(After extra time)
It was a battle of epic proportions as Offaly’s U20 Hurlers booked their place in the final four of the Bord Gáis Energy Leinster Hurling Championship when they saw off Dublin after extra time. In a game that had it all from edge of the seat to a nail biting finish, it now sees Offaly line up a semi final date with Wexford on 3rd July.
In what was a physically gripping contest, patrons were certainly enthralled until the final seconds when Ballinamere’s John Murphy landed the ball over the bar from a placed shot roughly 70 metres from goal.
A goal from Dublin’s Billy Ryan was looking worryingly like it was going to be the deference between the sides, but with Cathal Kiely contributing a whopping twenty points, this game was a gift that just kept giving.
Offaly in fact had pulled ahead by the slightest of margins three minutes into injury time but Cian Derwin who was credited with 15 points ensured that the game would go to extra time.
Offaly blew Dublin out of the water in the first half of extra time and with Conor Quinn landing the Faithful’s goal Offaly had carved themselves into a six point lead at the interval 1-28 to 1-22.
Cian Derwin cut the lead to five on the resumption before sub Matthew Dunne scored a great goal when rifling to the net and certainly it was a case of game on again, 1-28 to 2-23.
Derwin was on target twice more for the Dubs and suddenly the sides were level as the 80th minute ticked over.
It was Offaly however who had the last word with John Murphy turning late, late hero. The Final scores reading 1-29 to 2-25.
Offaly: Cathal Kiely 0-20 (0-16 Frees, 0-2 ’65’), Conor Langton 0-4, Conor Quinn 1-0, John Murphy 0-2 (0-1 Free), Ryan Hogan, Killian Sampson, David Nally 0-1 each.
Dublin: Cian Derwin 0-15 (0-12 Frees), Billy Ryan 1-2, Matthew Dunne 1-0, Kevin Desmond 0-2, Michael Conroy, Kevin Burke, Iain O hEithir, Diarmuid O Floinn, Luke McDwyer, Liam Murphy 0-1 each.
OFFALY: Eamonn Cleary; Conor Butler, Dara Maher, Ciaran Burke; Ryan Hogan, Ross Ravenhill, Killian Sampson; Joey Keeneghan, David Nally; Brian Duignan, Barry Kealey, Cathal Kiely; John Murphy, Cillia Ryan, Conor Langton. Subs: Conor Quinn for Cillian Ryan (52), Lochlann Kavanagh for David Nally (74), Sean Beatty for Killian Sampson (inj, 78), Cathal Brady for Brian Duignan (80).
DUBLIN: Conor O’Donoghue; Aandrew Dunphy, Tommy Kinnane, Jack Fagan; Iain Ó hEithir, Lee Gannon, Kevin Burke; Michael Conroy, David Keogh; Diarmuid Ó Floinn, Luke McDwyer, Cian Derwin; Billy Ryan, Sean Currie, Kevin Desmond. Subs: Eoin Carney for Jack Fagan (HT), Pearse Christie for Michael Conroy (42), Liam Murphy for Kevin Desmond (53), Alex O’Neill for Iain Ó hEithir (58), Matthew Dunne for Sean Currie (62), Ciaran Hogan for Luke McDwyer (69), James O’Connell for Billy Ryan (78).
REF: J Heffernan (Wexford).