Tuesday 10 December 2019

Faithful fall from grace completed

Kerry 1-18 Offaly 1-16

OUT: Offaly’s Shane Dooley. Photo: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile
OUT: Offaly’s Shane Dooley. Photo: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

Joachim Kelly was left "gutted" after Offaly's problems went from bad to worse with a humiliating relegation to the Christy Ring Cup after defeat to Kerry on Saturday.

Twenty-one years after lifting the last of their four All-Ireland SHC titles, the Faithful departed for hurling's third tier with Peter Geraghty's seventh minute sending off proving crucial against a Shane Conway-inspired Kingdom outfit.

Offaly face trips to the likes of Derry, Wicklow, Roscommon and Kildare for next year's Christy Ring Cup as their catastrophic fall from grace continued.

Faithful legend Kelly - who took the reins following Kevin Martin's sacking last month - was shell-shocked but insisted that Offaly "must start again" after falling deeper into hurling's abyss.

"Offaly needs to start again now at the bottom, we are where we are. Maybe we're not good enough and we maybe think we are and we're not good enough but there's always hurling in Offaly," a heartbroken Kelly said.

"They're not going to fold up now just because of this defeat. Maybe it's the best place to start and get better and better and back up to the Joe McDonagh.

"No one died, the sun will rise again in the morning, and please God Offaly will rise again sometime soon."

SCORERS - Kerry: S Conway 0-11f, P Boyle 1-1, J Conway, C Harty 0-2 each, J Goulding, P Kelly 0-1 each. Offaly: S Dooley 1-6 (6f), S Cleary 0-4, E Cahill 0-2f, J Gorman, J Bergin, K Connolly, C Kiely 0-1 each.



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