Offaly in relegation scraps in both hurling and camogie

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Offaly in relegation scraps in both hurling and camogie

Offaly Camogie

The Offaly senior hurlers and camogie team are facing into relegation play-offs after difficult league campaigns.

The hurlers will face Carlow in the Allianz Hurling League Division 1B relegation decider. The tie follows Offaly's maiden win of 2019 against the same opposition over the weekend, stopping the rot of four consecutive defeats against Dublin, Galway, Laois and Waterford.

The Offaly senior camogie team also find themselves in the Littlewoods Ireland league relegation final. They were defeated by Limerick in their opening game by two points, by Clare by two points followed by a draw against Dublin in round three and one of the worst beatings in recent history to Kilkenny two weekends ago.

This put Offaly in a very difficult position awaiting the result of Clare and Dublin to decide the bottom spot. Unfortunately for Offaly, Dublin defeated Clare by a goal which put Offaly bottom place in their group. Offaly have had a large turnover in players in twelve months which may be one of the reasons why the side has not progressed with further players opting out of the panel since January including Fiona Stephens and Grainne Dolan. Offaly have also been dealt another blow as the influential Grace Teehan has been ruled out for 6 weeks. 

In 2018, Offaly faced newly promoted Meath in the relegation game that they would have fancied themselves however in 2019 the stakes are higher with Wexford also in the same position. 

Wexford were unable to field a team against Cork on Saturday in the opening round of Division 1 of the Littlewoods Ireland Camogie League. In their second-round game, Galway withdrew two of their players for the second half of a one-sided 9-23 to 1-2 defeat of Wexford.

Wexford had just 13 players available for the 45-point loss, and are currently searching for a new manager after Martin Carey stepped down in early January. Galway opened up a 8-10 to 0-2 lead at the break, having enjoyed a two-player advantage during the first half.

In a sporting gesture, Galway levelled things up for the second half by withdrawing two players, easing to a 45-point win. Wexford’s final game of the group fell to the hands of Tipperary who scored 5-11 to Wexford's 0-8.

There are many reasons cited by the Wexford county board to the lack of players available to the senior squad including a number of county players are currently involved with Wexford and Leinster champions St Martin’s, who were defeated by Ulster champions Slaughtneil in the decider in Croke Park on Sunday.

The relegation game is fixed for March 10 with no venue to date. Offaly find themselves in a perilous situation with Wexford set to welcome back those players and perhaps a new manager in the interim.

They face a huge challenge under the guidance of Mike Wall, Ger Walsh and Richie Power. If Offaly are relegated, they will be playing in Division 2 for the first time since 2009.