• Home
  • /
  • GAA
  • /
  • Laois Hurling Manager 'Disappointed' With Offaly Counterpart's Selection

Laois Hurling Manager 'Disappointed' With Offaly Counterpart's Selection

8 April 2023; Offaly manager Johnny Kelly celebrates with Charlie Mitchell, 13, after their side's victory in the Joe McDonagh Cup Round 1 match between Offaly and Laois at Glenisk O'Connor Park in Tullamore, Offaly. Photo by Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile
PJ Browne
By PJ Browne
Share this article

Laois hurling manager Willie Maher said he had "mixed emotions" after his side defeated Kerry in the final round of matches in the Joe McDonagh Cup group stage at the weekend.

Despite the 4-23 to 0-21 victory for Laois in Tralee, they did not finish in the top two, and so did not qualify for the Joe McDonagh Cup final.

Laois needed Offaly to defeat Carlow in their final game. Maher felt Offaly - who had already qualified for the final prior to the game against Carlow - brought the integrity of the competition into question by making 12 changes to the team which had defeated Kerry six days earlier. Carlow defeated Offaly by 16 points. The two sides will meet in the McDonagh Cup final on May 27th with spot in next year's Leinster Hurling Championship on the line.

"Lads carried themselves so well coming down here today to put on a performance like that," Maher told Midlands 103.

"It's great to win and everything else but very disappointing with what Offaly did. We recognised as regards having been beat in the first match, and drawing against Carlow in fairly controversial circumstances, we knew it was out of our hands.

"I think the integrity of the competition... The team that tops the group plays 12 new fellas for the final game. It's just very disappointing."

laois offaly mcdonagh cup hurling willie maher johnny kelly

8 April 2023; Laois manager Willie Maher, right, and his selector Eamon Jackson check their watches before the Joe McDonagh Cup Round 1 match between Offaly and Laois at Glenisk O'Connor Park in Tullamore, Offaly. Photo by Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile


Asked if he would have taken the same option as Johnny Kelly had Laois been in Offaly's position, Maher said: "No, I wouldn't, and it's as simple as that. I don't believe in that.

"That was Offaly's decision. They are in the McDonagh final, and more power to them. It's just disappointing for everyone involved.


"Our lads gave it everything today. Their attitude was spot on. We recognised that we had to win a match here today, which they did. They've carried themselves well in the last while. We've 35 guys in the panel wanting to play for Laois which is a real positive."

Offaly manager Kelly he made so many changes as he felt players needed game time.

"The narrative during the week was that we going to put out a second string team," said Kelly.


"Look, we have a lot of guys out there that needed game time. We have a lot of guys carrying injuries. It will be touch and go whether these lads will be right in two weeks. We had a couple of guys that weren't even on the panel today because of the last game in Tullamore. Overall, we are disappointed."

See Also: 'There Is A Type Of Elitist Snobbery With Some Hurling People'

colm o'rourke donal og cusack tailteann cup hurling



Join The Monday Club Have a tip or something brilliant you wanted to share on? We're looking for loyal Balls readers free-to-join members club where top tipsters can win prizes and Balls merchandise

Processing your request...

You are now subscribed!

Share this article

Copyright © 2024. All rights reserved. Developed by Square1 and powered by PublisherPlus.com