Offaly 1-11 Laois 1-8:Offaly got the better of local rivals Laois in an entertaining tie in Tullamore yesterday. With Niall McNamee close to his sensational best, Offaly were good value for their win and while they left the door open for the visitors for longer than they would have wished, they were more comprehensive winners than the scoreline suggests.
Looking fitter than they have in years at this stage of the season, Offaly controlled this game for long periods. Captain McNamee kicked eight points, six from play and had he not fired a penalty wide five minutes into the second half, Offaly would have coasted across the finish line.
It was a new-look Laois team and Justin McNulty will not be unduly perturbed at the loss. They battled hard but never truly looked like getting the job done.
Offaly were quickly out of the blocks and produced some fine football to lead by 0-5 to 0-1 after 18 minutes. Laois then rallied strongly with David Murphy punishing loose defending with a 19th minute goal and Paul Begley levelled it up three minutes later.
Offaly, however, stepped on the pedal again and a brilliantly taken goal from sub Paul McPadden helped them to a deserved 1-7 to 1-3 interval lead.
In the second half, Laois were always chasing their tail and Offaly were in the driving seat when they led by 1-11 to 1-5 with 14 minutes left. Laois did kick the closing three points but never looked like getting in for the required late goal.