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17/09/2021

The Heath must exert caution in Ballyfin Gaels relegation semi-final test

Lethal Ballyroan Abbey hold off comeback from The Heath to advance in Laois SFC

JP Nerney secures possession for The Heath against Ballyroan Abbey the last day out

Just like their hurling counterparts, Ballyfin Geals have shown great heart and pride in their jersey in the football championship this year, but the quality is lacking. They were awarded the ominous task of facing Portlaoise the first day out, and performed admirably, when most predicted a completely one-sided affair. They were then handed a far kinder draw in Crettyard Gaels. They fought valiantly in that one too, but didn't bring their shooting boots with them, and Crettyard Gaels edged it.

A lot for Ballyfin Gaels here depends on who is available. James Finn is heading back to the Middle East and so will play no part, but they'll be hoping Sean Moore is back from the USA to play his part. If he is not, then older brother James will have to carry the scoring burden.

They Heath played well in the first half against St Joseph's and in the second half against Ballyroan Abbey, but were very poor in between. They rely heavily on Evin Keane up front, who has been in excellent form since returning from injury this year. It will be interesting to see who Ballyfin Gaels task with limiting Keane's effect on the game, as that will be key if they are to grab a win.

If The Heath can piece together an hour of good football they should be fine, but they'll need it here, as Ballyfin Gaels will work like demons to punish any signs of weakness. If The Heath can get themselves in the right frame of mind, which is crucial in games like these, they should win this one, but a close contest can be expected.

Verdict: The Heath

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