HURLING

Eamonn Kelly delighted with show of character from Laois in season opener

Tadhg O'Sullivan

Reporter:

Tadhg O'Sullivan

Email:

sport@leinsterexpress.ie

Eamonn Kelly delighted with show of character from Laois in season opener

Eamonn Kelly calling the shots for Laois on Sunday. Pic: Alf Harvey.

Eamonn Kelly got a win in his first match in charge of the senior hurlers at the expense of NUIG in Rathdowney on Sunday.
Although happy with the comeback and how some of the younger players performed, he also stated how there was lots more work to be done before the first round of the league.
“We’ve loads to learn from today. Some new lads showed great character, fought back and got back into it thankfully but that result and performance won’t be anywhere near good enough to get a result against Kerry in the league” said Kelly after the match.
“It’s early in the year and it’s our first bit of competitive hurling, we’ve been playing challenge games and you’re bringing lads in and out and we’re down a lot of players. We had a few more setbacks before the start of the match, but there were some lads that came in and took their opportunity and hurled very well.”
With regards to the Walsh Cup, Kelly thinks it’s a good way to blood new talent when you don’t have a full team available. “Four or five guys there wouldn’t have got a run so they got an opportunity, that’s the good side of it. To me it’s not all about winning, it’s about getting a performance our backs are against the wall and we have an awful lot of work to do.
“If you’re playing any of the top quality sides; Wexford, Limerick any of them you won’t come back from giving a team a lead like that.
“We’re probably way behind where we want to be, we have an awful lot of work to do. The first two rounds of the league are key; Kerry away and Offaly at home - they will define our league campaign. They’ll be targeting us as well, there’s probably not a massive difference between those three teams. Kerry away, they turned over Laois twice last year so that’ll be a real focus for us to see have we progressed or not.”