O’Byrne Cup: Fagan twists as Westmeath peg back Offaly
Fine late point earns draw in Mullingar, 14-man Louth prove too good for Wicklow
Ger Egan helped Westmeath to an O’Byrne Cup draw with Offaly. Photograph: Tommy Grealy/Inpho
A fine point deep into added-time from Westmeath’s Paddy Fagan earned his side a deserved draw against Offaly in an entertaining O’Byrne Cup encounter played in St Loman’s Lakepoint Park in Mullingar on Saturday.
There was very little between the teams in a hard-fought first-half, at the end of which the visitors led by 0-6 to 0-4. Four of Offaly’s points came from placed balls - two each from Bernard Allen,the first after he had claimed a mark, and Shane Tierney. For Westmeath, lively wing forward Fagan scored a fine brace from open play.
With both of their half-time substitutes, Ger Egan and Ronan O’Toole, regularly to the fore, Westmeath fought back to lead at the end of the third quarter by 0-8 to 0-6. However, with corner forwards Allen and Tierney on song it looked like Offaly would edge a competitive game until Egan teed up Fagan for a last-gasp equaliser.
Westmeath: E Carberry; N O’Reilly, R Wallace, K Daly; S Duncan, K Martin (0-2, one free), D Lynch; S Flanagan, N Mulligan; A McGivney, C McCormack, P Fagan (0-4); J Maxwell (0-1), J Halligan, T McDaniel. Subs: G Egan (0-1, free) for McGivney (half-time), R O’Toole (0-3, one free) for McDaniel (half-time), G Leech for McCormack (44), D Giles for Maxwell (45), S Pettit for Flanagan (51), B Sayeh for Daly (69), N Cully for Mulligan (70).
Offaly: B Rohan; D Hogan, D Dempsey, E Rigney; C Donohoe, P McConway, J O’Connor; C Mangan, A Leavy; N Bracken, A Sullivan (0-1), N Darby (0-1); B Allen (0-5, three frees), J Moloney, S Tierney (0-4, four frees). Subs: M Abbott for Bracken (51), C Horan for Mangan (51), K Higgins for Leavy (60), C Carroll for Sullivan (70).
Referee: D Fedigan (Louth).
Down a man after 12 minutes, Louth still proved too good for a feeble Wicklow side on Saturday, winning by eight points in the O’Byrne cup at Bray.
Louth wing back Anthony Williams was red carded for a rash tackle on corner-back Jamie Snell, but Wicklow were still unable to turn numerical strength to their advantage.
Wicklow started positively with two quick points by Conor McGraynor (free) and Padraig O’Toole, but the only other time they seriously challenged Louth was nearing half-time when corner-forward Gearoid Murphy fired a rasper to the net to cut the deficit to a single point, 1-5 to 1-4.
The Louth goal came after eight minutes when John Clutterbuck fired into the net at the far post. The goal - added to points from Ryan Burns, Sam Mulroy J Craven and Jim McEneaney - gave the visitors a narrow 1-8 to 1-6 lead at the break.
As in the first-half Wicklow went 15 minutes of the second without a score, notching only one point by Fintan O’Shea in the third quarter.
At the other end Anthony Williams, Tommy Durnin, Declan Byrne, Sam Mulroy and Conor Earley kept the scoreboard tickling over for Louth as they eased their way to a comfortable victory.
Louth: F Sheeky, H Osborne, D Corcoran, J Craven (0-1), A Williams (0-1), B Duffy, J Clutterbuck (1-2), T Durnin(0-1, free), C Earley (0-1), C McKeever, A McDonnell, R Moore, R Burns (0-4, four frees), S Mulroy (0-4), J McEneaney (0-1). Subs: R Conlon for R Burns, R Holcroft for C McKeever, T McEneaney for S Mulroy, D Byrne (0-2) for J McEneaney, D Marks for Craven, C Downey for R Moore, and F Donoghue for Clutterbuck.
Wicklow: R Lambert, J Snell, R O’Brien, T Maher, D Fitzgerald, S Mooney, F O’Shea (0-1), D Healy, C McGraynor (0-1, free), P O’Toole (0-1), A McLoughlin (0-1), R Finn (0-4, 3 frees), G Murphy (1-0), C O’Brien, P O’Connor. Subs: K Kirwan for J Snell, M Jackson for R Lambert, C Healy for D Fitzgerald, N Meldon for C O’Brien, J Snell for T Maher, R Davis (0-1) for G Murphy, C O’Shea for A McLoughlin, M Mangan for P O’Connor, M Fitzsimons for S Mooney. S Mooney for D Healy
Referee: P Maguire (Longford).