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Seven games in four weeks takes its toll on Laois as manager Sheehan disappointed with performance

Billy Sheehan
Photo: Paul Dargan

Laois senior football manager Billy Sheehan reckons that playing so many games in a short space of time ultimately caught up on his charges against Westmeath on Sunday.

That was Laois’s seventh game in four weeks and while they were far more competitive than the last time they faced the Lake County, the outcome was ultimately the same.

The game was level as we entered the final quarter but Laois faded and went down by six points in the end – a 74th minute Kieran Martin goal sealing it.

Speaking afterwards, manager Sheehan admitted that he was disappointed with the performance.

He said: “I know people go back to last year when it was 3-20 to 1-10 but we fully believed that we could win the game.

“So just not to put in the performance that we should have was very disappointing.

“We seemed a small bit stuck to the ground but we came out at the start of the second half and went at them.

“I think it was a draw after 50 minutes and then Westmeath pulled ahead so the better team won on the day.

“There was still only a score in it when the game was in injury time so there wasn’t a whole lot between the teams.

“They just got that second goal when the game was literally over and we had just pushed everyone up the field for the kick out.

“But look it is no fault of the lads as I said to them inside – they did play seven games in four weeks.

“The majority of our players played against Meath, Kildare, Dublin, Louth and Westmeath.

“Five games in three weeks probably took its toll on them and unfortunately we couldn’t get over the line at the end and get the equalising goal.”

Laois now have a two week break before they travel to Enniskillen to face Fermanagh in Round 3.

And manager Sheehan confirmed they have a challenge game against Kildare to look forward to first.

He said: “We have a challenge match organised with Kildare on Tuesday night for lads who are in the squad.

“Mark Timmons will be back playing, Shane Bolger and Diarmuid Bennett will all be involved too.

“Sean Moore got injured in training two weeks ago and I don’t know if he will be available for that but he hopes to be back for Fermanagh.”

Laois have plenty of other injury troubles as already referenced and they’ll be hoping a knock picked up by corner back James Kelly isn’t serious.

Sheehan said: “James Kelly had a dead calf at half time but in fairness to him, his attitude is excellent.

“He was doing runs up and down the corridor at half time to see if he’d get out for the second half but unfortunately he couldn’t continue.”

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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.