Offaly scrape by Carlow to set up winner takes all clash

Shane Dooley was the difference here as he hit 1-10 to seal a very nervy round-robin win

Offaly 1-17 Carlow 2-11

A paltry attendance of 950 people watched Offaly dig deep to just about edge Carlow for a desperately needed win in the Leinster Senior Hurling Championship on Saturday.

With the repercussions from their first round mauling by Westmeath still reverberating throughout the county, Offaly gave more food for thought as they struggled to get the win that leaves them still in the hunt for a quarter-final place as they gear up for a winner takes all tussle with Kerry.

Shane Dooley was the difference here as his 1-10 separated the sides and without him, Offaly would more than likely have lost. His haul included a '65', a sideline and 1-2 from play and his performance was the one shining light on another testing afternoon for Offaly.


Carlow were very close to getting a draw here but they contributed to their own downfall with Diarmuid Byrne and sub, Hugh Paddy O’Byrne receiving straight reds inside the last five minutes while goalkeeper Brian Treacy also received a red just after the final whistle.

Carlow put it up to Offaly with the wind on their back in the first half and they went into a quick 0-5 to 0-1 lead. Offaly got four on the trot from Dooley to level it up and Joe Bergin put them ahead for the first time in the 16th minute. Ross Smithers' 29th minute goal helped Carlow to a 1-7 to 0-9 interval lead.

Carlow missed a lot of good chances at the start of the second half, registering five quick wides while also spurning a goal chance. They took the lead with a 44th minute goal from Sean Murphy but Shane Dooley hit back instantly for Offaly to level it up at 1-10 to 2-7.

It was nip and tuck from here to the finish. Offaly went three points ahead twice but couldn’t push on and with eight minutes left, there was just a point in it before injury time scores from James Mulrooney and Joe Bergin sealed it for a very relieved home side.

OFFALY: J Dempsey; P Rigney, D Shortt, C McDonald; D Mooney, S Gardiner, D King; P Camon, S Cleary; S Kinsella, J Bergin (0-2, 1f), C Kiely; P Murphy (0-2), S Dooley (1-10, 6f, 1 '65' and 1 sideline), K Connolly (0-1). Subs - J Mulrooney (0-2) for Kiely (46m), P Guinan for Cleary (56m), J Sampson for Connolly (58m).

CARLOW: B Treacy; G Coady, M Ryan, A Corcoran; D Byrne (0-1), R Coady, J O'Hara; J Doyle (0-3), R Kelly; S Murphy (1-2), M Kavanagh, K McDonald (0-2, 1f); J Nolan (0-1), S Murphy (0-1), R Smithers (1-0).

Subs - D Murphy (0-1, f) for McDonald (46m), H O’Byrne for Nolan (59m), C Lawlor for Kelly (69m).

Referee - J McGrath (Westmeath).