SEAMUS PLUNKETT has unexpectedly stood down as Laois hurling manager with immediate effect.
A statement from the county board released this morning cited unspecified “personal reasons,” for his departure, announcing Ger Cunningham – a Limerick native and a member of Plunkett’s backroom team since 2013 – as his replacement. Laois finished top of their round robin group in the Leinster qualifying section by virtue of beating Westmeath last Sunday in Portlaoise and in doing so, earned themselves arguably the easiest provincial quarter-finals tie available; a home quarter-final against Offaly on Sunday week.
Plunkett was not on the sideline last night for the Laois under-21s during their surprise home defeat to Carlow in the Bord Gáis Energy Leinster U21HC.
It is believed Plunkett took the decision after some players lined out for their clubs last Monday night against his wishes.
Speaking immediately after last Sunday’s SHC victory over Westmeath, Plunkett said he was “looking forward to the quarter-final”. “It didn’t matter who we got in the quarter-final, Wexford or Offaly.
“It’s going to be a huge match in two weeks’ time.”
His replacement, Cunningham, is from Knockainey in Limerick and was brought in by Plunkett as a technical coach prior to the start of the 2013 season.
He managed Cork club Newtownshandrum to the 2004 All-Ireland club title and has been involved in successful Thurles Sarsfields, UL and Limerick minor and senior teams.
ST OLIVER PLUNKETT’S/ER recorded their third successive win when defeating St Peregrine’s by 3-18 to 2-7 in their Dublin SHC ‘B’ clash at Martin Savage Park last night.
Niall Murray starred for the hosts, amassing 1-5 from play and there were other positive contributions by Conor McDonnell, Aidan Baird and Oisín Boland with the lively Liam Corbett netting a sublime goal for Plunkett’s.
With Naomh Fionnbarra losing to Whitehall Colmcille, Plunkett’s now lead Group 1 on their own with Round Tower Clondalkin enjoying a narrow win over Kimacud Crokes.
SHC ‘B’ Group 1: St Oliver Plunkett’s/ER 3-18 St Peregrine’s 2-7; Kilmacud Crokes 1-12 Round Tower Clondalkin 1-13; Whitehall Colmcille 3-19 Nh Fionnbarra 4-13. SHC ‘B’ GROUP 2: Nh Barróg 2-15 Kevins 2-11; Ballyboden St Enda’s v St Vincent’s OFF; Nh Olaf 1-8 St Sylvester’s 1-8. AHL1: St Vincent’s 2-16 St Brigid’s 1-12; O’Toole’s 1-22 Ballyboden St Enda’s 1-17.