By Kieran Galvin
The Offaly team has been named for the Allianz Hurling League Division 1B relegation/promotion play-off against Kerry at Semple Stadium tomorrow (Saturday), throw-in 6.30pm.
Brian Whelahan and his selectors Ger Coughlan and John Troy have given plenty of players a chance to impress during this year's league campaign, but the results have been quite disappointing.
And Offaly now find themselves in the surprising position of being in the last chance saloon in terms of avoiding relegation, having lost to Antrim in a previous play-off.
For the clas with Kerry, Ger Healion has been selected at full-back with Belmont's Colin Egan at centre-back, where he is flanked by Cathal Parlon and Barry Harding.
Kevin Connolly and Ciarán Slevin form the midfield pairing, with Dan Currams leading the attack, and he is joined in a strong half-forward line by team captain Joe Bergin and Conor Mahon. Brian Carroll, Sean Cleary and Stephen Quirke make up the inside forward line.
Offaly need to defeat Kerry to secure their place in Division 1B for next season; a defeat will lead to demotion to Division 2A.
Having won all their games in Division 2A, Kerry then defeated Carlow in the Division 2A final but they still won't seal promotion unless they overcome the challenge of Offaly tomorrow.
Offaly (Allianz HL v Kerry): Conor Slevin (Kilcormac/Killoughey); Niall Wynne (St Rynagh’s), Ger Healion (Kilcormac/Killoughey), James Rigney (Kinnitty); Cathal Parlon (Coolderry), Colin Egan (Belmont), Barry Harding (Birr); Kevin Connolly (Coolderry), Ciarán Slevin (Kilcormac/Killoughey); Joe Bergin (Seir Kieran, captain), Dan Currams (Kilcormac/Killoughey), Conor Mahon (Kilcormac/Killoughey); Brian Carroll (Coolderry), Sean Cleary (Shinrone), Stephen Quirke (St Rynagh’s).
Meanwhile, Offaly minor manager Joe Errity has selected his starting XV for Saturday's Electric Ireland Leinster MHC clash against Carlow at Dr Cullen Park, 3pm.
Errity is joined in the management team by Pat O'Connor, Seamus Spain, Eamonn Hoctor and Ollie Bryant.
Offaly (Leinster MHC v Carlow): Oisin Mahon (Kilcormac/Killoughey); Paddy Delaney (Kinnitty), Craig Taylor (Birr), Niall Duffy (Lusmagh); Daren Healy (Lusmagh), Danny Spain (Brosna Gaels), Donal Mahon (Lusmagh); Cillian Kiely (Kilcormac/Killoughey), Padraic Guinan (Drumcullen); Oisin Kelly (Belmont), Jordan Fogarty (Shinrone), Ronan Hughes (St Rynagh's); Shane Healy (Lusmagh), James Kilmartin (Kilcormac/Killoughey), Eoghan Cahill (Birr).