Clinical Offaly too strong for battling Antrim

Three first-half goals prove key to Faithful County victory

Michael Fennelly: Offaly boss saw his charges record a win over Antrim at Tullamore: Photograph: Ken Sutton/Inpho

Michael Fennelly: Offaly boss saw his charges record a win over Antrim at Tullamore: Photograph: Ken Sutton/Inpho

 

Offaly 3-18 Antrim 0-21

The conversion of goal chances was the difference as Offaly edged out Antrim in a high-scoring Walsh Cup shoot-out in Tullamore on Sunday afternoon.

Antrim had the better of proceedings in general play but Offaly took three goal chances while the visitors missed a few.

Goalkeeper Stephen Corcoran was in great form for Offaly, making a couple of good saves in open play and saving a second-half penalty from Neil McManus while McManus also hit a rocket against the crossbar.

Antrim will feel that they played well enough to have got something from the game but Offaly will be glad of the win as they prepare for life in Division One hurling.

A scrambled Luke Nolan goal helped Offaly to a 1-7 to 0-4 lead in the first half as Antrim missed good chances. Nolan got a second goal against te run of play in the second quarter and a brilliantly finished strike by Eimhin Kelly gave the home side a 3-12 to 0-10 half time lead.

It was a big lead and Offaly needed it all as Antrim forced them onto the backfoot in the second half. They had a lot of play as both sides ran in a spate of clubs but the goal they needed didn’t materialise.

Corcoran saved twice from Sean Elliott and the closest Antrim could get to was four points as Offaly held on for the win.

OFFALY: S Corcoran (0-1, f); P Delaney, C Burke, J Screeney; C Molloy (0-1), D King, P Clancy; A Cleary (0-1), L Fox; B Duignan (0-1), E Kelly (1-1), E Parlon; D Nally (0-12, 10f), J Sampson, L Nolan (2-0). Subs: C Butler for Burke (ht), C Burke for Duignan (ht), S Ryan for Fox (48), J Murphy for Kelly (48), P Guinan for Screeney (54); M Watkins for Nolan (54); C Langton for Sampson (54), E Cahill (0-1) for Parlon (63), K Sampson for Clancy (66)

ANTRIM:P McMullan; R McGarry, G Walsh, S Rooney; S Walsh (0-1), P Burke, R McCambridge; E Campbell (0-1), D McKernan; J McNaughton, C Johnston, K Molloy (0-3); D Murphy, C Cunning (0-2), C Clarke (0-7, 6f). Subs:N O’Connor for McGarry (12m), N McManus (0-6, 2f) for Murphy (half-time), D Kearney for Rooney (half-time), S Elliot for Johnston (half-time), J Maskey for McKernan (47), M Bradley for McCambridge (47), E O’Neill (0-1) for Clarke (52), C Bohill for Cunning (52),

Referee: G McGrath (Wexford).

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