It was a hectic finish to the Joe McDonagh group stages last weekend with both Calow and Offaly missing out due to Kerry’s victory over Antrim.
Two late goals from Antrim but the whole composition of the group is in doubt heading into the final minutes. Carlow had done their job, they needed Antrim to remain on their winning streak, but unfortunately, it was not to be.
Offaly finished on six points much like Carlow and Kerry and needed a victory themselves on the day. The Christy Ring champions let a final appearance slip from their grasp.
The composition of the competition next year is far from finished, if Kerry does indeed beat Antrim, they face a playoff for a place in the Munster Hurling Championship against Tipperary. This means nobody will be relegated from Leinster, a fact Laois will be delighted with after the loss to Westmeath.
Speaking to Scoreline Offaly manager Micheal Fennelly says despite how it went this year for all sides, next year’s campaign will be even tougher.
“It is a deadly competition. Kerry, ourselves (Offaly), Carlow, Down, and Antrim are all there.”
“Antrim are probably a step ahead, and that is not to say it won’t be a very good game with Kerry. Antrim definitely in terms of the league, division 1 and their games in the Joe Mac, they have won four out of the five games this year. They are definitely in a strong position”
“With Kildare coming up from the Christy Ring. It will be even tougher next year, and that is what you want. You want an exciting and challenging Joe McDonagh and we will have that for the next few years.”
Listen to the full interview on Scoreline Extra below :