Ryan Byrne/INPHO
head injury

Laois captain Attride ruled out of Leinster final after suffering horror double skull fracture

Stephen Attride is facing a long spell on the sidelines.

LAOIS FOOTBALL CAPTAIN Stephen Attride is facing a long spell on the sidelines and will miss the Leinster final – after he suffered a double fracture to his skull in the dying minutes of Sunday’s win over Carlow in Croke Park.

Attride picked up the injury deep into stoppage time when he threw himself on a breaking ball to deny a Carlow attack. He won the ball – but his head accidentally collided with the leg of Carlow player Ciaran Moran.

Attride was knocked out and was instantly treated by the Laois medical team before being taken from the field on a stretcher. The game was held up for a number of minutes before Laois eventually held on to win 0-12 to 0-8 to book their place in the Leinster final for the first time since 2007.

“It’s such hard blow. It was an incredible act of bravery – one of the bravest acts I’ve ever seen – and it stopped a Carlow attack when they were driving on looking for a goal to level the game.”

Attride has had awful injury luck since he was appointed Laois captain at the start of the 2017 season – but this is arguably the hardest blow of all and will see him miss Laois’s first Leinster final in 11 years.

He has been a first-choice player over the last number of years and has featured in a variety of roles. He started the opening round of the championship against Wexford at wing-back but reverted to the corner for the Westmeath game.

Stephen Attride and Ciaran Moran Ryan Byrne / INPHO Ryan Byrne / INPHO / INPHO

His absence will be keenly felt by Laois in the Leinster final and leaves John Sugrue and his management team with a big decision as to who takes his place. Ruaidhri C Fennell and Denis Booth have both been used in defence in this championship but neither were included in the 26-man matchday squad on Sunday.

Shane Nerney and Darren Strong were the two back subs used while Portlaoise’s David Holland was the only other recognised defender on the bench.

Laois could look at a direct replacement for Attride – or move perhaps Trevor Collins back into the corner with a number of players experienced at wing-back.

Laois will take on Dublin in the Leinster final on Sunday, June 24, in Croke Park with Jim Gavin’s side installed as 1/100 favourites with Laois at 33/1.

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