Offaly hurlers draw home comforts but face massive task

Thursday, 29 June 2017

IT was always likely to be a tough draw and those thoughts were confirmed on Monday morning as the Offaly hurlers awoke to hear that they have been drawn to play Waterford this Saturday in the first round of the All Ireland Senior Hurling Championshipqualifiers.
Offaly could have drawn Tipperary, Limerick or Laois as well but it was the Deise that came out of the bowl after the Faithful County came out first to secure the home draw.
They are now in last chance saloon as Kevin Ryan aims to prepare his troops for a meeting with his native county.
There is also only a six day turnaround with the GAA choosing to wait until after Sunday's clash between Laois and Carlow to make the draw.
Bord Na Mona O'Connor Park will host the game on Saturday with Waterford, who were beaten in the Munster semi final by Cork, coming into the game as huge favourites.
It is a daunting challenge for Offaly who coming into the game on the back of a Leinster semi final defeat to Galway - 0-33 to 1-11.
The full draw for the first round of qualifiers is as follows with the first named team at home.
Offaly v Waterford
Tipperary v Westmeath
Kilkenny v Limerick
Dublin v Laois.
See preview of the Waterford game on page 68.


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