herald

Wednesday 18 October 2017

Eighth title in sight for Portlaoise

laois SFC FINAL

arles/killeen v PORTLAOISE

(Portlaoise, Tomorrow, 4.0)

THERE was a goal between these teams last year but, similarly, there was a sort of superiority about the way Portlaoise won that day.

Seven county titles on the spin will do that for a team.

Similarly, the scoreboard suggested some competition against O'Dempsey's in their semi-final win.

Indeed, just before Craig Rogers' goal eventually went in after a couple of woodwork rebounds in the 53rd minute, O'Dempsey's actually led by a point.

But by the time Zach Touhy - he of Carlton AFL and occasional winter Portlaoise fame - kicked the last point of the game, they were six up and gunning for an eighth title.

Sampled

That they have sampled Leinster glory just once (2009) during that stint probably means they will have goals beyond tomorrow but they'd do well not to discount last year's beaten finalists.

Arles/Killeen were much more commanding, particularly in the first half, against Graiguecullen but similarly, their reliance on Donie Kingston is huge.

Portlaoise held him to a single point from play and one converted free in last year's decider and they'll have something similar in mind tomorrow.

And the likes of Rogers, Paul Cahalane, 'Bruno' McCormack and Peter O'Leary are dab hands now at winning Laois titles and thus, they should make it an eighth.

ODDS: Arles/Killeen 7/2, Draw 10/1, Portlaoise 1/3

VERDICT: Portlaoise

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