Laois v Antrim Preview, team news and live score commentary

Laois and Antrim meet in the first round of the Leinster Senior Hurling Championship, at Portlaoise on Saturday evening at 7pm, and you can follow live score updates of this game with us in our GAA live scores section..

With a quarter final meeting against either Carlow or London at stake, the winners of this weekend’s clash will be hopeful of at least making the provincial semi final. For this reason alone, there is plenty to play for in this match.

Form

Antrim will be making their second appearance in this year’s championship. The Ulster men saw off Westmeath on a scoreline of 3-18 to 2-13, in the preliminary round a fortnight ago. With that win under their belts they will be confident going into Saturday’s encounter with the O’Moore County, and despite having to travel to Laois, they must have every chance of progressing. New manager Kevin Ryan seems to have the backing of the entire Saffrons camp, and with that unity behind them they are capable of a bold showing.

Laois have yet to play in the championship in 2013 but they enjoyed an excellent league campaign, gaining promotion, and beating Westmeath in the 2A final. With confidence at an all time high and plenty of home support, Seamus Plunkett will be expecting a big performance from his charges.

Team News

Antrim: R McGarry; B McFall, A Graffin, M McFadden; C McKinley N McAuley J McGreevey; M Donnelly T McCloskey; P Shiels, N McManus, E McCloskey; S McNaughton, C Carson, AN Other.

Laois: E Reilly; B Stapleton, B Campion, JA Delaney; C Healy, M Whelan, G Burke; J Fitzpatrick, J Walsh; S Maher, Z Keenan, W Hyland; J Brophy, T Fitzgerald, B Dunne.

Players To Watch

Neil McManus is the Antrim star and he scored 2-4 against Westmeath in the last round. Tommy Fitzgerald, at full forward will be expected to lead the home side’s attack.

Betting Advice:

Antrim are a best priced 8/11 with Boylesports and that represents value. The threat of McManus, coupled with the advantage of a championship outing, makes them a solid proposition.

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