Laois v Meath, Sunday, 2 pm, Croke Park
Laois and Meath will battle it out for a place in the Leinster football with either Dublin or Kildare later this month when they meet at Croke Park on Sunday afternoon.
Both sides come into the game on the back of good wins in their respective quarter-final games. Laois proved too strong for Westmeath in their quarter-final, while Meath accounted for Carlow in a strong performance.
Laois manager John Sugrue will be happy enough with his sides 0-12 to 0-10 win over the Lake County. However, he will know Meath will represent a different challenge altogether. Players like Colm Begley, John O’Loughlin and Paul Kingston will be key for Laois.
Meath have already had two games in the Leinster Championship having beaten Offaly and then Carlow. Andy McEntee will know this will be a different challenge to that of Carlow and will need massive performances from Conor McGill, Donal Keoghan and Michael Newman.
Incidentally, this is the first meeting of the sides since 2012 when Laois won an All-Ireland game by three points. Their last meeting in Leinster came in 2010 when Meath won a quarter-final replay by 10 points. Laois will be looking for a second successive Leinster Final place for the first time since 2004.
Last 5 Championship Meetings
2012 Laois 1-15 Meath 1-12 (All-Ireland qualifiers)
2010 Meath 2-14 Laois 0-10 (Leinster quarter-final replay)
2010 Meath 2-13 Laois 1-16 (Leinster quarter-final)
2006 Laois 2-13 Meath 0-13 (All-Ireland qualifiers)
2004 Laois 1-13 Meath 0-09 (Leinster semi-final)
John Sugrue speaking to the Leinster Express said I think we have to worry about the gulf between ourselves and Meath first,” “Meath were very good and easily disposed of Carlow, not too many teams have done that the last three or four years. They’re a serious team.
Andy McEntee speaking after the win over Carlow “The good thing and the fortunate thing was that we got a chance to show ourselves in a better light.”The truth of the matter is that it was a better performance today, in the end, it was a little bit more relaxed.
LAOIS: Graham Brody; Stephen Attride, Denis Booth, Gareth Dillon; Sean O’Flynn, Robert Pigott, Patrick O’Sullivan; John O’Loughlin, Kieran Lillis; Daniel O’Reilly, Conor Boyle, Damien O’Connor; Paul Kingston, Colm Murphy, Evan O’Carroll.
Meath are 1/2 to win this game and to make a Leinster Final. Laois are priced at 2/1, while the draw is 15/2. I fancy Meath to come out on top. Meath -2 in the handicap betting market looks a good option to take.