which Laois reversed last year and will be hoping to do again.

Who’s the referee?

David Coldrick of Meath is the man in the middle for today’s game.

The last time he officiated a match involving Laois was a Round 3 All-Ireland Qualifier win over Offaly in 2019. 

What are the odds? 

Westmeath are favourites for this game at 8/15 while Laois are 2/1. The draw is 17/2 and the handicap is two points.

What happens after thus game?

If Laois win, they progress to the Leinster semi finals for the fourth successive year.

If they lose, they are out and their season is over for 2021.

Where can I follow the game?

We’ll be live-blogging the game on LaoisToday.ie. Midlands 103 will provide commentary while it is available to watch on GAA GO.

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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.