Saturday 23 March 2019

Carlow ace Kavanagh doubtful for Laois duel

Carlow's Martin Kavanagh. Photo: Matt Browne/Sportsfile
Carlow's Martin Kavanagh. Photo: Matt Browne/Sportsfile

Independent.ie Sportsdesk

Carlow look set to be without ace attacker Marty 'Mouse' Kavanagh when they host Eddie Brennan's Laois in Sunday's crucial Allianz HL Division 1B clash.

The St Mullins' attacker limped out of the fray before half-time with a hamstring injury in last Saturday night's defeat to Waterford and is in a race against time to prove his fitness to Carlow boss Colm Bonnar.

Kavanagh was the hero of the hour in round two against Galway when his last-gasp free secured a share of the spoils and his absence would be a massive loss in a game where the stakes don't get much higher.

"I suppose Marty on any team would be a loss but that's why you have a strong panel. He has been leading from the front, he has been a top class for us, but we haven't ruled anyone out," Bonnar said in the wake of the Déise loss.

Victory for Laois would book a quarter-final place whereas a draw or a win for Bonnar's men leaves them in a healthy position heading into their final game at home against bottom side Offaly. The loser is likely to face relegation play-off against Offaly with demotion to Division 2A deemed a setback.

Interestingly, there will also be a relegation play-off in Division 1A in spite of next year's proposed league changes which sees no relegation this year. Little if anything will be on the line, although theoretically the winner will have an easier 2019 league group based on a higher seeding.

Meanwhile, former Laois hurling boss Seamus 'Cheddar' Plunkett is back in management with the Portlaoise native joining fellow Laois man Seamus Dwyer - who was a selector under Plunkett during his O'Moore reign - to take charge of Kilkenny side James Stephens.

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