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Kelly departs Laois helm as Mayo face trip to Tipp

Eamonn Kelly has resigned his post as Laois senior hurling manager following a disappointing Joe McDonagh campaign. Photo: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile
Eamonn Kelly has resigned his post as Laois senior hurling manager following a disappointing Joe McDonagh campaign. Photo: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

Michael Verney

Laois are searching for a new senior hurling manager after Eamonn Kelly last night resigned his post following a disappointing Joe McDonagh campaign.

Kelly took the O'Moore reins two years ago - just months after parting ways as boss with neighbours Offaly - and maintained their place in Division 1B with relegation play-off wins against Kerry (2017) and Antrim (2018).

Laois were pre-tournament favourites to claim the inaugural Joe McDonagh Cup but defeats in their opening games to Westmeath and Kerry left them staring possible relegation before victory over Meath last Saturday rounded off a disappointing round-robin series.

"I have decided not to seek another term as Laois hurling manager. I am disappointed not to have built on the progress we made last year and I wish Laois every success going forward," Kelly said in a statement last night.

The former Kerry manager is likely to be linked with many inter-county hurling vacancies over the coming months as the O'Moore men look to put a replacement in place "at the earliest opportunity".

Meanwhile, Mayo's backdoor odyssey continues with a trip to Semple Stadium to face Tipperary - a repeat of their All-Ireland semi-final clash two years ago - on Saturday week after yesterday's SFC qualifier draw.

The other marquee ties of round two see the all-Ulster clash of Cavan and Down, Carlow bidding to build on last year's qualifier run when they host Mickey Harte's Tyrone, while Paul Rouse will seek his second win as interim Offaly boss when they welcome Clare to O'Connor Park on Sunday week.

Elsewhere, Sligo dual player Ger O'Kelly-Lynch faces the unenviable task of possibly playing two high-profile games in different codes in the space of a few hours after the Yeats County's Lory Meagher Cup final and SFC qualifier clash with Armagh were fixed for the same day.

O'Kelly-Lynch a key member of both squads, which will be in action on Saturday week, with the hurlers facing a tough task against Lancashire in Croke Park at noon while the footballers will host Kieran McGeeney's Armagh in Markievicz Park (6.0) - more than 200km away.

Saturday June 23

Waterford v Monaghan, Fraher Field, 2.0

Tipperary v Mayo, Semple Stadium, 5.0, Live, Sky Sports

Cavan v Down, Clones

Carlow v Tyrone, Netwatch Cullen Park, 5.0

Sligo v Armagh, Markievicz Park, 6.0

Leitrim v Louth, Páirc Sean Mac Diarmada, 7.0

Longford v Kildare, Glennon Brothers Pearse Park, 7.0

Sunday June 24

Offaly v Clare, Bord Na Móna O'Connor Park, 1.30

Irish Independent

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