Laois minor hurlers will attempt to ressurect their season this Saturday afternoon when they welcome Meath to O’Moore Park at 3pm.
Pat Critchley’s side are reporting no major injury concerns ahead of the game, where a victory will see Laois seal a place in the quarter-finals of the championship against the losers of the Offaly v Dublin game, which is also on this weekend, in Tullamore.
Critchley has had to pick his side up after their heavy defeat to Wicklow, but he revealed on Monday that the players have bounced back from that disappointment. “The lads have picked things up, and we have trained well since then (the Kilkenny game).
“If we win Saturday we are in a quarter-final. We were very down after the Kilkenny match, but we had a chat the Wednesday night after it and trained well since then.
“The lads were very honest about it and they were up front about their performances, so we have to get the win this weekend by hook or by crook.”
Awaiting them in this must-win clash is a Meath team which surprised many when they accounted for neighbours Westmeath on Saturday in Trim.
Westmeath were slight favourites for the win, and got off to a perfect start when they opened up a seven point lead, holding Meath scoreless for the first 21 minutes, but the Royals took over from there.
Meath were back level by half time and pushed on from there in the second half, eventually sealing a 2-17 to 2-13 win.
Laois will have to keep an eye on their deadly duo of Jack Regan and Jack Fagan, who scored 1-10 between them.
While Westmeath had made big strides in recent years, Critchley wasn’t surprised to see Meath come out on top in this local derby. “At this age grade, Meath have been strong all the way up along. In one or two of the blitzes they surprised some of the bigger counties, so it wasn’t a big surprise that they won.”
Critchley’s next task will be to pick a starting 15 for Laois, with some decisions to be made after the Kilkenny game. Ryan Mullaney may yet be moved back to full-back, where he finised the last day, while the attack may be freshened up also.