Laois draw Wexford in qualifiers

Darren Strong on the attack for Laois against Clare in the All Ireland SFC qualifier at Ennis.Picture: Alf Harvey/hrphoto.ie
Laois senior footballers have been handed a tricky away date with Wexford this weekend in Round 3 of the All-Ireland Qualifiers.

Laois senior footballers have been handed a tricky away date with Wexford this weekend in Round 3 of the All-Ireland Qualifiers.

The draw, made yesterday morning on RTE radio, will see the winners play the losers of the Ulster final in Round 4.

Wexford came through a controversial game with Longford on Saturday, as they needed extra time to secure a 2-15 to 0-16 win over Longford in Pearse Park.

While the Wexford manager Aidan O’Brien was scathing of his team’s first half performance, as they scored just 0-4, Laois will still have to be wary of a side which have become seasoned championship campaigners.

They defeated Louth in the Leinster championship just weeks after Laois had meekly surrendered to them, and they will have home advantage for the game this Saturday night.

If Laois overcome Wexford, they will meet either Donegal or Monaghan in Round 4, as the losers of the Ulster final this weekend will provide the opposition. Donegal will be hotly tipped to win a third Ulster title in a row.

Wexford will provide a much stiffer test for Laois than they have experienced so far in Qualifiers, after two facile wins over Carlow and Clare.

Laois have no new injury worries ahead of the game, with county players not released for the final round of league games, and Justin McNulty will be hoping his team turns up a little earlier than they have done against Carlow and Clare, having suffered slow starts in both those games before coming good in the second half.

When the teams met in the final round of the league earlier this year Laois eased to a three point win, but a a much tougher proposition will await this Saturday.

The exact time of the game was not available at time of going to press.

Elsewhere in Laois GAA news, this weekend sees the start of the 2013 Laois senior hurling championship, as Clough-Ballacolla and Camross are first into action on Friday night in O’Moore Park.

Saturday will see a double-header in O’Moore Park, which is likely to rule Portlaoise out of the running to host the Kildare v Tyrone game, as Newbridge is unlikely to be able to host the fixture. There is also a game on Sunday.