Kildare minors who've impressed this year, face Laois tonight in the Leinster MFC semi-final, at O'Moore Park, Portlaoise, starting 8pm
There will be two local derbies over the course of the next week as both the Kildare Minors and Under 20’s take on Laois in Championship action. The Minors are first up when they travel to O’Moore Park on tonight, for a Leinster semi-final having already accounted for Wicklow, Louth and Kilkenny.
The victory over Kilkenny was expected and manager Colin Ward used his extended squad in that game but the wins over Wicklow and Louth were impressive as they looked to be on the backfoot of both at stages. Home advantage is likely to be a big thing for Laois and after topping a group that included Westmeath who have since accounted for Meath they are going to be stern opposition.
Even still, it’s a very talented Kildare Squad and with everyone available they will feel it’s a big opportunity to qualify for a second consecutive Leinster Final. After the weekend the bandwagon will roll in to St Conleths Park on Tuesday next where defending All-Ireland Champions, Kildare will open up the defence of their title against Laois in the Leinster opener.
Gay Campbell is in charge of the side after Davy Burke left to take over Sarsfields and while the majority of last year’s squad is now overage, there is still a core of the team including Captain Darragh Ryan and senior panellists Aaron O’Neill, DJ Earley and Mark Barrett.
Kildare have spent the last few weeks playing away at the top level of the Under 20 Development League and while they have gone down to defeat in all three games, playing that level of side will do them the world of good especially given the fact they never had their best team available.
Laois on the other hand have been putting up big scores but with the likes of Karl Hartley and Shane O’Sullivan returning from Leaving Cert Duty they will be confident of doing a job at home.
Friday(tonight): Laois v Kildare - Leinster Minor Football Championship Semi-Final in O’Moore Park Portlaoise at 8.pm
Tuesday 25: Kildare v Laois - Leinster Under 20 Football Championship in St Conleth's Park, Newbridge at 7.30pm