Laois took on Kilkenny at the weekend in UMPC Nowlan Park, with the Cats coming away with the spoils.
Sheamus “Cheddar” Plunkett now stares down at another relegation playoff with his home county. The Portlaoise man previously survived this fate during his first term in charge getting the better of Antrim in 2015. However after succeeding Eddie Brennan he now faces another similar nerve biting affair against Westmeath.
Speaking after the match Plunkett outlined how important it is for all counties striving for success to be competing at the top of the table.
“We do want to stay in this division. This is hugely important to us. To all counties Antrim, Carlow, Westmeath & Laois. It’s a really big thing to stay in this division, to play at this level. The pace of the hurling, the movement, the reaction speed is completely different in this division. If you cant test yourself against this, you learn at a lower speed in hurling.”
A Problem Shared
Carlow’s Paul Coady shared these sentiments on twitter a few years ago after Carlow were demoted back down to the Joe McDonagh Cup.
Coady was trying to bring the structure of the championship back into focus again. Believing the Barrowsiders will never progress if they’re yo-yoing between the Joe McDonagh and Leinster Championship. Waterford on the other hand didn’t win a game in the Munster Championship and were not relegated.
I believe we have got to experience Liam McCarthy hurling to learn from it, at the moment I believe Carlow are about 8-14 points behind the teams we played; but how do we ever get this gap closer if at a best case scenario we just Yo Yo up and down from Joe Mac?
— Paul Coady (@Paul_Coady10) June 13, 2019
Carlow have since been relegated to Division 2, after losing last years relegation playoff to Westmeath.
Relegation playoff looms
Laois face Antrim in the Allianz Hurling League Roinn 1 Group B this coming Saturday, but are set for a relegation playoff against Westmeath.
“That relegation match against Westmeath is hugely important for both teams. If you want to develop the hurling, I get it needs to be competitive, but teams need to stay developed, I think they should all stay in these divisions.”
Listen back to the full interview on Scoreline Extra below along with other postmatch reaction :