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GAA Discussion => Local GAA Discussion => Laois => Topic started by: Mossy Bruce on March 20, 2018, 11:24:55 PM

Title: 2018 Joe McDonagh Cup
Post by: Mossy Bruce on March 20, 2018, 11:24:55 PM
I was trying find the fixtures for Laois in the upcoming Leinster Senior Hurling Championship and couldn't find us anywhere. What the ____? With a little hunting around, I just learned of the "Joe McDonagh Cup." Boy, have I been out of touch for awhile. Anyway, here's the fixtures that I found. Please update or correct any mistakes.

2018 Joe McDonagh Cup

Round 1
5 May 2018
Laois v Westmeath

Round 2
13 May 2018
Kerry v Laois

Round 3
19 May 2018
Antrim v Laois

Round 4
2 June 2018
Laois v Carlow

Round 5
9 June 2018
Meath v Laois

Final
1 July 2018
Laois v TBD

Title: Re: 2018 Joe McDonagh Cup
Post by: burdizzo on March 21, 2018, 09:15:30 AM
Ha ha, love your optimism, Bruce - putting Laois into the final straight away! This will be the first year of the McDonagh Cup, but the unfortunate reality is that this is very much our level these days. Kerry have beaten Laois several times over the last couple of years, and we were lucky enough to beat Carlow by a point in the championship last year - a late goal being what did it for us. As you can see, we're not too far ahead of Antrim, either, and even Westmeath are capable of giving us the jitters. The only fixture there I'd confidently take it we'd win would be the Meath one.
I suppose, to be fair, it's more a case of these other counties having improved more than Laois have over the last while, but still, we're not in this group by mistake, either. You'd certainly hope we'd get to the final - but don't be booking that flight just yet!
Title: Re: 2018 Joe McDonagh Cup
Post by: blueandwhite1 on March 21, 2018, 02:29:02 PM
Would remind you a bit of the six nations with all teams capable of taking scalps of each other and home advantage being hugely important. 

Wouldn't be putting money on a grand slam just yet!

I know we would love to be competitive at a level above this but it is exciting that we have 5 tough matches and the chance of a competitive final in Croker. It would be a great achievement to win this competition for the first time.
Title: Re: 2018 Joe McDonagh Cup
Post by: Clubber Lang on March 22, 2018, 03:20:26 PM
Having 6 teams in the competition is one too many. I know they are reducing it next year but an imbalance has been created in the number of home and away games between teams which is highly unfair. Antrim have the perfect draw with Westmeath and Meath away and arguably the three strongest teams-Laois, Kerry and Carlow all at home. I would expect them to take one of the two spots in the final based on the favourable draw. Laois are away to Kerry in week 2 and then play Antrim away in week 3- will be a stern test of the squad. Finishing in the top 2 positions won't be easy and Carlow will hold no fear of meeting Laois in O'Moore park. The final places could easily go down to head to head/score difference.   
Title: Re: 2018 Joe McDonagh Cup
Post by: G@@ on March 23, 2018, 09:59:57 AM
Away to Antrim and Kerry will be a tough ask indeed.

However, the above sentiments about "but the unfortunate reality is that this is very much our level these days" are arguable. We are the only pure "Liam McCarthy side" that are in this group, all others have traded in the Christy Ring Cup.

If we win this out are we guaranteed Liam McCarthy status next year?
Title: Re: 2018 Joe McDonagh Cup
Post by: Unlaoised on March 23, 2018, 11:23:13 AM
Having 6 teams in the competition is one too many. I know they are reducing it next year but an imbalance has been created in the number of home and away games between teams which is highly unfair. Antrim have the perfect draw with Westmeath and Meath away and arguably the three strongest teams-Laois, Kerry and Carlow all at home. I would expect them to take one of the two spots in the final based on the favourable draw. Laois are away to Kerry in week 2 and then play Antrim away in week 3- will be a stern test of the squad. Finishing in the top 2 positions won't be easy and Carlow will hold no fear of meeting Laois in O'Moore park. The final places could easily go down to head to head/score difference.

Thats pretty much as I see it...antrim got best draw by a country mile and gives them a big advantage!
Title: Re: 2018 Joe McDonagh Cup
Post by: Clubber Lang on March 23, 2018, 01:17:14 PM
If Leinster team wins the Joe McDonagh then they are guaranteed place in Leinster championship for 2019. It kills me to say it but I would love to see Offaly avoid relegation this year and see if the structures as currently outlined are maintained. Be very interesting if a team like Wexford, Kilkenny or Dublin end up finishing bottom of the pile-would they be relegated to the Joe McDonagh for 2019.

Kerry if they will the Joe McDonagh would have to play-off against bottom side in Munster to earn a place in the Munster championship. Again if they did manage to pull off such a feat I'd be very surprised if a team like Waterford, Clare or Cork would accept being placed in second tier competition.
Title: Re: 2018 Joe McDonagh Cup
Post by: redsetanta on March 27, 2018, 10:26:56 AM
Time to get the 'Laois4Joe' flags made up.
Title: Re: 2018 Joe McDonagh Cup
Post by: portlaoisekid on March 28, 2018, 08:32:45 AM
To see  Laois hurling  captain lift a trophy at Croke Park would be something special.
Title: Re: 2018 Joe McDonagh Cup
Post by: redsetanta on April 27, 2018, 12:41:21 PM
Any news from the hurling camp with the first game coming up next weekend?

Are there any injury concerns at all? How has PJ been doing in club games and any sight of Cahir Healy?

Need to get a win over Westmeath with two tough away games in succession after that.
Title: Re: 2018 Joe McDonagh Cup
Post by: Tobias on April 29, 2018, 10:02:14 AM
http://hoganstand.com/Article/Index/284341
Title: Re: 2018 Joe McDonagh Cup
Post by: Laoiseabu on April 29, 2018, 12:27:42 PM
How did the challenge game against London go?
Title: Re: 2018 Joe McDonagh Cup
Post by: redsetanta on April 29, 2018, 02:57:16 PM
Brilliant to see Picky Maher back in. We've lacked a decent scoring forward to contribute scores and not leave it all to Ross King. A huge boost for the championship.
Title: Re: 2018 Joe McDonagh Cup
Post by: Tobias on April 30, 2018, 10:41:40 AM
Didn't hear anything about London game. I think our panel will be strong enough to finish in the top two and get to the McDonagh cup final which would be no more than the players deserve for their efforts over the past few years. I think the panel has improved a little bit from last year. From the team that played Carlow in the championship last year we have added Podge Lawlor, James Ryan, Joe Phelan, Ciaran Comerford, Colm Stapleton, Ben Conroy(Injured), Cha Dwyer(Injured), Willie Dunphy (Injured), PJ Scully(Injured)
Picky got injured that day too. Hopefully Cahir Healy will come into the reckoning at some stage, Aaron Dunphy started that day but is out injured at present. Is Dwane Palmer back with the squad, he had been playing for Camross during April.

Laois V Carlow 2017
Enda Rowland; Dwane Palmer, Leigh Bergin, Lee Cleere; Eric Killeen, Matthew Whelan, Ciaran Collier; Ross King, Paddy Purcell; Jack Kelly, Stephen Maher, Sean Downey; Mark Kavanagh, Neil Foyle, Aaron Dunphy
Title: Re: 2018 Joe McDonagh Cup
Post by: redsetanta on May 03, 2018, 10:30:33 AM
Any ideas for the team for Saturday?

Should be a strong pick for Kelly if everyone is available bar Healy and a couple of others. Forwards should certainly be strong with Picky back. The backs have been fairly consistant all year so shouldn't be any surprises there.

Having the likes of Picky and Palmer back from injury is a big boost. Healy can't be too far away either.
Title: Re: 2018 Joe McDonagh Cup
Post by: blueandwhite1 on May 03, 2018, 12:35:34 PM
Any ideas for the team for Saturday?

Should be a strong pick for Kelly if everyone is available bar Healy and a couple of others. Forwards should certainly be strong with Picky back. The backs have been fairly consistant all year so shouldn't be any surprises there.

Having the likes of Picky and Palmer back from injury is a big boost. Healy can't be too far away either.

Pity to see young Hartnett leave the panel. I thought he looked the part during the league against some serious opposition at times. Is Palmer back with the county? Not named on the official panel. Would be great to have as a corner back option.

I think it is all about how many of our players have found form and are up to the pace. Would be great to see lads like Cha, Mark Kavanagh, PJ Scully and Ben Conroy step up from the league.

Westmeath will be a serious challenge. We beat them narrowly last year and they are back-boned by the 2 under-21 teams that beat Kilkenny 2 years ago and ran them close last year. Last years team beat our U21s which had a lot of our senior panel involved. Not talking them up for the sake of it, they have some fine hurlers.

Going to be nice weather on Saturday and exciting to be heading to O'Moore Park. Should bring out the crowds. Important game.
Title: Re: 2018 Joe McDonagh Cup
Post by: redsetanta on May 03, 2018, 02:37:07 PM
Pity about Hartnett, any particular reason for leaving?

I read where Healy won't be back with the county this year but Palmer would be a huge addition. Joe Phelan can fill the corner spot but as you say Palmer would be a very decent option for the corner or as cover for some of the other back positions. Can he still be brought back onto the panel?
Title: Re: 2018 Joe McDonagh Cup
Post by: blueandwhite1 on May 03, 2018, 03:50:59 PM
Pity about Hartnett, any particular reason for leaving?

I read where Healy won't be back with the county this year but Palmer would be a huge addition. Joe Phelan can fill the corner spot but as you say Palmer would be a very decent option for the corner or as cover for some of the other back positions. Can he still be brought back onto the panel?

I wonder is he just getting game time with Camross before he goes back with county? Was a tough injury. Could never fault him for commitment in the past.
Title: Re: 2018 Joe McDonagh Cup
Post by: Mossy Bruce on May 04, 2018, 09:57:24 PM
Has the starting fifteen for tomorrow's match been announced, yet?
Title: Re: 2018 Joe McDonagh Cup
Post by: Heshs Umpire on May 05, 2018, 09:23:58 AM
Has the starting fifteen for tomorrow's match been announced, yet?
Yes. You'll find it on laoisgaa.ie
Title: Re: 2018 Joe McDonagh Cup
Post by: blueandwhite1 on May 05, 2018, 11:57:03 AM
What a day. Can't beat championship. I hope all the hard work will pay of today. Strong team and a few subs who can make an impact. Will be tough but I fancy our chances.
Title: Re: 2018 Joe McDonagh Cup
Post by: merman on May 05, 2018, 05:43:13 PM
I've been very quiet on here recently but Eamon Kelly should not be Laois manager.

Fair play to Westmeath; deserved winners. I hope we meet them again.

Hard luck to our lads. They deserve better!
Title: Re: 2018 Joe McDonagh Cup
Post by: G@@ on May 05, 2018, 05:53:19 PM
Laois 1-21 v 2-21 Westmeath.

Laois only hurled for the last fifteen minutes of the first half when they were immense, otherwise Laois looked switched off and expecting the result to happen by itself. Though our full back line was woeful throughout.

A disappointing result and we really have it all to do in the next fortnight with two games on the road to arguably the better two teams in this group - Kerry and Antrim. One more slip up and we'll be looking for favourable results in other games that we won't be playing in. This is finely balanced now.
Title: Re: 2018 Joe McDonagh Cup
Post by: Keyser SŲze on May 05, 2018, 06:13:25 PM
I've been very quiet on here recently but Eamon Kelly should not be Laois manager.

He won't rock the boat and the CB know what they are getting. He will be there for as long as he wants it.
Title: Re: 2018 Joe McDonagh Cup
Post by: merman on May 05, 2018, 06:32:14 PM
I've been very quiet on here recently but Eamon Kelly should not be Laois manager.

He won't rock the boat and the CB know what they are getting. He will be there for as long as he wants it.

Let's be honest. This is the issue.
Title: Re: 2018 Joe McDonagh Cup
Post by: SpeculativeEffort on May 05, 2018, 08:28:54 PM
We were annihilated in the air and in the scraps. Westmeath hb line dominated throughout especially no.7 whereas our hb line were in trouble with Clarke and Mitchell especially in 2nd half. Couldnt win our own puck outs and lacked fight. Hopefully we can turn this around.
Title: Re: 2018 Joe McDonagh Cup
Post by: Giovanni on May 05, 2018, 08:43:40 PM
When Merman makes a statement like that, you know things are bad.

I donít know much about the setup but I came to the same conclusion at the match today. For me, there were two main signs that the management is not up to it. First, the team just didnít look motivated. Westmeath just worked so much harder all over the field. If the team isnít properly motivated, you canít look beyond the manager. The second thing is tactics. I just cannot understand how, in 70 minutes, they couldnít come up with a strategy to deal with the opposition puckouts.

I have to say I have never seen a Laois hurling team to be so lacking in passion.

If you compare that with what we saw from Cheddarís team against Offaly just a few years ago, the difference is remarkable. And we probably have better players now....


Title: Re: 2018 Joe McDonagh Cup
Post by: CruiseCigar on May 05, 2018, 09:35:45 PM
What happened today lads.before this game started there was optimism of lifting a cup in croke Park. I did not see that result coming today. Thought the team would be really up for it.
Title: Re: 2018 Joe McDonagh Cup
Post by: Keyser SŲze on May 05, 2018, 10:04:06 PM
Scores conceded has been our biggest issue for the last two seasons.
Cheddar was laughed at in some quarters for trying to address it.

Conceding 2-21.....to Westmeath.....games are generally not winnable from that position.
Title: Re: 2018 Joe McDonagh Cup
Post by: Laoiseabu on May 05, 2018, 11:09:17 PM
There's a biffo managing our team . Please help us
Title: Re: 2018 Joe McDonagh Cup
Post by: clonadmad on May 05, 2018, 11:21:20 PM
There's a biffo managing our team . Please help us

Heís a Tipperary man
Title: Re: 2018 Joe McDonagh Cup
Post by: merman on May 05, 2018, 11:22:02 PM
No biffo but he's a bluffer. And the players know it.
Title: Re: 2018 Joe McDonagh Cup
Post by: Laoiseabu on May 05, 2018, 11:45:34 PM
Well he managed Offaly so that's enough for me 😂😂 On a more serious note it's hard to see where Eamonn has improved this team since Cheddar
Title: Re: 2018 Joe McDonagh Cup
Post by: Mossy Bruce on May 06, 2018, 01:50:17 AM
I was listening to the first half of the match as I was getting ready for workóthe last few minutes of the first half were awesome. Then arrived at work about five minutes before the end of the match. My god what a shift in the game. :'( :'( :'(

These next two away matches are going to be rough. :-\
Title: Re: 2018 Joe McDonagh Cup
Post by: burdizzo on May 06, 2018, 10:11:08 AM
Worst performance in a long time. A sickener. As Giovanni said, why on earth could we not work out a way of countering their tactics by half-time? It just seems as if Westmeath - who were dire in the Div 2 final against Carlow - spent April actually DOING something, like coming up w/ a strategy. They looked far sharper from the very start. There's no reason for our lads to underestimate these teams or this competition.
Title: Re: 2018 Joe McDonagh Cup
Post by: Tobias on May 06, 2018, 10:23:07 AM
Too much talk of hurling in croke park and then getting a crack at the big boys. They'd be better off concentrating on the job in hand.
Do or die next weekend in Kerry in what will be a very difficult game.
Title: Re: 2018 Joe McDonagh Cup
Post by: blueandwhite1 on May 06, 2018, 10:37:57 AM
Would agree with most of what has been posted about the match.

Firstly, the set up was a disaster. In particularly our puck outs on either end. We just launched ball after ball into the air and they used their sweeper system to mop it up. How many times did one of their half backs win the ball uncontested? And we never changed the system even after 20 minutes when it was obvious it was failing spectacularly. Westmeath just passed the ball to their free man, then to a runner in the middle and voila, they were on the attack. We never pushed up on their men and it made us look very stupid. This has to be blamed fully on management.

Secondly, as a couple have said, passion. Most of the players played well within their capabilities and didn't fight as they should have. There was no urgency except from a few players. We were well off the pace. The same players would not give up on balls so easily or allow the opposition to catch balls over their heads playing for their clubs. I would say this is the fault of both management and the players, particularly the leaders. All too casual. They were not mentally prepared for what was thrown at them, unlike Westmeath who looked like they were playing a championship match.

Thirdly, our ability. Our skill levels are very poor in general. The most obvious gap is the ability to win a ball in the air but not just that. Falling over balls on the ground and not reacting to breaking balls at speed seems to be normal for most of our hurlers. Sloppy stuff. We lost nearly every contest yesterday and when a ball went between a Laois man and a Westmeath man in the air or the ground you could be sure it would be a maroon jersey that came away with the ball. The speed at which we play the game is just way too slow. What the hell are they doing in training?

Fair play to Westmeath, they were a much better hurling team than us and surely should be favourites for the competition.

On the players, here is my short summary.

Rowland: Great distance on puck outs but needs to use his brain. Regardless of instructions, should have seen what was happening in front of him and tried some shorter, more directed puckouts.
Phelan: Roasted
Bergin: Should have done better for first goal but was very solid otherwise. One of our better players.
Cleere: Held his own. Hope he is ok.
Lalor: Mixed the good with the bad. Mopped up lots of ball in first half.
Matthew: Did well enough. Has that bit of cuteness and experience.
Killeen: struggled with pace. Should be better in the air.
Purcell: anonymous for most of the game. Couple of flashes of how he was last year but didn't look interested.
Corby: one great score but didn't compete for possession well.
Ryan: ok in parts, some great passes. Again, played well within himself.
Cha: best he has been this year but went missing for long spells. Some super scores.
Conroy: looked dangerous at times but tends to waste too many chances
Ross: anonymous from play. Good on frees. Seems wasted in the corner.
Neil: our best player yesterday. Always dangerous and was up for the challenge. Hope he recovers soon.
Willie: couldn't get into it.

Of the subs, Picky looked fit and dangerous and made a difference. Ryan Mullaney is in good condition and got on top of his position quite quickly and CŪan Taylor looked sharp and should be given more time on that team.

Our championship could be over next Saturday so these lads will have to dig deep and produce a result down south. I'd say Kerry, Antrim and Carlow are rightfully licking their lips. I hope we can respond.
Title: Re: 2018 Joe McDonagh Cup
Post by: Bud Wiser on May 06, 2018, 10:38:35 AM
Looking at the social media pages in Westmeath there seems to have been two different approaches to this game, Westmeath manager said "during meetings all week the importance of everyone stepping u including the subs was discussed" and the players interviewed after the match refer to a "motivational meeting held on Friday night".  I don't want to be butting in here but it seems to me, and I hope I am wrong, that the lads are putting in the work and training hard and giving their all for the county. However,  there are very little team performances, it used to be a sending off was an excuse for playing with 14 men.  If the lads are giving it their all in training that is no use unless they are motivated like they were when they played Galway last year.  I believe they are not motivated enough to get off a bus much less break a hurl and the team deserves better. 
Title: Re: 2018 Joe McDonagh Cup
Post by: Mossy Bruce on May 06, 2018, 07:50:25 PM
I see that Kerry had just lost to Carlow near the end.

Kerry will be on home ground and hungry, next week. I hope our lads will be hungrier.
Title: Re: 2018 Joe McDonagh Cup
Post by: Bud Wiser on May 08, 2018, 09:39:32 AM
Last week on here ye were talking about lifting cups in Croke Park, now ye are talking about being doubtful of beating a Kerry hurling team that is after being beaten by Carlow.  So, as the horse said to the jockey "Is it you that's getting heavy or is it me that's getting slow?"  Are the other counties after improving that much?  Or have Laois dis-improved that much since we played Galway. At least when players were getting sent off and everyone was complaining about indiscipline those players were getting sent off because they were motivated enough in the first place.  So what is wrong? It's not a population issue because if there was all out war the hurling populations of Carlow, Kerry and Antrim are not going to take over the country.  If the players are giving their all in terms of commitment to training, and I believe they are, then it is either one of two other problems. Either the sideline is wrong or the problem that exists in a lot of other counties is wrong where the county board divert all their interest to football and don't give a flying about hurling or where they end up. Maybe both.

And, I am not calling for the managers head here, not at all.  That is the easy thing to do, especially from a keyboard. What I am saying is, identify the problem. No manager is perfect in all areas unless he has a proper support team around him, unless there is a solid wall that says, "I am in charge and I ain't listening to anyone else"  Same for players and it is good to see on here that,  unlike other forums, there is very little singling out of named players and judgement's being passed and that posters for the most part appreciate the efforts they are making.
Title: Re: 2018 Joe McDonagh Cup
Post by: redsetanta on May 08, 2018, 10:36:53 AM
I only made it to the last 10 minutes of the game as there was a crash on the motorway and traffic was at a standstill. When I did finally get in to O'Moore Park the score was level. From the bit I saw Westmeath seemed to be the team with plenty of space. They had no problem finding a man with a short puckout and yet Rowland sent a couple down in Cha's direction where he was marked by a lad much taller than him.
Ross King for all his accuracy didn't score anything from play either. Laois looked flat and there didn't seem to be too much joined up thinking. Westmeath were winning the close quarter battles also.
Very disappointing particularly the fact that Laois couldn't find a way to get on top. One cameo was PJ Scully in the corner chasing down a ball and he was shunted out over the end line near the end. There was no other Laois man in there using his physicality to help Scully but there was 2 or 3 Westmeath lads. Westmeath were not great on the day and hit a lot of wides but they were hungrier for it.
Has to be complacency because we have performed at a higher level in the league and got a great result up in Antrim last day. I cannot comment on the manager as I have no inside line and can only go on what I see but I don't agree with Kelly having to sit in the stand during a game. It's a pet gripe of mine more than anything else but what's the point having someone else on the sideline encouraging etc while the manager sits in the stand.
Title: Re: 2018 Joe McDonagh Cup
Post by: blueandwhite1 on May 08, 2018, 10:55:45 AM
I don't think there are any great surprises.

Our best performances in the league were against Galway and Antrim. We ran Galway close but so did Antrim and a few other teams.

We are at our level in the McDonagh cup and need to be at our best to succeed in it. Westmeath and Carlow have both beaten us at U21 level and have some very fine hurlers. We barely beat Antrim on both days. To answer your question Bud Wiser, yes, the other counties are after improving that much and are making at least as much progress as us. You could argue moreso when you looked at our skill level compared to Westmeath on Saturday.

As I said on my earlier post, on third of the problem was the tactical plan - it was shockingly poor and wasn't changed when it failed spectacularly. One third was the hunger and attitude and the final third was ability. We don't have enough good players at this level. Westmeath had more.
Title: Re: 2018 Joe McDonagh Cup
Post by: redsetanta on May 08, 2018, 11:10:01 AM
blueandwhite1 I wouldn't agree that Westmeath have more better players than us. They had as much difficulty at times rising the ball or holding onto possession. It was hunger and tactics for me. The extra man at the back allowed them time to get the ball to the forwards whereas we pumped balls down on top of those same backs.
Yes Westmeath have performed better at U21 level but many of our players performed better at minor level than them. Ok you can say there's a difference and U21 level has been disasterous from a Laois point of view but I don't agree that Westmeath are that much better player wise.
Anyhow there are 4 games left to get things right and maybe this result will push them on. 
Title: Re: 2018 Joe McDonagh Cup
Post by: Clubber Lang on May 08, 2018, 05:54:04 PM
The biggest weakness to this Laois side is a lack of physical strength. This concern was noted by many after the Offaly league game. This current Laois team will always be bullied by other teams with physically bigger, more aggressive players. Westmeath contained more players able to win 50/50 battles and many of their scores came from being able to claim the sliotar in the air, break tackles easier and physically being able to dominate their direct opponent. The loss of players like Healy, Hyland, fitzpatrick, stapleton and Delaney to name a few is still being felt within the county-it is a pity that the current squad hadn't a couple of more years playing with the likes of the named players at county level. Each of them were leaders on the field and would have matched the physical challenge put down to them by any opponent. They would have added greatly to the development of the lads now coming through. The majority of Laois' starting team have lost at under 21 level to Carlow and Westmeath over the last number of years. Losing at the weekend to Westmeath should not be viewed as a shock result. With two teams relegated from the Joe McDonagh this year we will need to get our act together quickly. Meath will be favourites for the chop but anyone of the remaining teams could join them. Playing Christy Ring against Down, Mayo and Kildare in 2019 is not a proposition I want to consider.   
Title: Re: 2018 Joe McDonagh Cup
Post by: merman on May 08, 2018, 08:02:23 PM
It's just hard to see what Kelly is bringing to the table right now.

He's not bringing the level of intense organisation and commitment that Cheddar demanded; intensity levels we were told needed to be tempered.
I have seen very little from a tactical side; in fact, I'd say we've regressed even since last year.
S & C conditioning? Skills development? Style of play? Passion? Players committing and staying with the panel?
There just doesn't seem to be a vision for where we are going; he doesn't seem challenged to find one.

I simply don't believe Eamon Kelly commands the respect nor demands enough of the players. He comes in, does a job and slips away safe in the knowledge that he's upsetting nobody and sailing along nicely under the radar. I doubt his name is hardly ever mentioned at county committee level. When he leaves, he'll say a few nice things about the lads, say it was a pity he couldn't get a full hand to deal with and slip on to his next job wherever it might be.

I'm sorry that I appear so negative but I think anyone who looks at my posts objectively will see that I don't usually single out individuals lightly.
I'm also acutely aware that there are structural issues within our juvenile structures and there is a lack of real depth to our pool of senior players but I still think we are under-achieving., even with the panel we do have available.

Looking forward, Kerry are likely to score quite freely against us and it should be high-scoring. I don't think they're world-beaters and if one or two of our forwards hit anything like their best form then we have a chance. Picky back can only be a help but I'm worried about the form of King and Dunphy.

Antrim away looks a tough ask but we've a good enough record over them in recent years.

We'll know a lot about where we are in the next fortnight.

I don't actually believe we're dead and buried but I can't say I'm optimistic either. I hope the lads put absolutely everything into the Kerry game; leave nothing behind and we'll see then if we can carry that momentum up north.
Title: Re: 2018 Joe McDonagh Cup
Post by: blueandwhite1 on May 08, 2018, 09:00:06 PM
blueandwhite1 I wouldn't agree that Westmeath have more better players than us. They had as much difficulty at times rising the ball or holding onto possession. It was hunger and tactics for me. The extra man at the back allowed them time to get the ball to the forwards whereas we pumped balls down on top of those same backs.
Yes Westmeath have performed better at U21 level but many of our players performed better at minor level than them. Ok you can say there's a difference and U21 level has been disasterous from a Laois point of view but I don't agree that Westmeath are that much better player wise.
Anyhow there are 4 games left to get things right and maybe this result will push them on.

I wouldn't say they are head and shoulders better or anything, but certainly over the 70 minutes they were better in the air and on the ground in the 1 to 1 battles. Yes, size and age has a lot to do with it but they had plenty of very young players too.
Title: Re: 2018 Joe McDonagh Cup
Post by: Dave like the tv channel on May 13, 2018, 10:48:04 AM
Huge game today. Could decide the rest of the season. Laois must win this one, especially with Antrim away coming up too.
Title: Re: 2018 Joe McDonagh Cup
Post by: burdizzo on May 13, 2018, 03:43:14 PM
Gettin' pummelled in Kerry.
Title: Re: 2018 Joe McDonagh Cup
Post by: redsetanta on May 13, 2018, 03:45:40 PM
Absolute disaster down there. Man off and other two full backs off injured.
Title: Re: 2018 Joe McDonagh Cup
Post by: blueandwhite1 on May 13, 2018, 08:28:47 PM
That's the end of any Croke park ambition. Soundly spanked.

Trip to Antrim next to avoid possible relegation to Christy Ring with no full back line.

Disaster of a year.
Title: Re: 2018 Joe McDonagh Cup
Post by: G@@ on May 13, 2018, 08:43:06 PM
"In order to reduce the number of teams in the Joe McDonagh Cup to five in 2019, at least one team will be relegated and will not be replaced. The bottom-placed team in the Joe McDonagh Cup is automatically relegated to the following year's Christy Ring Cup. The team that finishes second last in the 2018 Joe McDonagh Cup plays off against the 2018 Christy Ring Cup champions. The winner of that game plays in the Joe McDonagh Cup in 2019 and the losing team plays in the Christy Ring Cup."

From: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2018_Joe_McDonagh_Cup


We could be in serious sh1t now. As of today, we're playing Christy Ring Cup winners unless we pick up at least two wins and a draw.
Title: Re: 2018 Joe McDonagh Cup
Post by: burdizzo on May 13, 2018, 08:55:37 PM
Jesus, the Carlow/ Antrim game looked saucy enough. Both sides will be down a good few between suspensions and injuries over the coming weeks, so maybe all is not lost. However, we're obviously in the same boat, and with a shallow panel, to boot. You really have to wonder about all these high-stakes matches in quick succession.
Title: Re: 2018 Joe McDonagh Cup
Post by: Mossy Bruce on May 13, 2018, 09:15:53 PM
Earlier, after looking at the relegation structure for this year (as G@@ posted), I found myself looking at the fixtures and results of the Christy Ring teams--my god I never thought I'd be doing that. :'(

I followed today's match on the twitter feed. The score says a lot but what was going on? Was there a lack of fitness, hunger, skills, strategy, or what?
Title: Re: 2018 Joe McDonagh Cup
Post by: Tobias on May 14, 2018, 04:38:29 AM
We really haven't recovered from the retirements over the past two years. We lost some real hard men from the team and the have been replaced with young skillful 'nice' hurlers. Enda Lyons is correct in what he says, Laois over the years might not have been great but by god you would know you were in a match with them. That real toughness/intensity is lost on this group, they don't have or don't show that raw aggression that we used to associate with Laois teams. They are probably the most talented group of hurlers we have ever had but that doesn't win the dirty ball and burst through the tackles. Granted most of these lads are young but its not a good enough excuse for me. Along with having all the skills you must have all the other qualities too to make a county hurler. A lot of our guys are small too which doesn't help.

The current management team must take some blame for this, when Cheddar was there we played at a much higher intensity (granted we had better players). The management also must take blame for the way/tactics we are playing, there seems to be no real pattern. Its looks like 15 guys are picked to play in their positions and it a 'go out and hurl' attitude, the game has evolved a lot since those days.

Since the retirements of two/three years ago we haven't blooded any new players of real quality. We have had reasonably decent minor teams over the past few years. We got to one minor leinster final and one U21 leinster final which we hadn't been doing previously and we consistently beat Offaly at minor level. However Offaly look to have got more players from their teams than we have. The question must be asked why that is happening?


Title: Re: 2018 Joe McDonagh Cup
Post by: Laoiseabu on May 14, 2018, 10:32:22 AM
Eamonn Kelly get out of my beautiful county
Title: Re: 2018 Joe McDonagh Cup
Post by: finbar o tool on May 14, 2018, 12:36:35 PM
Eamonn Kelly get out of my beautiful county

Agreed.
Theres no cohesion or teamwork, decision making is terrible, cant take a score under pressure, for podge to do what he did shows the heads are not right. Hard to point to anything good about what Kelly has done since his arrival. Fu*king laughing stock again. I refuse to blame the players though, they are putting in the effort but not being managed or coached it seems.
Title: Re: 2018 Joe McDonagh Cup
Post by: blueandwhite1 on May 14, 2018, 12:56:31 PM
Eamonn Kelly get out of my beautiful county

Agreed.
Theres no cohesion or teamwork, decision making is terrible, cant take a score under pressure, for podge to do what he did shows the heads are not right. Hard to point to anything good about what Kelly has done since his arrival. Fu*king laughing stock again. I refuse to blame the players though, they are putting in the effort but not being managed or coached it seems.

The problem with calling for the head of the manager is that it lets too many off the hook. While I completely agree that Kelly must take responsibility for the performance of the senior team yesterday and last week, he is not the reason we are looking at avoiding the drop to the Christy Ring.

What about the other lithany of issues in Laois that contribute to so few senior standard hurlers in the county?

- Low representation from major clubs such as our county champions, Portlaoise, Abbeyleix and the Harps
- The general death of hurling in Portlaoise.
- The gap between skill levels of our underage teams vs top counties

You can blame Kelly and all the retirements of 2 years ago but the biggest problem is the pipeline. Who other than the county board, the clubs and the GAA hierarchy are responsible for this?
Title: Re: 2018 Joe McDonagh Cup
Post by: finbar o tool on May 14, 2018, 01:02:16 PM
Absolutely blueandwhite, there are plenty of other issues. But i think the players we have are good enough to beat westmeath and kerry if managed and coached correctly. Im not saying we should be beating them out the gate, but we are better than what we are currently showing IMO.
Title: Re: 2018 Joe McDonagh Cup
Post by: portlaoisekid on May 14, 2018, 01:11:58 PM
Disastrous times for Laois hurling, but this is coming since the day the county board in their wisdom decided not to back Cheddars plans for Laois hurling and let him go.

Laois hurling is only but a mere inconvenience to our county board.
Title: Re: 2018 Joe McDonagh Cup
Post by: Dave like the tv channel on May 15, 2018, 12:03:33 PM
We really haven't recovered from the retirements over the past two years. We lost some real hard men from the team and the have been replaced with young skillful 'nice' hurlers. Enda Lyons is correct in what he says, Laois over the years might not have been great but by god you would know you were in a match with them. That real toughness/intensity is lost on this group, they don't have or don't show that raw aggression that we used to associate with Laois teams. They are probably the most talented group of hurlers we have ever had but that doesn't win the dirty ball and burst through the tackles. Granted most of these lads are young but its not a good enough excuse for me. Along with having all the skills you must have all the other qualities too to make a county hurler. A lot of our guys are small too which doesn't help.

The current management team must take some blame for this, when Cheddar was there we played at a much higher intensity (granted we had better players). The management also must take blame for the way/tactics we are playing, there seems to be no real pattern. Its looks like 15 guys are picked to play in their positions and it a 'go out and hurl' attitude, the game has evolved a lot since those days.

Since the retirements of two/three years ago we haven't blooded any new players of real quality. We have had reasonably decent minor teams over the past few years. We got to one minor leinster final and one U21 leinster final which we hadn't been doing previously and we consistently beat Offaly at minor level. However Offaly look to have got more players from their teams than we have. The question must be asked why that is happening?

Our clubs hurling isn't tough enough. Our U13s played in KK a few years back and our lads were calling for frees from the outset. The ref (a young lad) said that it's a "man's game" and told them to get on with it. Their choices were to crumble or stand up and fight. They chose to fight and started giving as good as they got.

Plus, we're trying to be a dual county, when we don't have the resources. We should pick one and essentially drop the other code.

Finally, it's not over. We've a few tough games to come, but Westmeath have to play Antrim, Kerry & Westmeath. Carlow have to play Westmeath. Kerry have to play Antrim.

Teams are beating each other, so we have a chance. Going away to Antrim on a low ebb will be very tough, but we're not out of this yet.
Title: Re: 2018 Joe McDonagh Cup
Post by: The PRO on May 15, 2018, 02:28:21 PM
we're trying to be a dual county, when we don't have the resources. We should pick one and essentially drop the other code.
Simply not viable.

You can't tell the people of Portarlington that we're dropping football no more than you tell the people of Ballacolla that we're dropping hurling.
Title: Re: 2018 Joe McDonagh Cup
Post by: Dave like the tv channel on May 16, 2018, 08:27:17 AM
we're trying to be a dual county, when we don't have the resources. We should pick one and essentially drop the other code.
Simply not viable.

You can't tell the people of Portarlington that we're dropping football no more than you tell the people of Ballacolla that we're dropping hurling.

Anything is possible. We're too small for two, especially given the work on the players coming through.

Title: Re: 2018 Joe McDonagh Cup
Post by: Mad Mentor on May 16, 2018, 10:42:13 AM
we're trying to be a dual county, when we don't have the resources. We should pick one and essentially drop the other code.
Simply not viable.

You can't tell the people of Portarlington that we're dropping football no more than you tell the people of Ballacolla that we're dropping hurling.

Anything is possible. We're too small for two, especially given the work on the players coming through.


Agreed, though when we drop the football it's going to take years to re-train the footballers to play hurling. County board will need a twenty year plan at least.
Title: Re: 2018 Joe McDonagh Cup
Post by: The PRO on May 16, 2018, 10:58:58 AM
we're trying to be a dual county, when we don't have the resources. We should pick one and essentially drop the other code.
Simply not viable.

You can't tell the people of Portarlington that we're dropping football no more than you tell the people of Ballacolla that we're dropping hurling.

Anything is possible. We're too small for two, especially given the work on the players coming through.
Of course we're too small. That's not in question. But you can't impose one of the codes on half the county that has no interest in it. And you definitely don't want Emo hurling. Trust me😊.
Title: Re: 2018 Joe McDonagh Cup
Post by: blueandwhite1 on May 16, 2018, 12:17:02 PM
The hurling area of the county is definitely too small. The football area is big enough, especially when you consider Portlaoise.

I know it gets laughed at every time I bring it up but I actually think there is merit of having a 'best of the rest' divisional type team in Leinster competing in the Leinster championship. You would still have your county teams playing in the McDonagh or Christy Ring but a handful of the best players could play for a Leinster Barbarians type-team. It would give top hurlers from many counties such as ourselves, Westmeath, Carlow, Wicklow and even the Biffos a realistic shot at a medal. For example, rather than the futile exercise of putting the McDonagh cup champions into the All-Ireland qualifier series, you could put a team consisting of the best players from all 6 counties. Yes, I know it would have loads of problems and I'm sure many of you reading this can write a long list of reasons it wouldn't work but it is not without precedent. Players play against each other for their clubs today and then together for their counties. In rugby, the provincial system is an acknowledgement that Irish clubs would never be competitive in Europe otherwise.
Title: Re: 2018 Joe McDonagh Cup
Post by: redsetanta on May 16, 2018, 12:21:10 PM
What are the thoughts on the Antrim game? They are unbeaten so far however only a few weeks ago we beat them on their own patch albeit the league. If we could get a victory we might still be in with a faint chance of getting second spot with 2 games to go.

What is the problem at the moment where we don't seem able to compete like the early games in the league. We had a right go at both Galway and Limerick. Have we completely done away with the short passing game because I haven't seen too much of it. Forwards seem to be playing as individuals and as much as we all like Cha he's taking on shots that are at best 50/50 at times. No cohesion going forward and very little interplay between the top six.

In the backs we've been hampered by injuries however the use of some of the subs is questionable. There is a fairly extensive management team in place and we had looked like we were improving but now look leggy and somewhat confused as a team.

Can we turn things around or do we say good bye and good luck to this years championship with a view to retaining our place in Joe McDonagh for next year.

On another note was it just the county board who forced Cheddar out or did the clubs have any say in the matter?
Title: Re: 2018 Joe McDonagh Cup
Post by: blueandwhite1 on May 16, 2018, 04:41:59 PM
What are the thoughts on the Antrim game? They are unbeaten so far however only a few weeks ago we beat them on their own patch albeit the league. If we could get a victory we might still be in with a faint chance of getting second spot with 2 games to go.

What is the problem at the moment where we don't seem able to compete like the early games in the league. We had a right go at both Galway and Limerick. Have we completely done away with the short passing game because I haven't seen too much of it. Forwards seem to be playing as individuals and as much as we all like Cha he's taking on shots that are at best 50/50 at times. No cohesion going forward and very little interplay between the top six.

In the backs we've been hampered by injuries however the use of some of the subs is questionable. There is a fairly extensive management team in place and we had looked like we were improving but now look leggy and somewhat confused as a team.

Can we turn things around or do we say good bye and good luck to this years championship with a view to retaining our place in Joe McDonagh for next year.

On another note was it just the county board who forced Cheddar out or did the clubs have any say in the matter?

There is complete silence from the camp since the Kerry disaster. Would wonder where we are going to get a full back line from for a start. Podge suspended and Leigh / Lee injured. Big step up for someone like Conor Phelan maybe. Antrim had us to the pin of our collars in the 2 league games.
Title: Re: 2018 Joe McDonagh Cup
Post by: imtommygunn on May 16, 2018, 06:21:47 PM
Antrim are probably missing neil mcmanus which is a huge loss. Carlow's antics have taken a big toll :(
Title: Re: 2018 Joe McDonagh Cup
Post by: Mossy Bruce on May 16, 2018, 08:06:37 PM
What are the thoughts on the Antrim game? They are unbeaten so far however only a few weeks ago we beat them on their own patch albeit the league... What is the problem at the moment where we don't seem able to compete like the early games in the league[?]...

I was wondering the exact same thing. In theory, we should be able to handle Antrim on their home ground. Has anything significantly change in Laois' approach since that last relegation match with Antrim?
Title: Re: 2018 Joe McDonagh Cup
Post by: Giovanni on May 16, 2018, 10:12:23 PM
Even our manager can't seem to answer that question!

However, if they play even close to the level they played against Westmeath, I would think Antrim will win comfortably.
Title: Re: 2018 Joe McDonagh Cup
Post by: burdizzo on May 16, 2018, 10:16:44 PM
Yes, our form has definitely dipped - nose-dived, even - and it's hard to see wins against either Antrim or Carlow. At the start of the competition, you'd have said these would be the two hardest games - and they've just got harder, as they say.
But we live in hope.
Title: Re: 2018 Joe McDonagh Cup
Post by: redsetanta on May 18, 2018, 11:16:40 AM
Is it correct that the game in Antrim is starting at 1.30pm?

Was going to drive up tomorrow but that's a very early throw in time. Must be about a 4 hour drive from Laois.
Title: Re: 2018 Joe McDonagh Cup
Post by: Junior Ex Laoistalk on May 18, 2018, 06:23:44 PM
A bit of good news for Laois:


Injuries have forced Antrim into making changes for tomorrow's Joe McDonagh Cup encounter with Laois in Dunloy.
The Saffrons maintained their winning start to the inaugural second-tier championship against Carlow last weekend but the shine was taken off the 2-16 to 0-19 victory as three of their players required hospital treatment afterwards.

Michael Armstrong (broken arm), Joe Maskey (broken foot) and Neil McManus (who needed six stitches) all left Corrigan Park in an ambulance following a fiery affair which saw a total of four red cards (three for the visitors).

Armstrong and Maskey are both ruled out for the rest of the Joe McDonagh Cup campaign, however, McManus is named on the bench while Eoghan Campbell misses out because of suspension and Arron Graffin comes in for his first appearance since the league.

Antrim (Joe McDonagh Cup v Laois): Ryan Elliott; Stephen Rooney, John Dillon, Arron Graffin; Paddy Burke, Conor McKinley, Ryan McCambridge; Eddie McCloskey, Simon McCrory; Nigel Elliott, Conor Johnston, James McNaughton; Donal McKinley, Conor Carson, Daniel McCloskey.
Subs: Chrissy O'Connell, Matthew Donnelly, Neil McAuley, Conor Boyd, Conor McCann, Neil McManus, David Kearney, Gerard Walsh, Eoin O'Neill, Ryan McNulty, Ciaran Clarke, Keelan Molloy, Conor McHugh, Tommy Burns.
Title: Re: 2018 Joe McDonagh Cup
Post by: justinn on May 18, 2018, 10:15:23 PM
The Laois team in full is: Enda Rowland; Joe Phelan, Matthew Whelan, Lee Cleere; Colm Stapleton, James Ryan, Ryan Mullaney; Paddy Purcell, Cian Taylor; Cha Dwyer, Ben Conroy, Ciaran Comerford; Ross King, Neil Foyle, Willie Dunphy.
Title: Re: 2018 Joe McDonagh Cup
Post by: redsetanta on May 19, 2018, 02:01:46 PM
Laois doing very well at the moment 9 points to 6 up against the wind, Ross King is flying today. Need a win hear badly.
Title: Re: 2018 Joe McDonagh Cup
Post by: burdizzo on May 19, 2018, 02:03:51 PM
Did you go up, after?
Title: Re: 2018 Joe McDonagh Cup
Post by: redsetanta on May 19, 2018, 02:05:40 PM
If you're following on Twitter 'Unit Updates' are much better than the official Laois GAA twitter page as they give scorers and a bit more info.
Title: Re: 2018 Joe McDonagh Cup
Post by: redsetanta on May 19, 2018, 02:48:05 PM
Ben Conroy having a fine game by all accounts.
Title: Re: 2018 Joe McDonagh Cup
Post by: redsetanta on May 19, 2018, 03:07:54 PM
A 1 point win, we'll take that. Jaysus they made it very hard in the end after being 5 points up going into injury time.
Title: Re: 2018 Joe McDonagh Cup
Post by: Dave like the tv channel on May 19, 2018, 03:50:37 PM
Great win.

You'd imagine after this weekend.....

Antrim, Kerry, Carlow & Westmeath all on 4pts
Laois on 2pts
Meath 0pts

If Laois beat Carlow & Westmeath, we finish on 6pts.
Meath will finish on zero, you'd imagine.

After that:

Carlow v Laois & Westmeath
Antrim v Westmeath & Kerry
Kerry v Meath & Antrim
Westmeath v Antrim & Carlow

Laois win both.
Carlow to beat Westmeath.
Westmeath to beat Antrim.
Antrim to beat Kerry.

All five teams finish on 6pts. Laois need to beat Carlow & beat the living sh8t out of Meath.
Title: Re: 2018 Joe McDonagh Cup
Post by: Mossy Bruce on May 19, 2018, 06:24:41 PM
YAY!

I could only follow on twitter--looked like it was quite an exciting match. I'm thrilled with the result.

Next--Carlow (and it sounds like they've been playing a bit dirty, lately).
Title: Re: 2018 Joe McDonagh Cup
Post by: manfromdelmonte on May 19, 2018, 08:28:10 PM
Great win.

You'd imagine after this weekend.....

Antrim, Kerry, Carlow & Westmeath all on 4pts
Laois on 2pts
Meath 0pts

If Laois beat Carlow & Westmeath, we finish on 6pts.
Meath will finish on zero, you'd imagine.

After that:

Carlow v Laois & Westmeath
Antrim v Westmeath & Kerry
Kerry v Meath & Antrim
Westmeath v Antrim & Carlow

Laois win both.
Carlow to beat Westmeath.
Westmeath to beat Antrim.
Antrim to beat Kerry.

All five teams finish on 6pts. Laois need to beat Carlow & beat the living sh8t out of Meath.
Westmeath have to play Kerry tomorrow.
Would put them on 6 ooints
Title: Re: 2018 Joe McDonagh Cup
Post by: imtommygunn on May 19, 2018, 09:05:34 PM
Agree with all except westmeath to beat carlow...
Title: Re: 2018 Joe McDonagh Cup
Post by: CruiseCigar on May 19, 2018, 10:25:15 PM
Thankfully they got a win. Let's hope they can move on from this. They are doing g it the hard way
Title: Re: 2018 Joe McDonagh Cup
Post by: redsetanta on May 20, 2018, 01:02:31 AM
You want Westmeath to win all their games and we need to put a big score past Meath
Title: Re: 2018 Joe McDonagh Cup
Post by: Dave like the tv channel on May 20, 2018, 06:24:57 PM
6 Westmeath
4 Antrim & Carlow
2 Laois & Kerry
0 Meath

If Kerry, Laois & Westmeath win next...

8 Westmeath
4 Laois Antrim, Kerry & Carlow
0 Meath

Then Laois, Westmeath & Antrim

10 Westmeath
6 Laois & Antrim
4 Kerry & Carlow
0 Meath

Laois win on head-to-head? A Kerry win over Antrim would see us out, in that scenario. An Antrim win over Westmeath would see us out.
Title: Re: 2018 Joe McDonagh Cup
Post by: redsetanta on May 21, 2018, 10:56:24 AM
Yeh, Antrim would have to beat Kerry also. I think our scoring difference will be no use if more than 2 teams finish level. Best outcome is where Westmeath get 10 points and we finsih level with Antrim.
Have to beat Carlow in two weeks time so the break will be beneficial with injuries etc.
The Laois gaa mentality would drive ya nuts. How can we go North Antrim and win when we absolutely have to yet we cannot do it against the Westmeath or Kerry??
Title: Re: 2018 Joe McDonagh Cup
Post by: Unlaoised on May 22, 2018, 09:13:55 AM
Good win but will it get us back into it ...I'm not so sure!