Only one neighbouring county, Kildare, competes at Senior level in Ladies Football and as luck generally would have it they were drawn as Laois’ opponents in the All-Ireland in the TG4 All-Ireland Senior Championship Round 1 Qualifiers series.
This game goes down in Birr on Monday next at 2.30pm where it forms part of triple header, sandwiched between two All-Ireland Minor Finals.
Clare and Roscommon meet in the Minor B decider at 12noon while the Minor A showdown between Dublin and Tyrone is scheduled for 4.15.
Because Laois were knocked out of the Leinster Championship at the semi-final stage by Dublin, they enter at the first level of the Qualifiers. The draw could have been kinder but nevertheless the Laois girls, like all in the GAA family, always relish a neighbourly challenge and for Ladies Football that can only be the Lilywhites.
The O’Moores put it up to Dublin in the Leinster Semi-final and could have won but for some wasted opportunities and defensive slip ups. Based on recent results the predictions for Monday’s game would indicate a slight preference for a Laois win as the O’Moores easily accounted for Kildare in the League tie in Ballykelly in March by 3-13 to 0-8 while Dublin had a relatively routine victory over the Lilies in the Leinster opener on July 1.
On the other hand close calls in the latest championship meetings between the counties have become the norm. The Leinster Semi-final of 2011 in Newbridge and the Qualifier in Mullingar in 2010, will guarantee that Laois have their feet firmly on the ground as they prpeare for this one.
Players will not need to be reminded of a fortuitous one point victory in the 2011 Championship semi-final in Newbridge when Laois were forced to dig deep, plus the shock defeat in the 2008 Championship in O‘Moore Park when the Lilywhites came from six points down to score an unlikely victory.
Kildare struggled in the top flight of the league this year registering just one draw against Meath in their seven games while Laois finished in mid-table with three wins and draw from their seven games.
Leaving aside stats from the recent encounters and from earlier in the year, local GAA Derbies tend to take on a life of their own with little relevance to any of the preceding games as the instinct to beat ‘the neighbour’ tends to cancel out any shortcomings in preparation or skill levels.
Both sides are fully aware of each others strengths and weaknesses and Laois management and players will take nothing take nothing for granted. The O’Moores experience however should be sufficient to get them through this time and ensure that the name Laois will be in the hat for Round 2.
Laois panel: Ciamh Dollard (Portlaoise), Ellen Healy (Portlaoise), Jane Moore (St.Brigids), Laura Hyland (Park-Ratheniska), Mags Mc Evoy (Sarsfields), Trish Fogarty (Park-Ratheniska), Aisling Quigley (Timahoe), Tracey Lawlor (Sarsfields), Maggie Murphy (Timahoe), Mary Kirwan (Shanahoe), Noreen Kirwan (Shanahoe), Sinead Doogue (Graiguecullen), Martha Kirwan (Shanahoe), Anna Moore (St Brigids), Aisling Kehoe (Portlaoise), Grace Weston (Sarsfields), Eimear Fitzpatrick (Shanahoe), Alison Taylor (Portlaoise), Sarah McEvoy (Crettyard), Eimear Barry (Shanahoe), Clodagh Dunne (Sarsfields), Sarah Quigley (Timahoe), Clodagh Dunne (Ballyroan), Aisling Wall (St Brigids), Aine Haberlin (St Conleths), Lisa Dunne (Shanahoe).
Ladies Football Development
Under 12 Development Squad
The Under 12 Development Squad sessions will recommence this Saturday, 4 August in Ratheniska at 2 pm in preparation for the second Leinster U 12 Blitz in September.
These sessions are open to any players born in 2000 or 2001 as the primary aim of the squads is to improve the overall standard of Laois under-age football. For further information or if your club has anyone available to help out please contact Development Officer Derek Egan at 086-4021459.
Under 13, Under 15, and Under 17 Development Squads
These Development Squads will be commencing in the latter half of September and will also lead up to Leinster Blitzes later in the year.