Laois ready for crack at Dublin

It has been the case of Dublin first, the rest nowhere, in Leinster for a long time now.

Under Paul Caffrey, Pat Gilroy, and Jim Gavin, the Sky Blues have won eight provincial titles in succession and 13 out of the last 14.

For many, that has removed a lot of the championship’s lustre but Laois manager, John Sugrue has no truck with that notion.

“Well, it’s 11 years since Laois played in one,” comes the entirely reasonable response from the Kerry native. 

“I don’t think that takes the shine off it for Laois. Laois are really looking forward to this, and Laois people to a great degree have fallen in with us, in great numbers this year.

“We’re going to prepare appropriately for it, and hopefully Laois people will turn up in appropriate numbers, which I’ve no doubt they will. And we, as a county, will give it a crack and see where we get to.”

Sugrue spoke after last Sunday’s four-point win over Carlow in the Leinster semi-final, on the need to be tighter defensively, having conceded goal opportunities that a Dublin side always looking to go for the jugular would probably avail of.

“We’ll have lots to do in lots of areas. There’s no two ways about it. Dublin look for goals. They went at the weekend for goals; they got their goals against Longford quite early and put the game out of reach.

“It’s up to us to look at that and try and measure our performance so it doesn’t happen as much maybe.”

They will have to do so without tight marker and captain Stephen Attride, who is currently convalescing at home having been released from the Mater Hospital in Dublin on Monday afternoon, after suffering a serious head injury in the dying minutes of the Carlow game.

“He’s sore and tired, has headaches but he is good. He is home and he is resting and in the grand sense he avoided significant damage to a great degree. He’s got two fractures in his skull but nothing inside of that and very serious soft tissue (damage) outside of that.

“Once it doesn’t go inside (the skull) of that I think everyone is happier.

“It’s not your average sporting injury for sure but the concussion and fractures in the skull will take time to settle down but both should hopefully work out once he’s given the time.”

 

Attride will have a check-up today to determine his progress and is likely to be ruled out at least until August. It is a significant blow Sugrue concedes.

“He’s a proper footballer, he’s a man’s man and a square guy who doesn’t baulk from hard work or tough stuff and he can play a bit of ball as well. So he’s definitely a loss but that’s sport you have tp roll up your sleeves and move on and try fill his shoes as best you can. ”

Attride is the second player Laois have lost to a head injury, after Daniel O’Reilly was sidelined following an assault in Carlow town after he had been celebrating the O’Moores’ Division 4 final victory over Carlow.

“It’s unfortunate for ‘Dicey’. He’s a great lad, highly energetic and it’s killing him at the moment but he is back doing a little bit of running and exercise in a guarded and controlled manner but he can’t play contact football for six months. So it’s very unfortunate for Dicey.”

No decision has been made on who will succeed Attride as captain, with Graham Brody and John O’Loughlin the contenders as vice-captains.

Sugrue reports no other injury concerns ahead of the Leinster final.



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