Leinster Senior Football Championship: Offaly 3-14, Carlow 0-20
By Brian Lowry (gaa.ie)
Offaly are through to face Kildare in the Leinster football quarter final after the came through a dogged encounter with Carlow in Tullamore.
Their three goals were crucial with their opening brace in the opening half giving them a three point cushion at the break while Bernard Allen’s green flag in the second half a big body blow to the Carlow men.
Carlow were never too far away and they came back strong at the death but in the end fell just short and they now exit the championship.
Despite Carlow taking the lead in the second minute, it was Offaly who made the first significant move off the opening half.
Chris Blake had no sooner kicked the opening score for Carlow when Niall McNamee palmed a Bernard Allen delivery to the net to kick start the Offaly challenge in the second minute.
Offaly failed to push on from that though and points from Blake and the impressive Ross Dunphy levelled the game on six minutes.
Bernard Allen was showing well for the home side and he landed a free and a mark to put Offaly back into the lead.
By the time the sides got to the water break, they were level with placed balls from Paul Broderick bringing it to 1-2 to 0-5 after 18 minutes.
Straight after the water break, Offaly struck for goal number two. A superb team move saw Offaly move through the lines with Jordan Hayes striking to the top corner of the net.
Again, the Carlow response was impressive and they outscored Offaly 0-4 to 0-1 in the next 10 minutes to leave them level again after 30 minutes.
Offaly finished the half stronger and points from Anton Sullivan, Allen and Niall McNamee saw them three clear at half time – 2-6 to 0-9.
Carlow spurned an excellent goal chance at the start of the second half but they did manage to close the gap with points from Paul Broderick, Darragh Foley and Jordan Morrissey making it a three point game with 20 minutes to go.
Offaly then put some clear daylight between the sides when Bernard Allen found the net after Colm Doyle’s original shot was saved. Allen followed that up with a point when the goal was on but at second half water break, they were in control at 3-10 to 0-13.
Carlow grabbed a lifeline with a penalty straight after the water break but Paul Broderick blazed over the bar.
Offaly hit the next three scores to put them eight points clear but Cathal Mangan’s point on 58 minutes would be their last until injury time.
Carlow ate into the Offaly lead and got it back to a two point game but Cian Farrell’s effort in injury time sealed a three point win for Offaly.
Offaly: Bernard Allen 1-4 (0-1f and 0-1 mark), Niall McNamee 1-2 (0-1f), C Farrell 0-4 (0-2f and 0-1 ‘45’), J Hayes 1-0, A Sullivan 0-2, P Cunningham and C Mangan 0-1 each.
Carlow: Paul Broderick 0-8 (0-5f, 0-1 ‘45’ and 0-1 pen), Chris Blake 0-3, Eoin Ruth, Darragh Foley (free), Ross Dunphy, Jordan Morrissey, Jamie Clarke, John Murphy, Sean Bambrick, Colm Hulton and Darragh Murphy (free) 0-1 each
Paddy Dunican; Declan Hogan, Eoin Rigney, Niall Darby; Eoin Carroll, Johnny Moloney, Colm Doyle; Aaron Leavy, Jordan Hayes; Shane Horan, Ruairi McNamee, Anton Sullivan; Bernard Allen, Peter Cunningham, Niall McNamee. Subs: Conor McNamee for Jordan Hayes (21m), Cathal Mangan for Shane Horan (24m), Cian Farrell for Aaron Leavy (30m), Joey O’Connor for Colm Doyle (54m)
Robbie Molloy; Sean Bambrick, Mikey Bambrick, Josh Moore; Jordan Morrissey, Mark Furey, John Murphy; Sean Gannon, Darragh Foley; Darragh O’Brien, Ross Dunphy, Eoin Ruth; Conor Crowley, Chris Blake, Paul Broderick. Subs: Jamie Clarke for Conor Crowley (42m), Darragh Murphy for Eoin Ruth (53m), Diarmuid Walshe for Darragh Foley (56m), Colm Hulton for Darragh O’Brien (62m), Danny Thompson for Paul Broderick (69m)
Referee: Fergal Kelly (Longford)