Jack Bryant stars as Offaly hold off Cork comeback to seal spot U20 final

Full forward scores 2-4 including vital injury-time goal in Portloaise

Offaly 3-10 Cork 0-14

Offaly qualified for the All-Ireland under-20 football final with a drama-packed win over Cork in Portlaoise. While it took an injury-time goal from man-of-the-match Jack Bryant to clinch Offaly's win, they were full value for it and were the better side over the course of the hour plus.

Offaly turned in a quite superb first half. The sides were level at 0-2 each after 12 minutes but then Offaly got on top in every sector and ran Cork ragged.

They were 0-3 to 0-2 ahead at the water break and then missed two great goal chances in the space of a minute. First full back Tom Hyland blazed wide after a great move and then Bryant was off target from close range. It didn't bother Offaly and they kept charging forward. Bryant got two points, one from a free, and then brought their support to their feet with a sensational 25th-minute goal after a Cathal Flynn crossfield pass.


Lee Pearson and Bryant added points before Cork ended a long scoreless streak with Michael O’Neill’s injury-time free which left Offaly leading by 1-7 to 0-3 at the break.

Offaly went 1-9 to 0-3 ahead early in the second half but Cork showed their quality after this. They had the gap back to 1-9 to 0-8 when a clinically taken 44th-minute Cathal Flynn goal put Offaly back in the driving seat,

As mistakes crept into Offaly's game, Cork got six of the next seven points, with David Buckley punishing every foul, to trail by just two with four minutes left. They couldn't manufacture a goal, however, and that 63rd-minute Bryant goal got a jubilant Offaly across the line.

OFFALY: S O'Toole; A Brazil, T Hyland, L Pearson (0-1); R Egan, J Furlong, F Dempsey; E Cullen, M Tynan (0-1, free); C Flynn (1-0), O Keenan-Martin, C Donoghue; C Egan (0-1), J Bryant (2-4, two frees), A Kellaghan (0-2, one mark). Subs: K O'Neill (0-1) for Tynan (45 mins), C Delaney for Kellaghan (51).

CORK: G Creedon; C O'Donovan, D Phelan, C McGoldrick; A Walsh-Murphy, T Walsh, D Cashman; B Hayes (0-2, one free, one 45), C O'Sullivan (0-3); M O'Neill (0-1, free), J Cahalane, N Hartnett; D Dorgan (0-1, free), C Walsh (0-2), D Buckley (0-5, four frees, 1 mark).

Subs: S McDonnell for Dorgan (29 mins), S O'Sullivan for O'Neill (33), D Holland for Walsh-Murphy (39), E Nash for Hartnett (45), J Kelleher for Walsh (52).

Referee: L Devenney (Mayo).