Rathdowney-Errill and Camross meet on Sunday night.
What more could you ask for to round off a championship weekend than Camross v Rathdowney-Errill?
A simmering rivalry in the Laois SHC, these two invariably serve up entertainment, and that's unlikely to change on Sunday night.
Camross, fresh from a resounding win over Clough-Ballacolla in the league final, face off against the most successful team in the championship over the last ten years.
Their meeting in last year's semi-final was epic stuff, as Camross somehow forced a replay in the first game after looking dead and buried for much of it. The replay was similarly thrilling, but the best of the three games they played in 2016 was probably in Round 1.
And so fate has conspired to throw them together again, the two stand-out favourites for ultimate honours. Rathdowney-Errill will be looking to Ross King and Paddy Purcell to replicate their intercounty form for the club, and if they do, then it will take a mighty performance from Camross to stop them.
Rathdowney-Errill will have to hit the ground running, having been without a competitive game since June 22. They were soundly beaten on that occasion by Abbeyleix, but have a raft of players to come back into the fold, including six county senior players.
While their return will give things a boost, it may take Rathdowney-Errill some time to find their rhythm. They haven't had much chance to work together, and we reckon they'll only really be at their best with a few games under their belts. They will probably need some time hurling together to be at their best, but Camross won't allow them a bedding-in period.
With confidence high and minimal disruption to their team or preparations, that gives Camross the advantage here. They will still have to play a lot better than they did in the league final, but they are capable of doing exactly that, and they get the nod to edge home narrowly.
Venue: O'Moore Park
Throw In: 7pm
Referee: John O'Brien
Odds: Rathdowney-Errill evens; Camross evens; Draw 7/1 (Paddy Power)
Weather Forecast: 11 degrees, Rain 20%, Wind 12km/h
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