By Denis J. Croke
THE team to open Laois’s Leinster championship campaign against Wexford this evening (Saturday) in Nowlan Park Kilkenny has been released this morning. However, manager Seamus ‘Cheddar’ Plunkett is expected to make some changes before the sliotar is thrown in at 6pm.
There was a boost for the manager and team with the recovery from injury of a number of central figures. Ryan Mullaney, Stephen Maher, Willie Dunphy and Cha Dwyer, all of whom have missed periods of the league, have been named in this evening’s team.
That good news has been tempered by continuing injuries that see the likes of John Lennon, Podge Delaney, Eric Killeen, Ronan Broderick and Diarmuid Conway not considered for selection.
Laois go into this game as total outsiders with Wexford hot, hot favourites at 1/16. But should Laois defy the odds they will face Kilkenny in the provincial semi-final. A loss will result in Laois being locked in a dogfight with the losers of the game between Dublin and Antrim in the qualifiers. That game will also double up as a relegation play off with the loser relegated to the Joe McDonagh Cup for 2022.
With limited numbers allowed attend the game those who remain at home can follow the action on GAAGO.
Lee Cleere Sean Downey Donnachadh Hartnett
Stephen Maher Ciaran McEvoy Ryan Mullaney
Fiachra C-Fennell Jack Kelly
Paddy Purcell Cha Dwyer Ciaran Collier
PJ Scully Willie Dunphy Ross King