Rathdowney-Errill will bid to become the first Laois team to make a Leinster Club SHC final since Castletown in 2001 when they meet Offaly champions Kilcormac-Killoughey on Sunday.
Manager Frank McGrath has reported a clean bill of health for his squad ahead of the game in Tullamore, and after three incredibly hard fought games in the last four weeks, he is confident there is more to come from Rathdowney-Errill on Sunday. “I think there is another bit in the team,and if there is we will hvae to find it on Sunday. We gave a strong performance in the county replay but we have to find another level on Sunday, if we do we have a great chance, but if we don’t we won’t be in the championship.”
Kilcormac-Kiloughey are in much the same boat as Rathdowney-Errill, as they too have never been to this stage of the Leinster Club SHC either, having won their first ever Offaly title this year.
They are a strong side though, and will be looking to their free-scoring captain Ciaran Slevin for scores. He hit 1-9 in the Offaly final and then followed it up with 1-10 out of their 1-11 in the win over Mount Leinster Rangers.
They are by no means a one-man team though, and have a strong defence lead by Ger and Peter Healion. Slevin will be at corner-forward beside the equally talented Daniel Currams, so Slevin can expect to come face-to-face with Brian Campion, who is in excellent form at the moment.
He gave two outstanding performances against Clough-Ballacolla’s Willie Hyland in the drawn game and replay in Laois, and was excellent again against Clonkill.
Up front, Rathdowney-Errill will be hoping Ross King keeps up his scoring feats while receiving a bit more support. Liam Tynan hasn’t been at top form in recent weeks, while John Purcell and Jason Phelan are both capable of contributing more on the scoreboard.
The Laois champions have a great chance of making a Leinster final, and if they find the improvement their manager believes is in them, they will be preparing for a Leinster final by this time next week.