We have live score updates from the division one clash between Laois v Down.
Laois host Down at Portlaoise on Sunday(2.30) in the final round of matches in Division One of the Allianz National Football League. It is a game that both counties will be keen to win,as the home side need the points if they are to avoid relegation, while the visitors still have a chance of making the semi-finals.
Laois have found it difficult this season since making the move up from the second tier. In the early rounds all they could manage was a three point defeat of Donegal, who had also been promoted last season. Losses to Mayo, Dublin and Cork left the O’Moore County in real trouble,before a five point win over Armagh left them with a slim chance of avoiding the drop. They had little time to enjoy that success, as a trip to Kerry followed in the last round, and predictably they found this tie a bridge too far. However, the side played well and put in a respectable performance that should have given them some confidence for the weeks ahead. With the likes of Ross Munnelly, Colm Begley and Gary Walsh in their ranks, they are a match for many counties.
The Mourne men have gradually slipped down the pecking order in recent seasons and the loss of Marty Clarke has really affected the side. The glory days of 2010 are long gone and James McCartan will need to work wonders this season if the county are to rise from the flames. Heavy league defeats to Cork and Kerry showed that the Ulster side are a little off the pace, and while they managed to gain wins over Dublin and Mayo, they still have many questions to answer.
Down are probably still a better side than Laois in terms of pure football ability but Laois showed against Kerry that they have the stomach for a battle. Both counties need the points this Sunday and with their appetite not in question, Laois are given the verdict.
Laois (FL v Down) – E Culliton; C Healy, K Lillis, P O’Leary; K Meaney, M Timmons, C Boyle; J O’Loughlin, B Quigley; R Munnelly, C Begley, D Strong; B Sheehan, P Clancy, G Walsh.
Down (FL v Laois): Brendan McVeigh, Daniel McCartan, Dan Gordan, Aiden Branagan, Niall McParland, Brendan McArdle, Conor Garvey, Ambrose Rogers, Kalum King, Daniel Hughes, Mark Folan, Aidan Carr, Conor Laverty, Brendan Coulter, Arthur McConvile.