Christy Ring Cup Round 2B: Offaly 0-32, Derry 1-12
Offaly got their Christy Ring Cup campaign up and running at the second attempt on Saturday, 7th November, and enjoyed a hassle-free victory over Derry at Newry.
Forced to concede the first round game versus Kildare due to Covid-19 guidelines, Michael Fennelly’s side convincingly progressed to a semi-final against Down or Kildare.
Michael Fennelly’s side had a big spread of scorers, with Birr sharp-shooter Eoghan Cahill finishing with an impressive tally of 17 points.
After the game, the former Kilkenny star emphasised the effort being put in by all the Offaly panel. “We brought on five subs, we’ve a good panel. We brought 26 today, and had nine left at home. It was one of the hardest decisions I had to make in a long time, only bringing 26. Those players at home will be gearing towards training next Tuesday and for me it’s a black canvas again. We’re very much a unit and the players left behind could be in our plans next week.”
Crucially, Offaly started well in the south Down venue, with some well-taken points clipped over by several players including Liam Langton, Eoghan Cahill, Peter Geraghty, Colm Gath and Oisin Kelly. At the first water break, Offaly led by 0-8 to 0-3 and by the interval had built up a 0-16 to 0-6 cushion, with full back Ben Conneely and centre forward Jason Sampson also getting on the scoresheet.
Derry tried to cut the gap through their free-takers, but Offaly only briefly came under pressure with the concession of a 42nd minute goal to Richie Mullen. At that stage, the Faithful County still led by 0-18 to 1-9, and hit back with further frees by Eoghan Cahill and substitutes Sean Cleary, Thomas Geraghty and Brian Duignan also raised white flags.
Offaly’s back line were rarely troubled and Derry were further affected by the second half dismissal of one of their defenders. Michael Fennelly said it will be back to work next Tuesday evening, with the semi-final coming up in seven days’ time.
Offaly Scorers: Eoghan Cahill 0-17 (12f and 1 ’65’), Liam Langton 0-3, Oisin Kelly, Colm Gath and Peter Geraghty 0-2 each, Ben Conneely, Jason Sampson, David Nally, Sean Cleary, Brian Duignan and Thomas Geraghty 0-1 each.
Derry Scorers: Cormac O’Doherty 0-8 (8f)m, Richie Mullan 1-0, Fintan Bradley 0-2, Conor Kelly and Jerome McGuigan 0-1 each.
OFFALY: Stephen Corcoran (Coolderry); Damien Egan (Belmont), Ben Conneely (St Rynagh’s), Paddy Delaney (Kinnitty); Dan Doughan (Shinrone), Cillian Kiely (Kilcormac-Killoughey), David King (Coolderry); Eoghan Cahill (Birr), David Nally (Belmont); Shane Kinsella (Kinnitty), Jason Sampson (Shinrone), Peter Geraghty (Kilcormac-Killoughey); Colm Gath (Drumcullen), Oisin Kelly (Belmont), Liam Langton (Clodiagh Gaels). Subs – Thomas Geraghty (Kilcomac/Killoughey) for Kinsella (45m), Brian Duignan (Durrow) for Peter Geraghty (53m), Ciaran Burke (Durrow) for Doughan (57m), Sean Cleary (Shinrone) for Kelly (65m), Aidan Treacy (St Rynagh’s) for Nally (67m),
DERRY: Sean Kelly; Paddy Kelly, Brian McGilligan, John Mullan; Sean Cassidy, Eamon McGill, Mark Craig; Conor Kelly, Eoghan Cassidy; Fintan Bradley, Mark McGuigan, Se McGuigan; Richie Mullan, Cormac O’Doherty, Paul Cleary. Subs – Sean Osaiside for Cleary (30m), Jerome McGuigan for Se McGuigan (H/T), Patrick Turner for Bradley (47m), Chris Henry for Mark McGuigan, 57m), Thomas Brady for McGill (66m),
Referee – Colum Cunning.