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Sight of Laois to enliven Lilies



(Newbridge, Tomorrow 2.45)

TAKE a close look at the Division Two table as the midpoint approaches. It's not exactly what you predicted at the end of January, is it?

Laois are the improbable front-runners, having claimed three wins on the trot, none more impressive than their 14-point demolition of Derry at Celtic Park.

Kildare, meanwhile, lie fourth with an underwhelming three points, having lost at home to Derry and then pilfered a draw against Donegal courtesy of a last-minute goal from full-back Michael Foley.

True, victory tomorrow at home to their nearest and dearest foe will propel the Lilywhites right back into the promotion shake-up ... but we expected more following their four-game march to the O'Byrne Cup summit.


Watching Kildare play DCU back in January, their fitness, movement and link-play stood out for so early in the year. More recently, however, the scores have dried up: 11 points against Derry, just 1-5 in Letterkenny.

At time of going to press, Kieran McGeeney had yet to announce his line-up although Eamonn Callaghan (hip) is expected to be fit while Daryl Flynn is back after lengthy suspension.

Morgan O'Flaherty has also returned to full training, while Rob Kelly, Conor Brophy and Shane Connolly all came through last weekend's Sigerson Cup action unscathed.

Geezer's old Armagh comrade, Justin McNulty, has hit the ground running in Laois and -- not surprisingly -- makes just one change from the team that ran riot in Derry with John O'Loughlin back to partner Padraig Clancy at midfield.

Their form looks better but that frequently goes out the window when this pair collide.

ODDS: Kildare 7/10, Draw 7/1, Laois 6/4

VERDICT: Kildare