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Sunday 4 December 2016

Laois will seek to 'sweep' past Galway: Delaney

Seamus Plunkett
Seamus Plunkett

JJ DELANEY fully expects the Laois hurlers to play at least one defensive sweeper against Galway this Saturday evening - thus avoiding the tactical folly that backfired for Dublin against the rampant Tribesmen earlier this month.

Asked if Dublin were naive in their Leinster quarter-final replay, the new Sky Sports pundit replies: "I'd say they probably went man-for-man. The Galway half-forward line brought the half-backs out into the middle of the field between the two '65s' and that left a load of space in there.

"Whether they were told to do that or whether players did it off their own back, I'm not sure. I'd say Laois will be learning from that as well, that they will bring back one or two sweepers and not make it easy for Galway."

Delaney's prediction is entirely likely, given how Seamus 'Cheddar' Plunkett set up his Laois team for their history-making ambush of Offaly 11 days ago.

And yet, any team that manages 29 points can hardly be accused of being overly defensive.

"I can see Laois setting up the same way, as they have done, because it worked for them previously," the retired Kilkenny full-back points out. "If it's not broke, don't fix it."

Delaney is full of praise for Plunkett, the O'Moore county manager with the Midas touch, but warns: "It'll be hard for Laois now - they weren't used to winning a championship game (of this magnitude).

"They have to get back down to earth now and start working very hard against Galway. They scored 29 points against Offaly. If they go anywhere near that again it'll be very, very hard for Galway to beat them."

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