Offaly pick up first league win

Ruairi McNamee steers Offaly home against Louth

 Offaly’s Ruairi McNamee.

Offaly’s Ruairi McNamee.

 

Louth 2-10 Offaly 2-13

Two late points from Ruairi McNamee secured Offaly’s first victory in the National Football League while also keeping Louth winless at the Gaelic Grounds in Drogheda.

The Rhode sharpshooter’s composure in the game’s final act steered John Maughan’s side home and ended Louth’s hopes of a successful comeback.

When Conor Grimes bundled in Louth’s second goal, the home side made it a one point game having rallied from 12 points down early in the second half.

The introduction of Declan Byrne was key to Wayne Kierans side’s revival, kicking four scores from the bench and also assisting Grimes.

Offaly, with a notable wind at their backs, went in 2-7 to 0-3 the good at half time, the counter-attacking Anton Sullivan and McNamee finding the net. That strong opening half showing allowed Offaly to absorb whatever Louth would throw at them.

Grimes goal would be Louth’s last score of the match as McNamee’s composure contrasted dramatically to Louth’s, who would end the game with 13 men with Sam Mulroy and Tommy Durnin receiving their marching orders as their desperation for an equaliser boiled over into frustration.

Louth: C Lynch; D Corcoran, N Sharkey, D Campbell; E Callaghan (0-1), E Carolan, J Clutterbuck; J Califf, T Durnin; L Jackson (0-1), B Duffy (0-1), P Mathews; C Downey, C Grimes (1-1), S Mulroy (1-1, 0-1f). Subs: C McKeever for Duffy (24 mins), C Early (0-1) for Califf (36), D Byrne (0-4) for Sharkey (43), Eoghan Duffy for Jackson (56).

Offaly: P Dunican; C Doyle, E Rigney, D Hogan; E Carroll (0-3), D Dempsey, N Darby (0-1); C McNamee (0-1), M Brazil; C Mangan, C Donnelly, S Horan (0-1); A Sullivan (1-0), B Allen (0-3), R McNamee (1-4, 0-1f). Subs: C Donohoe for Donnelly (h-t), J Hayes for C McNamee (60), A Leavy for Sullivan (69), C Johnson for Allen (70+4).

Referee: P Faloon (Down)

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