Offaly 0-41 Derry 2-14
Offaly scored 41 times in the Christy Ring Cup final at Croke Park and still cursed themselves for the ones they missed, summing up how far ahead of the pack they were in this season's competition.
Surprisingly beaten by Down in last year’s semi-finals, Michael Fennelly’s ambitious side came back with a bang in 2021, winning all eight competitive games they played to secure promotion in both the league and the championship.
Free-taker Eoghan Cahill scored 0-13 while Oisín Kelly and John Murphy struck a dozen points from play between them with 13 different scorers overall.
Despite all of that, they failed to hit the net, butchered a couple of goal chances and blasted 12 wides. Still, to describe this as a contest would be wrong with 10 Offaly points in a row between the sixth and 17th minutes effectively putting the tie to bed early.
Offaly only broke even in the second quarter as Gerald Bradley sniped 1-1 for Derry but they still led 0-19 to 1-7 at half-time.
Without leaving third gear, Offaly piled on the points in the second half and subs, including veteran Shane Dooley, contributed 0-7 between them. Derry lost Brian Cassidy in stoppage time following a second booking.
“Where are we at the moment?” asked Offaly manager Fennelly.”We’re definitely down the line but we’re going in the right direction.”
OFFALY: C Clancy; D King, C Burke, P Delaney; D Treacy (0-3), B Conneely (0-1), K Sampson (0-1); L Fox (0-2), R Ravenhill; J Sampson (0-1), L Langton (0-1), B Duignan; E Cahill (0-13, nine frees), J Murphy (0-5), O Kelly (0-7).
Subs: L O'Connor (0-2) for Langton (45), E Kelly for Fox (50), S Kinsella (0-2) for J Sampson (55), S Dooley (0-2, two frees) for Duignan (59), D Egan (0-1) for Cahill (62).
DERRY: O O'Doherty; M McGrath, D McCloskey, S Cassidy; B McGilligan, R Mullan (0-1), J Mullan; E Cassidy, C O'Doherty (0-5,five frees); M McGuigan, G Bradley (1-1), D Foley (0-1); B Cassidy (0-3), S McGuigan, O McKeever (1-1).
Subs: S Cassidy (0-2) for S McGuigan (46), P Nelis for E Cassidy (50), B Laverty for Foley (62), R McWilliams for McCloskey (66).
Referee: T Gleeson (Dublin).