OFFALY 0-13 UCD 0-12
Offaly lived dangerously before claiming the points in their opening O’Byrne Cup game in O’Connor Park.
UCD will be wondering how they didn’t manage to claim at least a share of the spoils as they missed some decent chances in the last quarter.
By contrast, Offaly survived on scraps in the second half but did enough to grind out the win. The new rules resulted in plenty of interest but only UCD's Conor Downey received a black card for a foot block fourteen minutes from time. It was very much a game of two halves with Offaly the better side by a long distance in the opening period.
Offaly quickly went into a 0-3 to no score lead. UCD reduced arrears to two points, 0-4 to 0-2 after 11 minutes but Offaly responded very well as they upped the pressure.
With the outstanding Peter Cunningham orchestrating affairs in attack and Eoin Carroll working hard in defence, Offaly fully deserved their 0-10 to 0-5 interval lead.
In the second half, UCD took over in all sectors. They scored the first three points without reply and with ten minutes left they were back on level terms, 0-11 each.
However, they couldn’t push home their advantage and in that second half, missing three very good goal chances and some point chances.
Offaly hung on for dear life and Nigel Dunne, superb from frees all afternoon, gave them the initiative with two pointed ones inside the last five minutes. Ryan Basquel cut it to the minimum with a point that could have been a goal but Offaly held on for victory.
OFFALY: A Mulhall; D Brady, P McConway, J O'Connor; E Carroll (0-1), S Delaney, N Darby; J Brickland, R Allen; G Guilfoyle (0-1), P Cunningham, C Hurley (0-2); N Dunne 0-6, 5f), J Maloney (0-1), N McNamee (0-2). Subs: C Egan for Delaney (43m), K Casey for Maloney (53m), N Smith for Brickland (55m), P Sullivan for Hurley (68), D Kelly for Allen (69).
UCD: JB Carty; O Fitzpatrick, R Tierney, A English; C Lenehan, P Reilly (0-1), D Devereux; M O'Hanlon, J Heslin (0-3, 2f); E Monaghan, P Mannion (0-2, 2f), J Tooher (0-2, 1 '45'); R Basquel (0-1), M Hughes, P Kingston (0-2). Subs: A Murphy for Devereux (H/t), C Downey for Monaghan (H/t), P O'Harnan for Lenehan (H/t), R Tone for O'Hanlon (47m), D Byrne for Fitzpatrick (50m), S McEntee (0-1) for Downey (Black card) 56m).
Referee: M Deegan (Laois).