Laois to remain in MacCarthy Cup

27 September 2012

Wexford's Rory Sludds gets in his pass as Barry Dunne of Laois closes in during the Leinster U21 hurling semi final at Wexford Park.
Laois will be staying in the Liam MacCarthy Cup next year after Croke Park had asked the county to consider dropping down to the second tier Christy Ring Cup.

Despite encouraging signs at underage level, the O'Moore County's senior hurling fortunes continue to plummet. Following their relegation to Division 2A of the Allianz League this year, Laois lost to Dublin by 22 points in the Leinster SHC quarter-final and by 25 points to Limerick in the All-Ireland qualifiers. Last year, the once-competitive hurling county suffered a 34-point mauling at the hands of Cork in the backdoor series.

Laois hurling was plunged further into crisis after it emerged that only eight players attended a review meeting in Portlaoise on Monday night which was open to the entire 2012 panel. It was organised by former Laois star Paul Cuddy and minor manager Seamus Plunkett, who agreed to act as intermediaries between the squad and the county board.

In addition, the county is seeking its third senior hurling manager in as many years after Cork legend Teddy McCarthy resigned after just one season in charge last month.

Meanwhile, the line-up for the Laois SFC semi-finals is complete after O'Dempsey's 2-11 to 0-11 quarter-final replay victory over Timahoe at O'Moore Park last night. The O'Dempsey's goals were scored by Michael Finlay and Ed Kelly in either half.
O'Dempsey's will now face high-flying Arles-Kilcruise in one semi-final with six-in-a-row chasing Portlaoise meeting St. Joseph's in the other last-four tie.