Derry v Laois, Saturday, 5 pm, Owenbeg
Derry and Laois meet in the All-Ireland Football Qualifiers on Saturday. The game takes place at Owenbeg.
The winner of this game will progress to the next round of the qualifiers. Looking at Derry they will be a tough nut to crack especially on home soil. Derry played Tyrone in the Ulster Championship and lost out 1-19 to 1-13. They pushed Tyrone all the way though. The loss meant they played Wexford in the first round of the qualifiers where the won convincingly 4-16 to 0-10 at Wexford Park. Damian McErlain will look to players like Chrissy McKaighue and Brendan Rogers. Ryan Bell, Shane McGuigan and Benny Heron will be tasked with coming up with the scores.
Looking at Laois manager John Sugrue was disappointed following his sides heavy Leinster semi-final defeat to Meath. He said speaking to Laois Today “It was very disappointing. The scoreboard doesn’t lie with regard to that game. At times we had plenty of possession but we didn’t execute up front and maybe lacked a bit of penetration”. They will need a big performance to get a win here in m opinion, anything short of that and they will be exiting the championship. Sugrue will be able to call on Stephen Attride, Robert Piggott and Gareth Dillion in defence. John O’Loughlin and Kieran Lillis will also be key players. In attack, Colm Murphy, Donie Kingston, and Evan O’Carroll will be key players.
Previous Championship Meetings
The sides have met three times in the qualifiers.
2001 Derry 1-08 Laois 0-08
2005 Laois 1-11 Down 0-11
2007 Derry 1-18 Laois 2-11
Derry: Thomas Mallon; Karl McKaigue, Brendan Rogers, Ruairi Mooney; Jason Rocks, Chrissy McKaigue, Niall Keenan; Conor McAtamney, Ciaran McFaul; Emmett Bradley, Benny Heron, Padraig Cassidy; Shane McGuigan, Ryan Bell, Enda Lynn
Derry are favourites at odds of 8/15, while Laois come into the game as underdogs at odds of 15/8. I think Derry will win this. Derry -2 at 11/10 looks a good bet.