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Monday 18 December 2017

Laois can rock Listless Royals

O'Moore County will profit from Meath's Lenten lull

ALLIANZ NFL DIVISION 2

MEATH v LAOIS

(Páirc Tailteann, Tonight, 7.30)

WHAT'S going on in Meath at the moment? As an encore to their rudderless, listless defeat of Westmeath they go to Tipperary and lose by two points in Thurles.

As far as performances go, this was, according to local aficionados, as bad as it has been since that disaster in Limerick in the 2008 championship, though it did inspire one Meath man, the one who, in the pages of the Meath Chronicle, penned the headline 'Royal County Give Up Football for Lent'.

The problems are everywhere, even the inside-forward line, who continued to purr in spite of the malaise further out the field against Westmeath.

On the bright side, Cian Ward kicked five points (one free, one sideline) on his seasonal return and Shane O'Rourke showed well coming off the bench, but what Eamon O'Brien's Meath need now are battlers, grafters and defenders.

Laois enjoyed a Mullingar stroll, beating Westmeath by seven points despite the concession of three goals and in spite of not scoring one themselves.

The proviso, of course, is that they were playing Westmeath, who can't be considered anything other than relegation certainties after that loss and Tipp's result against Meath.

Donie Kingston and Michael John Tierney found their range in Mullingar and there has, at least, been some signs of improvement from Seán Dempsey's men over the past two games.

Really, the result is likely to come down to which team is less bad tonight and, on form, that's probably going to be Laois.

ODDS: Meath 1/2, Draw 15/2, Laois 2/1

VERDICT: Laois

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