Saturday 22 October 2016

Major boost for Laois as 'Cheddar' does U-turn

Seamus Plunkett
Seamus Plunkett

SEAMUS PLUNKETT has returned as Laois senior hurling manager ahead of Sunday's Leinster SHC quarter-final with Offaly.

A statement issued by the county board yesterday confirmed: "Laois GAA wish to announce that following successful discussions, the recent issues concerning Laois Senior Hurling have been resolved, for present."

It concluded: "The issues in dispute will be addressed at a later date."

Plunkett quit unexpectedly last week after two players; Matthew Whelan and Jim Fitzpatrick played in a challenge match for their club, Borris-Kilcotton, a day after Laois' round robin win over Westmeath in Portlaoise - a result that set up Sunday's provincial quarter-final against the Faithful County in O'Moore Park, Portlaoise.

He was not part of the county's under-21 management team on the following Wednesday night as Laois lost to Carlow and the following morning, a statement was issued by the county board, outlining Plunkett's decision, citing "personal reasons".


Ger Cunningham - the team's trainer - was installed as manager and immediately, dropped both players involved in the row from the panel.

However, Laois chairman, Gerry Kavanagh was quoted as saying: "The Executive met last week and it was decided not to accept the resignation, which is a vote of confidence and hopefully it will help going forward in getting back to where things were."

He added that Plunkett was: "very upset and felt betrayed, everything he stood for had been undermined."

Both Whelan and Fitzpatrick have also been reinstated to the squad.

In a statement issued to the Leinster Express, Whelan - a former Laois captain - explained: "I was driven by the desire solely to be match fit for the most important game of the year for Laois hurling."

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