Former Carlow hurling captain James Hickey has made some extraordinary claims about the Offaly hurling team after the Barrowsiders heavy defeat to Limerick in the preliminary All-Ireland quarter final at the weekend.
Offaly endured a tough time this summer as they were relegated to the Joe McDonagh Cup, with Carlow going the other way up into the Leinster Championship for 2019.
Kevin Martin has largely been seen as a steadying influence on Offaly hurling, leading them to a league win over Dublin and running eventual Leinster finalists Kilkenny to two points in an epic League quarter final in Tullamore.
In the grand scheme of things, it can be seen as a negative year for Offaly with their relegation but it can be argued that the county is in a better place than this time twelve months ago in terms of the stability and belief injected into the camp.
However, after his county was hit for five goals in a bruising defeat to Limerick at the weekend, former Carlow captain James Hickey said "Carlow are 10 points better than Offaly."
"I have no problem in saying that," he added, but many would take issue with the statement and perhaps their participation in the Leinster Championship proper next year will tell the tale.
Offaly have been operating at a higher level than Carlow but Hickey wanted to give credit where it was due for Carlow after their succesful year.
"I think it’s very encouraging times for Carlow and I would hate to paper over the great year, because it’s a magnificent time," he told KCLR.
The former skipper couldn't help but take a swing at Offaly but only time will tell whether Offaly will swing back to replace Carlow in Leinster in next year's Joe McDonagh.