Goals Galore In Tullamore Between Laois & Kildare
Laois v Kildare
It’s happening already, but maybe people are reading too much into Laois’s demolition of Carlow in their Leinster SFC outing as Tómas Ó Flatharta prepares his troops to tackle Kildare in the provincial quarter-final.
The Sky Sports cameras will be in Tullamore on Saturday night as the counties meet for the right to challenge Dublin in the Leinster semi-final.
Laois have previously dismantled Carlow dismissing their counterparts 3-16 to 0-8. That, of course, is a 17-point triumph.
On the surface, producing a performance that yielded such a wide margin of victory is admirable.
However, and with all due respect to Carlow, if Laois have any aspirations at all that is exactly the level of ruthlessness that Ó Flatharta would have required of his side for that specific encounter.
However, Laois are now pitted against a wounded but extremely dangerous Kildare outfit.
Jason Ryan’s side were relegated and will amazingly compete in the third-tier of the league in 2016.
Yet, they could be primed for a huge performance in O’Connor Park and are seriously capable of nullifying attacking threats such as Donie Kingston, scorer of 1-5 including 1-3 in open play against Carlow and Ross Munnelly, still Laois’s primary offensive operator.
Traditionally, Championship meetings between Laois and Kildare are quite high-scoring, though.
And despite the fact it would not surprise us in the least to see Kildare’s defence contain Laois’s offensive arsenal it could equally be the case that both attacks thrive and high tallies are recorded by the protagonists.
In fact, in the last four Championship ties contested by the sides combined points totals of 35, 30, 33 and 35 were registered.
Granted, that most recent 35-point return occurred back in 2011 and much has changed since then for both counties.
Yet, there is a feeling surrounding this clash that attack will be the best form of defence.
Furthermore, in Division 2, there were 13 goals scored in the seven games Laois contested while 14 green flags were raised in Kildare’s seven matches in the secondary competition.
And it may be that goals are in the offing here.
BoyleSports are pitching odds of 7/4 that three or more goals are scored in Tullamore and there is sufficient mileage in that price to justify a punt.
There will be a whole host of attacking craft on show and there was two goals scored when the teams met in the league last March.
Ryan, as is previously outlined, will be acutely aware of Laois’s qualities in the full-forward line in particular and will be keen counteract that threat.
However, many rearguards have tried and failed to negate Munnelly and co and Kildare too have players such as Emmet Bolton who can pop up to register a major.
Laois are evens to win the game and Kildare are laid at 11/10 but that tells you everything about how close the collision could be and because of this, cheering on both sides to rattle the net on three or more occasions represents greater value.