Anthony Dunne, Colt Gaels, is tackled by Jack Conroy, Rosenallis. Pic: Denis Byrne.
Having denied Rosenallis a place in last year's Laois SHC 'A' final, Colt Gaels will be bracing for a backlash this Saturday evening when they meet in Mountrath.
This is an interesting match-up between two sides who come into it off the back of disappointing results. Rosenallis will have expected better of themselves against local rivals Clonaslee, but were soundly beaten on the night.
For their part, Colt Gaels are struggling to replicate the form they showed last year. The game with Shanahoe Gaels probably best summed that up, as they lost by eight points to a side they'd beaten by 21 the year before.
They had started out solidly enough with a win over Mountrath, but form quickly dipped, and they now have to come up with a remedy. Some changes in personnel since last year have probably disrupted them a little, but they still have some excellent young hurlers, with PJ Daly and James Keyes both potent attackers on their day.
As has been the case in recent years with Colt, Chris Murray carries the bulk of the scoring burden, best exemplefied by the semi-final where he scored 0-11 out of their 0-14 total.
They will need more variety to beat Rosenallis, and the extra weekend off due to the Electric Picnic will probably have suited them, as they have had an intense schedule with football and hurling up to that.
The Clonaslee result will have disappointed them, but they are good enough to bounce back, and with Colt not at their best right now, it tips the scales towards Rosenallis.