Offally made to work for their second win
Offaly 3-11 Athlone IT 1-9:A second-half surge of scores landed Offaly with their second win of the O’Byrne Cup and set up an all-or-nothing clash with Westmeath on Sunday. If Offaly win in Mullingar, they will top group C and progress to the semi-final.
They made hard work of things in Gracefield last night but their superior fitness and skill saw them through in a game that failed to impress in the first half, but sprung to life in the second half.
On a night when dense fog descended, conditions were extremely difficult and scores were even harder to come by. Niall McNamee was the main man for the home side in the opening half kicking four points while AIT corner forward Frankie Burke keeping AIT firmly in the game.
Offaly were guilty of eight first half wides and were lucky go in 0-6 to 0-5 up at the break. The scores, however, flowed in the second half . After two early points for the Offaly men, Colm O’Brien hit back with a super goal for the college side. With AIT ahead by a point, Offaly struck for a goal from Peter Cunningham to lead 1-8 to 1-6 with 45 minutes played.
Offaly never looked back from here and further goals from Brian Connor and Eoin Carroll made the game safe.
OFFALY: A Mulhall; B Darby, S Pender, E Rigney; D Hanlon, D Kelly, G Guilfoyle; R Brady, B Connor (1-1); K McGuinness (0-1), M Mitchell (0-1), E Carroll (1-0); A Sullivan (0-1), N McNamee (0-6, 0-3f), P Cunningham (1-1). Subs: S Sullivan (for K McGuinness H/T), J McPadden (for D Hanlon 48m), J Ledwith (for G Guilfoyle 57m), J Maher (for A Sullivan 58m),
AIT: K McGuire; C OBrien (1-0), K Clarke, E Kerins; T Rahill, K Martin (0-1f), L Murphy; C Duggan (0-1), G Egan (0-3f); J McGivney, J Mulligan, J Dolan; A Stone, C Shine (0-1), F Burke (0-3). Subs: D Maleady (for E Kerins 42m), D Queeney (for C Duggan 54m), A Caul (for A Stone 59m), A Coffey (for J McGivney 63m), C Tighe (for K Martin 69m) Referee: S Carroll (Westmeath)