Tipperary will provide the opposition for Laois once again in the All-Ireland football qualifiers, as Justin McNulty’s charges will host the Munster outfit in O’Moore Park on Saturday, June 25.
Laois were paired with the Premier County in Sunday’s draw on RTÉ, and it gives this group of Laois players the opportunity make up for last year’s surprise one-point defeat to Tipperary in Semple Stadium. Laois will have home advantage this time around having been drawn away from home last year, and on the face of it, it looks like a good draw.
Coming into the first round of the qualifiers, most teams are looking for a game which they fell they can win and get their season back on track in, and that certainly seems to be the case with Tipperary. Laois should really be expecting to advance past a team which spent this year in Division 3, but recent history should also ensure they do not get complacent in their preparations for the game.
On the injury front, Daithí Carroll has gotten some good news after he was forced off during the second half of the defeat to Dublin with a nasty looking ankle injury. Carroll left Croke Park in an ambulance but the swelling in the joint was too severe to make a diagnosis at the time. It has since emerged, however, that no bones were broken, with The Heath attacker only suffering from ligament damage. It is not expected to rule him out for too long, and he should be back in training soon.
In the Tipperary camp, manager John Evans has had to contend with the departure of a number of players following their exit from the Munster SFC at the hands of Kerry.
Goalkeeper Matthew O’Donnell has joined forwards Peter Acheson and Conor Sweeney in opting to make the trip to the USA this summer. Sweeney’s absence in particular will be keenly felt after he impressed in that game with Kerry, hitting three points from corner forward.
The game is fixed for 7pm on Saturday, June 25, and should the Laois hurlers defeat Cork, it would be part of a double-header which would feature the clash between Laois and Offaly in the All-Ireland hurling qualifiers