Allianz Football League Division 3: Derry 1-12, Offaly 1-10.
Offaly produced a spirited second half display but left themselves with too much to do against Derry in Bord na Mona O’Connor Park on Sunday.
Despite this defeat, Offaly remain in Division 3 for next season and now look forward to hosting Carlow in the Leinster Senior Football Championship next Sunday.
Danny Tallon and Shane McGuigan (twice) were on target early on Derry raced into a 0-3 to 0-1 lead after ten minutes. Ciaran McFaul and McGuigan doubled Derry’s lead by the water break, as John Maughan’s side continued to struggle with the high intensity of the Ulster men.
Danny Talon and Enda Lynn gave Derry a six-point lead as they threatened to race away to a big win, but Offaly gave themselves some hope when Aaron Leavy hit the net three minutes from the break. But there was still time for Derry to hit back and Ethan Doherty goaled, while further points from Derry meant they led by eight points at half time (1-9 to 1-1).
Offaly’s challenge was far from over though. Substitute, Anton Sullivan hit a couple of early points in the half, and although Chrissy McKaigue kicked a good score for Derry, three in a row from Niall McNamee meant Offaly only trailed by four with 13 minutes remaining.
While Offaly had Eoin Carroll sent off after a second yellow card offence, McNamee cut the lead to three points in the 62nd minute, but Ethan Doherty’s late score made sure of the Derry win.
Louth and Leitrim were relegated from this Division for 2021.
Offaly: Paddy Dunican (0-1, f); Declan Hogan, Eoin Rigney, Niall Darby; Eoin Carroll (0-1, f), John Moloney, Joseph O’Connor; Aaron Leavy (1-0), Jordan Hayes; Shane Horan, Ruairi McNamee, Cathal Mangan; Cian Farrell (0-1, f), Peter Cunningham, Bernard Allen.
Subs used: Rory Egan, Anton Sullivan (0-2), Niall McNamee (0-5, 4f), Conor McNamee, Colm Doyle.