Thursday 19 October 2017

Portlaoise determined not to let themselves down again

McCormack: Banking on experience
McCormack: Banking on experience
Donnchadh Boyle

Donnchadh Boyle

PORTLAOISE joint-manager Mick Lillis believes his side will be out to make up for lost time in Sunday week's Leinster club SFC final with Dublin's St Vincent's.

While the Laois kingpins have won seven county titles in succession, their remarkable run has yielded just one provincial crown in that period and Lillis says there are plenty of matches where his side feel they let themselves down.

"Last year's Leinster final, the year before in the semi-final and a couple of more games other than that," revealed Lillis, who manages the side along with Mark Kavanagh. "It's a game, obviously a very important game, and we want to win it. We have no crow to pluck with St Vincent's, maybe we would if it was Ballymun.

"It's a big, big game and we are going to prepare as well as we possibly can."

The midlanders lost out to Ballymun Kickhams in last year's decider and while Vincent's weren't widely tipped to come out of Dublin, Lillis believes any team that comes out of the capital are deserving favourites for provincial honours.

"We'd love to have won more than one (Leinster title). But Dublin are very strong and they win most of them. Dublin teams come through an incredibly tough championship so are incredibly well prepared battle-wise for Leinster.

"It's something that maybe the rest of the counties, not just in Laois, encounter -- that the battles aren't as tough. They're well prepared. The battle ahead is going to be a huge one and though we have been through a lot of campaigns, 10 of that team are under 24. We're not an old team. We have a lot to do and a lot to live up to."

Portlaoise captain Brian 'Bruno' McCormack, who picked up his 10th county medal earlier this year, is hoping his side's experience will help see them through.

"We know we need to have a tremendous game against them; we're going to be going in as underdogs, we've got a lot of work to do. Let's hope on the day things work out for us," said McCormack.

"Last year we didn't play well -- we probably weren't let play well. And years before that, some days we never turned up. So it's up to us.

"All you can do is give 100pc. If we go out the next day and give 100pc, everybody can look one another in the eye and say, 'I did my best on the day'.

"If we win we win, if we don't we don't, once we're honest with one another. And let's hope in two weeks' time we are."

Irish Independent

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