Cian Johnson holds nerve to earn Offaly draw against Dublin

O’Byrne Cup round-up: Tadhg McEneaney scored two goals in Louth win

Cian Johnston of Offaly is challenged by Dublin’s Seán McMahon and David Devereux during the Bord na Mona O’Byrne Cup game at  Parnell Park. Photograph: Oisin Keniry/Inpho

Cian Johnston of Offaly is challenged by Dublin’s Seán McMahon and David Devereux during the Bord na Mona O’Byrne Cup game at Parnell Park. Photograph: Oisin Keniry/Inpho

 

Dublin 1-13 Offaly 0-16

Offaly staged a great second-half rally to record a deserved draw with Dublin at Parnell Park in Wednesday night’s O’Byrne Cup encounter. A super individual display by Cian Johnson was instrumental in them securing the draw that gives them a great chance of progressing to the semi-finals.

A minor in 2017, the young Ferbane Leaving Certificate student kicked six points from play, including a brilliant equaliser three minutes from time.

Both sides had late chances to win, especially Offaly, but the draw gives them a great chance of progress. Having beaten Wexford by 16 points last Saturday, it now means Dublin must win by 17 in the south-east on Sunday.

Behind by three points with six minutes left, Offaly got the closing three points and will feel that they let it slip having dominated the second half.

In the first half, it looked like it would go as predicted. The home side were given plenty of food for thought by Offaly in the first 35 minutes but with Colm Basquel in great form in their forward line and his colleagues full of running and movement, scores came way easier to Dublin.

Offaly were too wasteful for their own good and it looked like they would pay a dear price for it. Offaly had first use of a fairly stiff wind in the first half but kicked 10 bad wides. Dublin in contrast were way more accurate. Offaly started well with the first two points but were then rocked by a brilliantly taken Basquel goal.

After this, the game followed a predictable pattern. Offaly huffed and puffed but struggled to break down Dublin. They got none of the space a generous Wexford granted them on Sunday and were behind by 1-4 to 0-3 after 17 minutes, 1-7 to 0-4 after 28 minutes and 1-8 to 0-6 at half time.

It left Offaly with a mountain to climb at the break but they played much better in the second half. While they continued to kick wides, they dominated possession for much of it and had it back to two points, 0-10 to 1-9 by the 46th minute. Dublin continued to pick off points on the break and looked like they would edge it until Offaly dug deep late on to get a result.

DUBLIN: A Bunyan; R McGowan, G Hannigan, B Howard; D Devereux, S McMahon, G Seaver (0-1); E O’Conghaile, A Elliott; K Doherty (0-1), C Basque (1-6, three frees), G O’Reilly; K O’Gara (0-1), S Carthy (0-3, one free), C Sallier.

Subs: C Carthy (0-1) for O’Gara (h/t), N Walsh for Doherty (41 mins), R Deegan for Elliott (49 mins), K Callaghan for Sallier (55 mins), S Ryan for O’Conaghaile (60 mins), E O’Brien for Howard (65 mins), C Doyle for S Carthy (72 mins).

OFFALY: A Mulhall; D Brady, J Lalor, D Hogan (0-1); D Dempsey, S Pender, C Donohue (0-1); C Dunne, S Nally; J Hayes (0-1), A Sullivan (0-2), M Brazil; B Allen, C Johnson (0-6), S Doyle.

Subs: P McConway for Lalor (14 mins), N Dunne (0-4, three frees) for Brazil (20 mins), C McNamee for C Dunne (h/t), J O’Connor (0-1) for Doyle (h/t), B O’Dea for Dempsey (Black card, 59 mins).

Referee: B Cawley (Kildare).

Kildare 0-9 Louth 2-11

Tadhg McEneaney scored two goals as Louth bounced back from an opening round O’Byrne Cup defeat to Longford to record their first win under new manager Pete McGrath in Newbridge.

Although they lost that first game, the benefits of it were clear to see as they tore into Kildare in the early stages.

With a strong wind at their back, Louth scored the game’s first three points before McEneaney slotted home his first goal in the seventh minute.

The nippy corner forward almost got a second goal when he shot off the Kildare crossbar in the 12th minute but just a minute later made no mistake at the second attempt after his first shot had been saved by Aaron O’Neill.

Kildare found it hard to make any headway going forward but three successive points from Neil Flynn in a four-minute spell got them back to within four points.

Niall Conlon’s injury time point left Louth 2-6 to 0-7 ahead at half-time.

The wind died down completely in the second half but the standard of play fell with it. The number of substitutions in the second half did neither team any favours and by the time Johnny Byrne kicked Kildare’s first point in the second half in the 65th minute, Louth had added four points to their tally.

It leaves Kildare with a mountain to climb in their final group game away to Longford on Sunday and they need to win by 11 points or more to reach a semi-final.

SCORERS Kildare: N Flynn 0-3, B McLoughlin 0-2 (both frees), L Flynn 0-1, K Flynn 0-1, J Byrne 0-1, C Healy 0-1. Louth: T McEneaney 2-0, A McDonnell 0-2, J Butler 0-2 (two frees), T Durnin 0-2 (one free), B Duffy 0-1, G McSorley 0-1, N Conlon 0-1, R Holcroft 0-1, W Woods 0-1.

KILDARE: A O’Neill; M Kelly, P Kelly, E Powderly; D Courtney, J Byrne, K Flynn; K Feely, L Flynn; F Conway, D Slattery, M Sherry; B McLoughlin, C Healy, C McNally.

Subs: E Doyle for Byrne (17 mins); N Flynn for McNally (23 mins); K Cribbin for Healy (32 mins); Healy for Cribbin (h/t); T Moolick for Feely (44 mins, b/c); J Byrne for Courtney (45 mins); K Cribbin for Sherry (45 mins); C O’Donoghue for Powderly (51 mins); F Dowling for McLoughlin (52 mins); P Connell for L Flynn (53 mins).

LOUTH: C Lynch; A Smith, E Carolan, J Craven; E Keenan, B Duffy, D Marks; R Grufferty, T Durnin; J Butler, A McDonnell, G McSorley; T McEneaney, B Flanagan, N Conlon.

Subs: J McEneaney for Flanagan (h/t); R Holcroft for Conlon (48 mins); R Nally for Grufferty (48 mins); A Khan for Keenan (57 mins); W Woods for Butler (59 mins); C Downey for McEneaney (59 mins); P Reilly for Durnin (68 mins); M Keane for McSorley (70 mins); C Ward for Marks (70 mins).

Referee: F Smyth (Offaly).

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