Dublin 0-27 Offaly 0-18
Dublin continued their impressive start under new manager Mattie Kenny with a comprehensive nine-point triumph over Offaly in Sunday's Walsh Cup encounter at Parnell Park.
After they overcame the challenge of Carlow last Tuesday evening, the Metropolitans are on course to secure top spot in Group One – and consequently claim a semi-final berth alongside Galway, Kilkenny and Wexford in the new year.
Following their defeat to Laois seven days earlier, Offaly required a win to keep their own hopes of a last-four place alive. Thanks to fine scores courtesy of Shane Kinsella (two), James Gorman and Aidan Treacy, they were 0-4 to 0-3 in front during the early exchanges.
This was the signal for Dublin to kick into gear, however – Fintan McGibb, Eamonn Dillon and David Treacy (free) all finding the target in quick succession. While Seán Dolan and Aidan Treacy kept the scoreboard ticking over for the Faithful County, the home side were gradually building momentum in attack.
Donal Burke pointed either side of a Cian Boland effort to create additional daylight between the teams. Burke and Dillon finished the half with a combined tally of seven points and John Hetherton also found the range to give the Sky Blues a commanding 0-15 to 0-10 interval cushion.
They remained in the ascendancy on the resumption with a brace of scores from half-time substitute Conor Burke – the aforementioned duo of Boland (two) and Dillon also bolstering their respective individual hauls.
Gorman's fourth point kept Offaly within touching distance (0-20 to 0-15) moving into the final-quarter, but Dublin maintained a firm grip on proceedings. Fergal Whitely (two), Oisín O'Rorke, Davy Keogh and Ronan Hayes added their names to the scoresheet late on, rounding off a convincing win for the hosts.
DUBLIN: S Brennan; L Gannon, C O'Callaghan, B O'Carroll; T Connolly, C Crummey, S Barrett; C Boland (0-4), S Treacy; F McGibb (0-1), C Conway, D Treacy (0-4, four frees); J Hetherton (0-4, two frees), D Burke (0-4), E Dillon (0-4).
Subs: F Whitely (0-2) for D Treacy (33 mins), D Gray for Barrett, C Burke (0-2) for Conway (both half-time), L Walsh for Gannon (40), O O'Rorke for D Burke (45), L Gannon for O'Carroll (47), D Keogh (0-1) for O'Callaghan (55), R Hayes (0-1) for Dillon (60), G Whelan for Boland, R Smith for Hetherton (both 65), Hetherton for Crummey (72).
OFFALY: C Clancy; D Healy, P Rigney, T Spain; C O'Brien, E Grogan, N Houlihan; C Taylor (0-1), K Dunne; S Kinsella (0-2), S Dolan (0-2), P Guinan; K Connolly (0-2, one free), A Treacy (0-6, four frees, one 65), J Gorman (0-4).
Subs: M Egan for Healy (18 mins), C Egan (0-1) for Grogan (half-time), D Murray for Guinan, E Parlon for Gorman (both 60), E O'Callaghan for Treacy (67).
Referee: D Hughes (Carlow).