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Semi-Final Beckons for Mná Laoise!   14/06/2018

Life at intermediate level is a new departure for the Laois ladies footballers, who finally slipped into the second tier last summer following their qualifier defeat to Cavan at Ashbourne. Two wins in seven league starts made for a difficult Spring campaign as well, but with the Leinster championship looming, captain Jane Moore is optimistic that a real reversal in the team’s fortunes in just around the corner.

“We were playing in division two this year in the league, we got a lot of competitive games there and we played some good football in patches” said the St. Brigid’s club player. “And we are now just focusing on Offaly match. We are coming back together now and coming right. We are just looking forward now to playing championship, to trying to have a cut at what should be a very competitive Leinster competition”.

“Championship is always what you were thinking of. It is always in your head. We knew Division Two was going to become extremely competitive. You're playing against some of the top four teams there. Maintaining our Division Two status was the priority and that's what we managed to do”.

Of the other six teams that have entered the TG4 Leinster intermediate championship, one (Wicklow) played their Spring football in Division Four while the other five operated in the third tier, with Wexford the team who secured promotion. Yet Moore rejects the idea that Laois will start as strong favourites for this competition, on account of their higher league standing.

“You never know what's going to happen on championship days either. There are swings and roundabouts. So we are just going to go out and hopefully have a 60 minute performance and 15 of us plus, will play well”.

“Kevin (Doogue, manager), Martin and Carol and them all have us well drilled. When you are playing championship that brings you to a different level, this competition has been our aim for quite a while. We had really solid 40-minute performances but we need to put that together for 60 minutes now”.

And while promotion back to senior level remains the ultimate goal, for Moore it’s only going through the front door, as Leinster champions, that she’ll be fully satisfied.

“Personally I just like to take every game as it comes and focus entirely on that. Right now, we’re all about the Leinster championship, and of course we believe we can win it. If you’re not aiming high, why do you play at a competitive level? We are all here to compete everyone wants to win every match that they go out to. Nobody knows if we’re going to end up in the latter stages of the All-Ireland race, maybe even a final – but for now, all we can do is play the next game as if it’s a final and then move on, hopefully with a win and another step taken towards a Leinster win,” she concluded.

Laois battled and defeated Offaly and now face Division Three Champions Wexford in the semi-final. With a place in the final up for grabs, this is a showdown you won’t want to miss. Action gets underway in Bellfield, Enniscorthy at 2pm this coming Sunday!