Stephen O'Leary on the attack for O'Dempsey's. Pic: Denis Byrne.
Fresh from their ACFL Division 1A success, O'Dempsey's will enter this game as favourites, and rightly so.
They have had a good run of things so far this year, helped by having no players with the Laois seniors, allowing them time to gel together. Conor Meredith's hand injury has come at a bad time, but he could yet play some part in the game, and if he does miss it, he should be back by Round 2.
Ballyfin Gaels will look to the talents of Sean Moore for scores, and to be fair to him, he hasn't let them down so far. Shane Nerney, his team mate with the Laois U-21s will probably tasked with trying to keep tabs on him, and it'll be a tough job.
If Ballyfin Gaels ensure there is adequate space around Moore then he can be devastating in a one-on-one, or even a one-on-two situation which he often finds himself. With a lethal right foot and improving left foot, he will torment O'Dempsey's, of that there is little doubt.
Ballyfin Gaels are not a one-man team, as James Finn and James Moore are excellent players as well, and they have also been boosted this year by the addition of Robert Tyrell, from Camross. However, O'Dempsey's, with their confidence up, should have too much for them here. They are probably that bit stronger across the field, and while they don't have anyone as dangerous as Sean Moore, their collective strength should be enough to get them over the line.
Venue: O'Moore Park
Throw In: 7.30pm
Referee: Brendan McCann (Portarlington)
Odds: O'Dempsey's 2/7, Draw 9/1, Ballyfin Gaels 3/1 (Paddy Power)
Weather: 12 degrees, Rain 20%, Wind 21km/h