Sunday 24 September 2017

TODAY'S CHAMPIONSHIP PREVIEWS

Leinster SHC Round 3

Antrim v London, Ballycastle 2.0 THEIR win in Carlow last weekend, hard-earned as expected, leaves Antrim ideally positioned to claim a place in the Leinster quarter-finals, assuming no slip-up here. London have built a reputation for upsets in recent years, the most recent boast being a draw at home to Carlow, but they shouldn't derail Antrim's plans. A win here secures Antrim a place in the quarter-finals which is a powerful motivating factor, and they are hard to defeat at home. The likely consequence is another win setting up a final round match on May 25 against Laois to see who gets Wexford and who gets Galway. PJ O'Connell is the man in form with a 2-3 contribution in Dr Cullen Park.

Verdict: Antrim

Laois v Carlow, O'Moore Park 3.0: Four years ago Carlow scored a memorable win over Laois in the qualifiers after Laois had won their earlier Leinster Championship tie. Laois are a different proposition now even if their performance in defeating Westmeath last Sunday didn't convince. They did what was required though in what was their first match for five weeks and they will settle for the same again. They head to London next Sunday and have Antrim in the final round a week later. Today they're likely to be sharper than they were against Westmeath which should be enough to end Carlow's quarter-final ambitions and leave them more concerned with avoiding the Christy Ring.

Verdict: Laois

DERMOT CROWE

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