Offaly have been relegated from Division 1B at the hands of Carlow's hurlers this afternoon.
Despite establishing an 11-point lead at one stage, Offaly couldn't hold on as Colm Bonnar's side rallied well and ran out 2-14 to 1-16 winners in Tullamore.
Reflecting on a day where his side "just panicked," Kevin Martin has described the result as a "low moment for Offaly hurling."
"We've no one else to blame but ourselves really," a despondent Martin stated in his post-match comments.
"11-points up with a spare man, we should have done a lot better in that second-half.
"Frankly, we just panicked."
After a disappointing Leinster Championship in 2018 resulted in Offaly entering the Joe McDonagh Cup this time around, Martin insisted that Offaly remain capable of turning things around and winning the competition.
Yet, whereas a win against Carlow would have placed Offaly within one-half of hurling's top two tiers in the National Hurling League under next year's restructured rules, he must now contend with the reality of this latest set-back.
"We just panicked and the players just shut off," Martin admitted.
"They didn't move the way they were moving in training. We'd played conditioned games in training and they didn't run off each other's shoulders in the second-half."
A result that is sure to accentuate the frustrations felt by Offaly's hurling fan-base, Kevin Martin called for consideration with respect to the players.
"They didn't go out there to lose," the All-Ireland winner said of his players.
"It would be harsh now just to kick them when they're down. We need people to get behind them now, more than ever because I still think we can win the Joe McDonagh.
"If you see the lads out in the street, just talk to them as if any other time."
For Carlow, today's result sees them consolidate last year's promotion from Division 2A for another season.
You can listen to Martin's post-match interview in full below.
"To the Offaly public, if you see the lads in the street talk to them. They didn't go out there to lose"
On a deeply disappointing day for Offaly, manager Kevin Martin spoke openly about a "low moment for Offaly hurling." pic.twitter.com/SOPICjFRM8
— Off The Ball (@offtheball) March 10, 2019