Faithful have lost opening to McDonagh Cup games
Kevin Martin has been relieved of his duties as Offaly hurling manager. The Tullamore clubman has paid the price for the Faithful's dreadful start to the Joe McDonagh Cup.
Former Faithful midfielder Joachim Kelly has been installed as manager on an interim basis. A statement from the County Board thanked Martin for his two years in charge, but say survival in the Joe McDonagh Cup is "essential for the long term development of hurling in the county".
Offaly followed their round 1 loss to Laois in the second-tier competition with a 3-18 to 0-14 loss to Westmeath at the weekend. Those defeats leave Offaly bottom of the McDonagh Cup table and in real danger of dropping into next year's Christy Ring Cup.
It's been a 2019 to forget for the Faithful thus far, with their Division 1B campaign in the Allianz Hurling League bringing just one win. And that came in their last group game against Carlow. Martin's side subsequently lost their relegation playoff to Carlow and went down to Division 2A.
Speaking to Midlands Radio after that loss to Westmeath, Martin said he was "bitterly disappointed" by his Offaly side's performance. Martin said they now had no other option but to beat Antrim and Kerry in their remaining McDonagh Cup games.
Kelly has now been installed with the hope Offaly can stay in the Championship's second tier.