Tipperary v Laois, Sunday, 4 pm, Croke Park
No matter what happens in this game Laois GAA and their supporters should be very proud of the senior hurling team. They will travel to Croke Park to give their all yet again. The game is live on RTE at 4 pm, The winners will likely play Wexford in the All-Ireland semi-final in two weeks time.
Starting with Tipperary they are a side that were brimming with confidence, but Limerick quickly brought them back down to earth in the Munster Final hammering 2-26 to 2-14. Tipperary won every game in the Munster round robin series hammering Waterford and Clare, while also beating Cork. The Munster Final was a different story as Limerick were far too powerful Liam Sheedy’s men. In saying a win here and they will be in an All-Ireland semi-final I doubt many people will be moaning about that in the Premier County. Tipperary has some of the best players in the game at the minute Padraic Maher, Brendan Maher and Michael Breen have all been outstanding. In the forwards, any of the six forwards can be match winners, take Jason Forde, Seamus Callanan, John O’Dwyer and John McGrath for instance. I will be expecting these four players to rack up big totals on Sunday.
Eddie Brennan will be delighted his side are in the All-Ireland quarter-final, it will be a massive test for them as they have played a lot of games over the last number of weeks. However, they literally have nothing to lose here, they are complete outsiders, they may as well just go for it and see what happens. Laois won the Joe McDonagh Cup beating Westmeath easily, last weekend they beat a well fancied Dublin side to make it to the quarter-final stages for the first time since 1979, a massive achievement. Laois will look to players like Matthew Whelan and Jack Kelly in defence, in attack Mark Kavanagh, Aaron Dunphy, and Ross King will be key players.
Previous Championship Meetings
2003 Tipperary 3-28 Laois 0-13 (All-Ireland Qualifiers)
1949 Tipperary 3-11 Laois 0-03 (All-Ireland Final)
Tipperary have played in 9 All-Ireland quarter-finals. They have won 6 and lost 3. Their last All-Ireland quarter-final defeat was to Wexford in 2007. Laois last played in the All-Ireland quarter-final stages in 1979 where they lost to Galway 1-23 to 2-10. They also lost to Galway in 1977 at the quarter-final stages 2-12 to 0-08. Jason Forde is Tipperary’s top scorer with 1-33 this championship, while Mark Kavanagh has scored 0-39 for Laois.
Tipperary: Brian Hogan, Cathal Barrett, James Barry, Alan Flynn, Brendan Maher, Padraic Maher, Ronan Maher, Noel McGrath, Ger Browne, Dan McCormack, John O’Dwyer, Niall O’Meara, Jason Forde, Seamus Callanan, John McGrath
Tipperary are unbackable at massive odds of 1/80. Laois are 20/1 and the draw is 40/1. Unfortunately for Laois, this could be a long match. I fancy Tipperary to really put up a big score. Tipperary -15 at 10/11 is a good bet if you like the handicap betting market. I like John McGrath at 11/10 to get a goal anytime and Jason Forde to get the man of the match at 9/1.