Laois v Donegal

Updated: Friday, 08 Apr 2011 09:24

Table toppers - Donegal will finish first in Division 2 if they avoid defeat in Laois
Table toppers - Donegal will finish first in Division 2 if they avoid defeat in Laois

This clash could be the tightest of all the Division 2 encounters, with Donegal bidding to end the campaign as champions and Laois looking to rejoin the top table in Justin McNulty’s first year in charge.

Laois football was at a low ebb last summer following their qualifier defeat against Tipperary. The arrival of Armagh native McNulty has brought a new confidence, and it would not be a slight on the O’Moore county to say that they have exceeded expectations this spring.

Donegal were also floundering in last year’s championship. Remember their listless performance against Armagh in the knock-out phase. Jim McGuinness’ appointment as manager has brought about a greater sense of purpose, and there has been a certain swagger about some of their displays so far.

In Michael Murphy and Colm McFadden, Donegal possess a real scoring threat, but others are also well capable of chipping in. Against Antrim last weekend, eight players got on the scoresheet.

Laois will represent a formidable test for McGuinness’ side in O’Moore Park. The midlanders recovered from a shaky start to deservedly beat Sligo last weekend. The key to the game will be how well the home side limit the threat of the Donegal attack.

If it becomes a war of attrition, the initiative may swing in favour of McNulty’s outfit, but the visitors may have enough about them to break free from any shackles.

With so much at stake, Sunday’s match should serve both counties well, as they bid chart a more productive championship campaign in the months ahead.

Verdict: Donegal