Allianz Hurling League Roinn 1B 2016

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Allianz Hurling League Roinn 1B 2016

Postby Wing Back » Tue Feb 02, 2016 11:29 am

Just said I’d try and kick off a new thread on the upcoming league seeing what people’s expectations are overall as well as in each respective round.

Overall I’m hoping Offaly can do reasonably well. I’m not confident, but in saying that, I am optimistic. Aside from the Wexford game (which was played in very poor condition which isn’t much of an excuse), Offaly have played to a reasonable level in the Walsh cup and a few challenge games. We played Galway at the weekend in Banagher with the Tribe winning by 5. I only realised this game was arranged on the morning of the match and was unable to attend due to short notice but from 1 account I got there were positives to draw on from an Offaly perspective though despite the final score. As Toxicity mentioned in the Walsh Cup 2016 thread, with some work I think we can get to a competitive level with our current squad. We have a few lads still to come back in in March/April who for various reasons can’t be there at the moment. I’d prefer they were there from the start but I’m in favour of anything that improves the squad and if that means a few late entries then so be it.

Round 1 Vs Clare (Cusack Park)
This is the one fixture that I’m not looking forward to at all. I noticed that Davy Fitz and Donal Og were in attendance in New Ross and will no doubt have been looking at both Wexford and ourselves. They will have seen how we struggled in the midfield and will no doubt target that again. Clare’s forwards will be much more potent that Wexford’s 2nd string forwards considering how many Wexford were missing. On the positive side Clare won’t be as physical as Wexford, which is where we seemed to lose a lot of the battles in New Ross. The only other good thing is that our weaknesses will be clear after this game and at least we will have time to address the issues that will no doubt be uncovered before we encounter the much more winnable games in the group.

Round 2 Vs Laois (O’Connor Park)
We simply must win this game. Laois are on low ebb after losing a number of the senior team from last year. Brian Carroll is a big loss to us considering the inexperience we have but Zane Keenan is a much bigger loss to Laois. They battled hard to get him back for a number of years and it’s a huge blow to Laois hurling that he’s gone again. We were badly organised last year against Laois in both the league and championship. We had no game plan in either game, and truth being told if Laois had not had a man sent off in the league they could well have beaten us in that as well as championship. I hope we can get good support at this game to get some atmosphere going and try to make home advantage count as this was not the case last year with very sparse support attending Offaly home games.

Round 3 Vs Limerick (O’Connor Park)
Limerick will no doubt be annoyed at slipping up last year against us which was largely due to Limerick playing with 14 and without their best player in Dowling for the whole game. But saying that, I actually give Offaly a sporting chance in this game. We have home advantage and hopefully we can try and make that count with good support again from fans. Limerick could well be without the Na Piarsaigh players if they reach the all Ireland which includes Dowling, Downes, Ronan Lynch, the Caseys to name a few. Offaly will hopefully have gone some way to addressing any areas that were exposed in the opening 2 games as well as the Walsh Cup. Limerick will be the bookies favourites no doubt but this is a bit closer than at first glance.

Round 4 Vs Wexford ( TBA in Wexford)
Like the Limerick game I was very optimistic thinking about this fixture before last week. Even though my enthusiasm was dampened in New Ross, I still have some hope. I think the game in New Ross didn’t showcase the strengths of either team to be honest. As poor as some might say Offaly are…….we are better than 1 point from play. And I think the poor performance that we had will serve as motivation for Eamon Kelly to rally his players for this fixture. Granted that the Fitzgibbon players Wexford were missing will be back, but there is also a chance here that the Oulart de Ballagh players will still be missing because of club commitments should they adavance to the final. As Toxicity pointed out after the game there were positives like Shane Kinsella and we all know that Dempsey is very good. Pat Camon also played very well. If we could get 1 or 2 more to step up and take control of their position this fixture will be a lot more competitive and not as clear cut as some may think.

Round 5 Vs Kerry (St Brendan’s Park)
Like the Laois game, This is simply a must win. Kerry will no doubt be targeting ourselves and Laois as possible scalps to take in order to stay up in Div 1B. But with Eamon Kelly having the inside line on the Kerry camp after having a number of successful seasons with them, I expect him to know both their strengths and weaknesses and should be best placed to exploit them. Support shouldn't be a problem here hopefully if the Walsh Cup game against Kilkenny is anything to go by.

In summary, If we beat Laois and Kerry we should be in a league quarter final against group winner from 1A. But I honestly think there is hope of putting in good performances against Limerick and Wexford also.It’s easier said than done I know but hopefully any areas that may be targeted by opposition won’t be as soft when we go to battle because Eamon Kelly is already working on shoring them up.

Any further points or any opinions on the above are very welcome.
Last edited by Wing Back on Tue Feb 02, 2016 1:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Allianz Hurling League Roinn 1B 2016

Postby SearingDrive » Tue Feb 02, 2016 1:29 pm

Wing Back wrote:Just said I’d try and kick off a new thread on the upcoming league seeing what people’s expectations are overall as well as in each respective round.

Overall I’m hoping Offaly can do reasonable well. I’m not confident in that but am optimistic. Aside from the Wexford game (which was played in very poor condition which isn’t much of an excuse), Offaly have played to a reasonable level in the Walsh cup and a few challenge games. We played Galway at the weekend in Banagher with the Tribe winning by 5. I only realised this game was arranged on the morning of the match and was unable to attend due to short notice but from 1 account I got there were positives to draw on from an Offaly perspective though despite the final score. As Toxicity mentioned in the Walsh Cup 2016 thread, with some work I think we can get to a competitive level with our current squad. We have a few lads still to come back in in March/April who for various reasons can’t be there at the moment. I’d prefer they were there from the start but I’m in favour of anything that improves the squad and if that means a few late entries then so be it.

Round 1 Vs Clare (Cusack Park)
This is the one fixture that I’m not looking forward to at all. I noticed that Davy Fitz and Donal Og were in attendance in New Ross and will no doubt have been looking at both Wexford and ourselves. They will have seen how we struggled in the midfield and will no doubt target that again. Clare’s forwards will be much more potent that Wexford’s 2nd string forwards considering how many Wexford were missing. On the positive side Clare won’t be as physical as Wexford, which is where we seemed to lose a lot of the battles in New Ross. The only other good thing is that our weaknesses will be clear after this game and at least we will have time to address the issues that will no doubt be uncovered before we encounter the much more winnable games in the group.

Round 2 Vs Laois (O’Connor Park)
We simply must win this game. Laois are on low ebb after losing a number of the senior team from last year. Brian Carroll is a big loss to us considering the inexperience we have but Zane Keenan is a much bigger loss to Laois. They battled hard to get him back for a number of years and it’s a huge blow to Laois hurling that he’s gone again. We were badly organised last year against Laois in both the league and championship. We had no game plan in either game, and truth being told if Laois had not had a man sent off in the league they could well have beaten us in that as well as championship. I hope we can get good support at this game to get some atmosphere going and try to make home advantage count as this was not the case last year with very sparse support attending Offaly home games.

Round 3 Vs Limerick (O’Connor Park)
Limerick will no doubt be annoyed at slipping up last year against us which was largely due to Limerick playing with 14 and without their best player in Dowling for the whole game. But saying that, I actually give Offaly a sporting chance in this game. We have home advantage and hopefully we can try and make that count with good support again from fans. Limerick could well be without the Na Piarsaigh players if they reach the all Ireland which includes Dowling, Downes, Ronan Lynch, the Caseys to name a few. Offaly will hopefully have gone some way to addressing any areas that were exposed in the opening 2 games as well as the Walsh Cup. Limerick will be the bookies favourites no doubt but this is a bit closer than at first glance.

Round 4 Vs Wexford ( TBA in Wexford)
Like the Limerick game I was very optimistic thinking about this fixture before last week. Even though my enthusiasm was dampened in New Ross, I still have some hope. I think the game in New Ross didn’t showcase the strengths of either team to be honest. As poor as some might say Offaly are…….we are better than 1 point from play. And I think the poor performance that we had will serve as motivation for Eamon Kelly to rally his players for this fixture. Granted that the Fitzgibbon players Wexford were missing will be back, but there is also a chance here that the Oulart de Ballagh players will still be missing because of club commitments should they adavance to the final. As Toxicity pointed out after the game there were positives like Shane Kinsella and we all know that Dempsey is very good. Pat Camon also played very well. If we could get 1 or 2 more to step up and take control of their position this fixture will be a lot more competitive and not as clear cut as some may think.

Round 5 Vs Kerry (St Brendan’s Park)
Like the Laois game, This is simply a must win. Kerry will no doubt be targeting ourselves and Laois as possible scalps to take in order to stay up in Div 1B. But with Eamon Kelly having the inside line on the Kerry camp after having a number of successful seasons with them, I expect him to know both their strengths and weaknesses and should be best placed to exploit them. Support shouldn't be a problem here hopefully if the Walsh Cup game against Kilkenny is anything to go by.

In summary, If we beat Laois and Kerry we should be in a league quarter final against group winner from 1A. But I honestly think there is hope of putting in good performances against Limerick and Wexford also.It’s easier said than done I know but hopefully any areas that may be targeted by opposition won’t be as soft when we go to battle because Eamon Kelly is already working on shoring them up.

Any further points or any opinions on the above are very welcome.

I think you summed things up well. The opening game v Clare is a tough one, the winnable games are at home v Laois and Kerry, also Limerick. We never get much down in Wexford, so not much hope there.
Eamonn Kelly will have learned a lot in the recent Walsh Cup game v Wexford about his players.
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Re: Allianz Hurling League Roinn 1B 2016

Postby jimbob17 » Tue Feb 02, 2016 9:57 pm

What is the story with relegation. How many go down? do bottom 2 play play off or does bottom team have play off with tier below winner?

Offaly will struggle to win any game in this division. Kerry will not be simple though you'd hope we'd take them. We cannot take any team lightly. After Kerry, most games are very hard won including the Laoise game. We saw last year in championship that they were a step ahead. There are good soundings coming from the squad and I've no doubt that Kelly is trying to do things properly - hence the leaving out of Nolan and Kiely due to commitment issues. I'd commend him on that. Hopefully the 2 lads will commit and realise what a huge honour it is to be part of an Offaly senior hurling panel. When they were babies we were winning All irelands. They have to realise that with the right attitude and approach by everyone, we can do that again!

There is a standard of commitment expected of an inter county hurler at Offaly's level and a big part of the reason for our downfall is that not enough players have lived up to them standards. Mediocrity has been accepted for years by both team managements and county board re driving standards and now we are paying the price. We might get a few pastings (Clare & Limerick on higher level) along the way but once we are on a continuing trend of improvement and competitiveness, we will be in a better place in the summer. We should be really looking at backing Kelly and the U21 structure with good quality people in a year round approach and if we do, we might be able to compete with the Kilkennys and Dublins in 2/3 years.
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Re: Allianz Hurling League Roinn 1B 2016

Postby greenairfield » Tue Feb 02, 2016 10:57 pm

Jimbob Emmet Nolan left the county panel, Kelly didn't leave him off.
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Re: Allianz Hurling League Roinn 1B 2016

Postby jimbob17 » Wed Feb 03, 2016 1:13 am

Sorry green air field - just took from Eamon Kelly interview few weeks ago that it was other way around.......obviously if that's the case i'm sorry to hear that. Hopefully he will make himself available at later date....huge prospect.......
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Re: Allianz Hurling League Roinn 1B 2016

Postby suckindiesel » Wed Feb 03, 2016 3:38 am

from a leix perspective I fear our rising from the depths may have plateaued with the win over ye last year in the championship.

as of now, there is precious little between OY and LS on a given day, our better underage teams for the last 3 or 4 years may give us a small edge for a few years to come.

for laois in 2016 the single most important intercounty team we have is the under 21 hurlers, this same group at minor hammered offaly, beat wexford and gave a very good account in the leinster final against Kilkenny and all Ireland quarter final v galway. as a minimum this team should reach the leinster final, though I would imagine OY will be hoping to pull off a surprise in the semi.

in the league, the bottom two teams at the end of the league, meet again, so it is immaterial whether you finish 5th or 6th...OY and LS will be looking to beat Kerry and the match up LS-OY may decide 4th/5th.

OY is in 2016 placed in the 4 team round robin championship group...there are advantages and disadvantages to being in this group.....you can blood new players at championship level, develop a game plan, build momentum and confidence....the positives.......on the flip side as I have seen with LS in recent years, the standard of hurling can be short of proper championship standard and players can develop bad habits that will be punished at the higher level, given the extra games, injuries weakening the squad are inevitable......plus it will take very careful planning to have enough in the tank to do enough to get out of the round robin group without peaking, and hoping to peak for the leinster quarter final....cheddar managed that in 2015........plenty of challenges for offaly.

in the league I feel Clare and Limerick will be hell bent on topping the group and with both already automatically in the munster semis, I would fancy either may actually try to win the league outright, especially clare.....so they may not show any mercy to laois/offaly.

when you look at the notional hurling ratings, the next county up from OY and LS is probably Wexford.........from where I am sitting Wex are moving further away from LS and OY rather than us bridging the gap..........in fact of the top 9 counties, I cannot make a case that OY or LS could touch any of them in a championship game, and not much long term light at the end of this tunnel either.

I know we are not in the same ballpark as Kilkenny, and they are not normally a county to blow about themselves, yet I was surprised with a comment a well known former Kilkenny intercounty hurler passed to me last week. He had been at the game in birr between OY and Kilkenny in the Walsh Cup and had also seen LS play UCD the previous week in the same competition.....he said, that Bennettsbridge the Kilkenny Intermediate club team on current form would beat either LS or OY..........I sincerely hope he was joking!.

anyway I look forward to the upcoming clash with OY in Tullamore, and it would be great if one of us could topple one of the big 3 teams in the group.
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Re: Allianz Hurling League Roinn 1B 2016

Postby kingscounty » Wed Feb 03, 2016 12:13 pm

I see Tony Kelly is out for two months for Clare , a blow for Clare as he is one of their best players . How are our lads shaping up ? Any ideas on possible line up
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Re: Allianz Hurling League Roinn 1B 2016

Postby Plain of the Herbs » Wed Feb 03, 2016 11:46 pm

Yer man it really comparing like with like - Bennettsbridge are at their peak and are playing championship hurling. Offaly and Laois are in preseason. That said, I saw Bennettsbridge hurl recently and my guess is that he wasn't joking. But you'd have to take the seasonal factor into account.
suckindiesel wrote:I know we are not in the same ballpark as Kilkenny, and they are not normally a county to blow about themselves, yet I was surprised with a comment a well known former Kilkenny intercounty hurler passed to me last week. He had been at the game in birr between OY and Kilkenny in the Walsh Cup and had also seen LS play UCD the previous week in the same competition.....he said, that Bennettsbridge the Kilkenny Intermediate club team on current form would beat either LS or OY..........I sincerely hope he was joking!.
Pat Donegan. Signed out of respect for players and all involved with Offaly.
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Re: Allianz Hurling League Roinn 1B 2016

Postby sam88885a » Thu Feb 04, 2016 12:56 am

jimbob i think work didnt allow E Nolan to give 100 per this year and C Kiely may be back later in the spring .
both are young guys who have been on Too many teams in the last few years .
C Kiely was a minor u21 and senior for kk and offaly at the same time and he played football with kk and offaly too and rember kk had very long seasons .
kk early exit to st rynagh in the semi finals is the first break he has got in years .
C Kiely has been a star player at u12 u14 u16 minor and u21 and his 2 points against they wexford champions last year showed the talent he has at senior level .
he need a break, to be fresh and hungry .
he has won an all ireland u16 long puck for us and last year represented us at senior long puck ,he got into his car drove staight to banagher and lead kk to the u21 title .
B Whelahan had him back training with offaly the sunday after losing to ballyhale, that was pure madness .
he has not been allowed to leave the hurl out of his hand over the last couple of years and E Nolan is a simular story .
Supporters and managers in this county need to cop on and give young lads a break , stop saying guys are not comitted .
I rember talking talking to a former All star last easter and he said if C Kiely didnt get a decent break he would be retired by 25 from Burnout
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Re: Allianz Hurling League Roinn 1B 2016

Postby Bord na Mona man » Thu Feb 04, 2016 1:20 pm

suckindiesel wrote:I know we are not in the same ballpark as Kilkenny, and they are not normally a county to blow about themselves, yet I was surprised with a comment a well known former Kilkenny intercounty hurler passed to me last week. He had been at the game in birr between OY and Kilkenny in the Walsh Cup and had also seen LS play UCD the previous week in the same competition.....he said, that Bennettsbridge the Kilkenny Intermediate club team on current form would beat either LS or OY..........I sincerely hope he was joking!.

That reminds me of the Barrie Henriques quote from 2008:
"Tipp haven't exactly burned the bushes to reach this stage of the League. They beat Offaly by 17 points. At least six of the Kilkenny senior clubs could do that presently. "
This was around the time Birr beat Kilkenny champions Ballyhale too.
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Re: Allianz Hurling League Roinn 1B 2016

Postby first_touch » Thu Feb 04, 2016 10:46 pm

Sam, excellent points there about the danger of burnout for young hurlers. Before I read your post I was wondering why do young players not commit to senior intercounty when it offers them the chance to develop and display their skills at the highest level. But your post puts things in context. There is a need for managers not to overwork young players and to assess if individual players are showing signs of exhaustion and could benefit from a period of rest/recovery or a lighter training regime.
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Re: Allianz Hurling League Roinn 1B 2016

Postby sam88885a » Fri Feb 05, 2016 1:44 pm

it seems to be a huge problem now , i was talking to a guy yesterday who son is on the meath senior panel this year and he said he has no life .6 evening a week he is working on his sporting career and his father is almost hoping he will be cut from the panel so he can study .
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Re: Allianz Hurling League Roinn 1B 2016

Postby Heshs Umpire » Fri Feb 05, 2016 2:04 pm

Wing Back wrote:Round 2 Vs Laois (O’Connor Park)
We simply must win this game. Laois are on low ebb after losing a number of the senior team from last year. Brian Carroll is a big loss to us considering the inexperience we have but Zane Keenan is a much bigger loss to Laois. They battled hard to get him back for a number of years and it’s a huge blow to Laois hurling that he’s gone again. We were badly organised last year against Laois in both the league and championship. We had no game plan in either game, and truth being told if Laois had not had a man sent off in the league they could well have beaten us in that as well as championship. I hope we can get good support at this game to get some atmosphere going and try to make home advantage count as this was not the case last year with very sparse support attending Offaly home games.


Can't argue with much of that from a Laois viewpoint.
However, Keenan is being reported as "coming back" in a few sources - whether he hurls against Offaly in the league, I can't say.
We shipped a bad beating off Dublin in the Walsh Cup recently but it's entirely possible that none of the six forwards who started that game will make the championship 15.
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Re: Allianz Hurling League Roinn 1B 2016

Postby private joker » Fri Feb 05, 2016 6:31 pm

The work load on players is huge. Certain guidelines need to be put in place. It is not down to the manager as he has only a short window to have success. It boils down to the club and what they allow the player to do and how many club teams he is on. Also when it gets to inter county, the county board should step in a make sure that the player is been looked after. Finally, the player has to take some responsibility for their own workload. Playing both codes is just not going to work anymore at either club or inter-county. The comment about kiely going from a long puck competition straight to play for his club in a championship game is equally as mad an inter county manager having him back on the panel after a long season with his club. Players need to look after no 1. This is not the club, or the county, it is the player. A player cant do everything, so he needs to see what is most important and do what is right for himself.
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Re: Allianz Hurling League Roinn 1B 2016

Postby sam88885a » Fri Feb 05, 2016 8:42 pm

private joker wrote:The work load on players is huge. Certain guidelines need to be put in place. It is not down to the manager as he has only a short window to have success. It boils down to the club and what they allow the player to do and how many club teams he is on. Also when it gets to inter county, the county board should step in a make sure that the player is been looked after. Finally, the player has to take some responsibility for their own workload. Playing both codes is just not going to work anymore at either club or inter-county. The comment about kiely going from a long puck competition straight to play for his club in a championship game is equally as mad an inter county manager having him back on the panel after a long season with his club. Players need to look after no 1. This is not the club, or the county, it is the player. A player cant do everything, so he needs to see what is most important and do what is right for himself.


I could be wrong but i think kk did ask the county board to defer that u21 final by 24 hours but they were refused .To be fair to c kiely he won the offaly long puck so he earn the right to represent offaly but he wasnt in charge of when it was fixed or when that u21 final was fixed .
i think C Kiely was hurling with grant engineering too last year .
Not every player has they same problem ,its always the best guys ,if they say no to any team their seen as GETTING A BIG HEAD so it a no win for the player .
Kilkenny seen to hold guy back from the senior team untill their finished u21 but they can aford to do that .
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