Joachim Kelly is to take over as Offaly hurling manager on an interim basis after Kevin Martin stepped down from leading the senior side.

Martin came under pressure following a string of bad results which saw his team relegated from Division 1 in the Allianz League and teetering on the brink of the drop to hurling’s third tier.

They have lost both of their games in the tier two Joe McDonagh Cup, the first against Laois and then to Westmeath at the weekend, and now have two games to save their season.

Two-time All-Ireland winner Martin took over before the start of the 2018 season and things began well with a Division 1 win over Dublin at Croke Park in his first game in charge.

But that was the high point and a series of lows have followed, including relegation from the Liam MacCarthy Cup last summer.

Their next game is against Antrim in Tullamore and it’s a must-win match with relegation to the third tier and the Christy Ring Cup a real possibility.

The bottom team in the McDonagh Cup drops down automatically and Offaly currently occupy that spot.

A statement from Offaly GAA read: "Following on from an Offaly GAA Management Committee meeting tonight, Kevin Martin & his management team have been replaced as the current senior hurling management with immediate effect. The committee would like to thank Kevin and his team for their commitment and effort over the last two years.

"Survival in the Joe McDonagh Cup competition in 2019 is essential for the long-term development of hurling in the county.

"To this end Joachim Kelly has been appointed by the management committee as interim manager to the end of this year’s Joe McDonagh Cup competition. We wish Joachim and his team the best of luck in the upcoming games."