Sean Og O’hAilpin has questioned the logic around this year’s hurling changes and the fact the bottom team from the round-robin stages in Leinster will be relegated to the Joe McDonagh Cup for 2019.
Offaly take on Dublin this weekend in what is a relegation battle. For the Faithful County it’s their fourth game in a row. O’hAilpin sees no benefit to the new hurling format: “I see no benefit or no purpose in it. The same fate won’t happen to the two Munster counties that lose out.”
He wanted to know why it was in the Leinster Championship and not in the Munster. If Kerry were to win the Joe McDonagh Cup they play the bottom team in Munster in a play-off game. There is no straight relegation like in Leinster.
The Corkman admitted that the Leinster Championship needs to have Dublin and Offaly in it: “It still needs the traditional hurling teams in it. I just can’t see the rationale behind that. We knew Offaly were going to struggle. Dublin are extremely unlucky to find themselves in the position they are in.”
He went on to refer to Dublin’s performances against Kilkenny and Wexford in the opening round of this year’s Leinster Championship: “They should’ve beaten Kilkenny and in the second game against Wexford, Wexford robbed it from them, from the death.”
He has tipped Pat Gilroy’s charges to beat Offaly when the two sides meet this weekend: “I still think Dublin will be still strong enough to beat Offaly, in my view.”