Offaly edge thriller against Laois to secure maiden Joe McDonagh Cup success

June 08, 2024

Offaly captain Jason Sampson lifts the Joe McDonagh Cup ©INPHO/James Crombie

Offaly are Joe McDonagh Cup champions for the first time thanks to a 2-23 to 0-26 victory over Laois at Croke Park.

Brian Duignan and Oisin Kelly struck the decisive goals as the Faithful men booked their return to the Leinster senior hurling championship for 2025, having lost out to Carlow on this very same stage 12 months ago.

Duignan’s goal came after two minutes and, while it took 10 minutes for Laois to close the gap, Johnny Kelly’s men went in with the lead at half-time (1-13 to 0-15) thanks to an Eoghan Cahill free in injury-time.

The opening minute of the restart saw Kelly netting Offaly’s second goal and a Cahill free make it a five-point game a minute later.

The O’Moore men fought back and frees from Aaron Dunphy would help them narrow down their deficit to one before another placed ball from Dunphy had it honours even (2-20 to 0-26) with four minutes left in normal time.

Killian Sampson nudged the Faithfuls ahead again prior to Charlie Mitchell and Jack Clancy rifling over injury-time points that ensured their return to hurling’s top tier championship next season.

This result at headquarters means that Offaly will now host Cork in the All-Ireland SHC preliminary quarter-finals next Saturday, while Laois welcome Wexford to Portlaoise on the same day.

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