PREVIEW: Can Kerry Stay In Division 1B By Overcoming Laois Challenge?

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Mike O’Halloran looks forward to a big day for the Kerry hurlers as they face Laois in Portlaoise in the Division 1B relegation playoff…

Padraig Boyle grabs the ball before being fouled for a penalty during the match against Laois in February. Photo by Dermot Crean

Kerry hurling fans make their way to Portlaoise on Saturday evening for the play off game against Laois to decide which one of them will remain in Division 1B for next season.

The game begins at 7pm and speaking to some supporters this week, they were quite annoyed about the start time, which means fans leaving home at 4pm and not returning perhaps until 11.30pm or later.

As for the game itself, Kerry will be hoping that they can bounce back from the defeat last Sunday in Tralee where they were edged out by Offaly.

Continued below…


Kerry played a large part of the game with fourteen men and were off target with quite a few of the scoring chances presented.

Given that they put it up to Offaly one would hope that they might have enough to overcome the challenge of Laois. That’s one side of the argument.

The other is that Laois have beaten Offaly and were in charge for the first half of the game played in Tralee last month.

Kerry came out in the second half of that game and blew Laois away.

A Padraigh Boyle penalty and another goal later on along with a goal from Colum Harty paved the way for that victory.

Shane Nolan attempts to turn Dwane Palmer during the match in February. Photo by Dermot Crean

The first half of the game in Austin Stack Park was a free-fest, Laois went in at halftime leading by nine points and it looked as if they would coast to victory, but Kerry pegged them back and finished up winning on a scoreline of 3-14 to 0-19.

Laois have shipped a lot of goals this season so Kerry will be hoping that they can hit the net on one or two occasions in order to remain in Division 1B.

Can they do it ? Yes they can, if they put a full 70 minutes together. In previous games they have put in huge efforts for 40 minutes, especially against Wexford and Limerick. A full 70 minute effort will see Division 1 hurling for the Kingdom again next year.

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