Antrim will face either Offaly or Limerick to preserve their league status.
THE SAFFRONS are now staring down the barrel of a gun after this National hurling league defeat, their fourth, away to Laois.
While things have gradually improved, a three point defeat at the hands of Kilkenny, four in a home game with Dublin, two away to Waterford and now just one at Portlaois, whatever way one looks at it they are on nil points at the foot of Division 1B and now look set to face a relegation play off against Offaly.
It certainly was a situation they never should have been in, but a tale of good performances and bad results tells it's own story.
This was a must win game for the Saffrons and, if truth be told, it never looked like they would win despite facing a fourteen man Laois side for a goof whack of the game.
They got close at times including evening up at the end of ordinary time only to blow a couple of chances and allow Cha Walsh in for an injury time winner.
Antrim’s chances of remaining in Division 1B are now hanging by a thread.
Laois: Enda Rowland (0-1); Diarmuid Conway, Sean Downey, Podge Delaney; Liam O’Connell, Ryan Mullaney, Mark Dowling; Jack Kelly, Fiachra C Fennell; Paddy Purcell (1-0), James Keyes (0-2), Ross King; Willie Dunphy (0-2), Cha Dwyer (0-4), Stephen Maher (0-8).
Substitutions: PJ Scully (0-2) for Dowling; Aidan Corby for King; Stephen Bergin for Maher.
Antrim: Ryan Elliott; David Kearney (0-1), Gerard Walsh (0-1), Stephen Rooney; Paddy Burke (0-2), Eoghan Campbel (0-1)l, Ryan McGarry; Keelan Molloy, Daniel McKernan; Michael Bradley (0-2), Domhnall Nugent, Conal Cunning (0-2); Seann Elliott (0-1), Neil McManus (1-7), Ciaran Clarke (0-2).
Substitutions: Conor McCann for Elliott, James McNaughton for Nugent ; Conor Johnston for Kearney ; Eoin O’Neill for Molloy ; Ryan McCambridge for Bradley.
Referee: Shane Hynes (Galway).
Three of the four places in the Allianz League semi-finals (Div 1) have been decided, with Cork, Wexford and Waterford securing the previous slots ahead of the final round on Sunday week.
The remaining place will go to Kilkenny, Dublin or Tipperary. Cork and Wexford both won their opening four games in Group A, leaving them four points ahead of Galway.
It’s tighter in Group B, where Waterford lead on seven points, one ahead of Kilkenny, two clear of Dublin and three ahead of Tipperary. Kilkenny play Waterford in the final round, knowing that a win or draw would earn a semi-final place. Dublin need to beat Laois and hope that Waterford beat Kilkenny, in which case Mattie Kenny’s men would reach the last four.
If Kilkenny beat Waterford and Dublin beat Laois, Kilkenny will top the group on eight points, with Waterford and Dublin both on seven points, having drawn their tie earlier on. Waterford have a much better scoring difference, standing at +44 points, whereas Dublin are -8.
Tipperary would reach the last four if they beat Antrim, Waterford beat Kilkenny and Laois beat Dublin.
Antrim who have lost all four games in Group B will definitely face a relegation play-off against either Limerick or Offaly who meet in the last round in Group A.
Kerry and Down (both on six points) lead the promotion charge in 2A; Derry (8pts) and Donegal (6pts) lead the way in 2B. Tyrone and Roscommon are both on seven points in 3A while Fermanagh (6pts, Leitrim and Longford (4pts each) lead the way in 3B.
ALLIANZ HURLING LEAGUE 2022: FIXTURES & RESULTS
ALLIANZ HURLING LEAGUE DIVISION 1 GROUP A
Round 1: Cork 2-30 Clare 2-21; Wexford 1-11 Limerick 0-11; Galway 4-22 Offaly 0-17
Round 2: Galway 0-27 Limerick 1-18; Wexford 2-20 Clare 1-20; Cork 4-25 Offaly 1-15.
Round 3: Wexford 2-15 Galway 0-15; Clare 4-20 Offaly 0-16; Cork 2-19 Limerick 1-13.
Round 4: Cork 1-26 Galway 0-23; Clare 0-18 Limerick 0-18; Wexford 1-22 Offaly 2-12.
Round 5: Mar 20: Galway v Clare; Limerick v Offaly; Wexford v Cork.
ALLIANZ HURLING LEAGUE DIVISION 1 GROUP B
Round 1: Tipperary 0-21 Laois 1-14; Kilkenny 2-15 Antrim 3-9; Dublin 0-21 Waterford 2-15
Round 2: Dublin 2-19 Antrim 2-15; Waterford 7-31 Laois 0-19; Tipperary 1-19 Kilkenny 1-18.
Round 3: Dublin 2-16 Tipperary 0-21; Waterford 3-21 Antrim 2-22; Kilkenny 2-28 Laois 0-17.
Round 4: Kilkenny 2-23 Dublin 0-16 Waterford 1-28 Tipperary 0-21; Laois 1-20 Antrim 1-19
Round 5: Mar 20: Kilkenny v Waterford; Laois v Dublin; Tipperary v Antrim.
ALLIANZ HURLING LEAGUE DIVISION 2A
Round 1: Westmeath 3-15 Kerry 1-15; Down 2-10 Carlow 1-12; Meath 0-18 Kildare 0-15
Round 2: Carlow 1-20 Westmeath 1-14; Kerry 4-18 Kildare 2-16; Down 2-18 Meath 1-19.
Round 3: Kerry 0-20 Carlow 0-13; Kildare 2-17 Down 0-22; Westmeath 4-23 Meath 1-15.
Round 4: Kerry 2-31 Meath 0-14; Kildare 2-14 Carlow 0-20; Down 1-18 Westmeath 1-16.
Round 5: Mar 19: Down v Kerry; Mar 20: Kildare v Westmeath; Meath v Carlow.
ALLIANZ HURLING LEAGUE DIVISION 2B
Round 1: Derry 2-14 Sligo 1-14; Donegal 3-16 London 0-8; Mayo 2-15 Wicklow 2-15.
Round 2: London 4-11 Mayo 1-10; Derry 2-24 Wicklow 0-12; Donegal 1-19 Sligo 2-14.
Round 3: Sligo 1-24 London 1-15; Derry 4-24 Mayo 1-14; Donegal 2-16 Wicklow 3-8.
Round 4: London 3-16 Wicklow 1-9; Derry 0-23 Donegal 0-15; Sligo 4-13 Mayo 0-19.
Round 5: Mar 20: Derry v London; Mayo v Donegal; Wicklow v Sligo.
ALLIANZ HURLING LEAGUE DIVISION 3A
Round 1: Armagh 2-16 Louth 3-12; Monaghan 1-12 Warwickshire 2-8; Roscommon 0-20 Tyrone 1-17.
Round 2: Tyrone 4-29 Warwickshire 0-7; Roscommon 2-21 Louth 0-14; Armagh 4-22 Monaghan 0-13.
Round 3: Monaghan 2-8 Louth 0-7; Roscommon 4-20 Warwickshire 0-6; Tyrone 2-21 Armagh 1-14.
Round 4: Warwickshire 3-13 Louth 1-19; Roscommon 2-17 Armagh 1-19; Tyrone 3-14 Monaghan 1-11.
Round 5: Mar 20: Roscommon v Monaghan; Tyrone v Louth; Warwickshire v Armagh.
ALLIANZ HURLING LEAGUE DIVISION 3B
Round 1: Fermanagh 1-20 Cavan 0-13; Leitrim 4-16 Lancashire 2-8.
Round 2: Lancashire 0-23 Cavan 0-12; Fermanagh 1-10 Longford 0-11.
Round 3: Leitrim 1-13 Cavan 0-9; Longford 1-26 Lancashire 3-11.
Round 4: Fermanagh 2-22 Lancashire 0-9; Longford 1-15 Leitrim 1-14.
Round 5: Mar 20: Cavan v Longford; Leitrim v Fermanagh.
Division 1 semi-finals: 1st Group A v 2nd Group B; 2nd Group A v 1st Group B.
Division 2A, 2B, 3A, 3B semi-finals: 2nd v 3rd
Division 1 Relegation: 6th Group A v 6th Group B
Division 2B Relegation: 5th v 6th.
Finals – all Divisions