Paul Lawlor will be hoping Emo can keep their impressive run going on Sunday evening
The Laois senior football championship is down to eight and come Sunday evening, that number will be halved.
This weekend sees the four quarter finals take place in MW Hire O'Moore Park with one on Saturday afternoon and the remaining three on Sunday afternoon.
The action looks set to be the last until after Laois are knocked out of the Inter County championship with the club semi finals and final now set to take place in November or December.
There are plenty of juicy contests while Arles Kilcruise and Courtwood already played in the relegation final on Thursday night with Kilcruise losing out and dropping down to the Intermediate grade for 2021
Ballyfin v The Heath – Saturday 3rd October – O'Moore Park at 15.00
This looks like a close contest to kick the weekend of quarter finals off. Ballyfin have gone about their business in strong fashion so far this year while The Heath have bounced back from a relegation final 12 months ago to being quarter finalists.
Both clubs are riding high and will be full on confidence. Momentum is crucial this year of all year's are with The Heath having that extra game in round three, you would wonder will that benefit them in the long run.
Ballyfin are anchored by the likes of James Finn and new recruit Aidan Keenaghan while Sean Moore is also in good form.
Robbie Ging and James Phelan impressed for The Heath in their win over Arles Killeen in the last round and it is a game that would well go down to the wire.
Graiguecullen v Ballylinan – Sunday 4th October – O'Moore Park at 13.00
This is another game where if either team were to win, it wouldn't be a surprise. Ballylinan gave Portlaoise a run for their money in the opening round before getting the job done against Rosenallis and getitng the better of Ballyroan-Abbey in round three.
Gary Walsh is their main man and while he is doing the lions share of the scoring, defences to date have not been able to handle him. His battle with Mark Timmons will be the duel of the game.
Graiguecullen have plenty going for them also. Lee Timmons and Ross Hennessy have looked likely up front while they have also shown that they can vary their line up.
If they can get a handle on Gary Walsh, they will be well on their way to a semi final but as teams can vouch for, that is easier said than done.
Portarlington v O'Dempsey's – Sunday 4th October – O'Moore Park at 15.00
Probably the game of the round from a neutral point of view. The near neighbours will know each other inside out and motivation certainly won't be a problem for either team.
Portarlington have earned themselves the favourites tag for the championship with their wins over Stradbally and Portlaoise and have been impressive while down some key men over the course of the two games.
Jake Foster and David Murphy stood up to the plate against Portlaoise with Colm Murphy out injured and they look like a side that are intent on reaching their potential this year.
O'Dempsey's have mixed the good with the bad. They fired seven goals in their opening round win but ended up squandering a lead to Emo in round two and striking late to snatch a win over Killeshin in round three.
Matthew and Michael Finlay along with Conor Meredith have been their main men up front but they have it all to do to stop the Portarlington men.
Portlaoise v Emo – Sunday 4th October – O'Moore Park – 17.00
The final quarter final sees Portlaoise in unfamiliar territory in the sense that they come into the quarter final having lost a game already to Portarlington.
What sort of mindset will they be in? Will that loss affect them or will it sharpen their minds and get the best out of them going forward.
They have missed Paul Cahillane in the forwards but they did get back on track against St Joseph's the last time out with Benny Carroll to the fore.
Kieran Lillis has been contributing on the scoreboard also from midfield and going in against Emo, they will be deserving favourites.
Emo are a teak tough outfit and they have shown real courage and an excellent attitude thus far. Darren Strong and Paul Lawlor are integral to them while Paddy Hosey is an exciting forward that should thrive in the open spaces in O'Moore Park.
Emo will be relishing this and in a way, all the pressure is on Portlaoise and it will be interesting to see how both fair out.