Leinster Minor Football Championship quarter-final
Offaly 2-9, Wicklow 0-9
Goals from Alex Egan on the stroke of half time and Cormac Egan three minutes from full time were the crucial scores as Offaly defeated Wicklow in the Leinster Minor Football Championship quarter-final at Bord na Mona O’Connor Park.
Offaly waited until two weeks before Christmas before eventually getting their championship season underway against a Wicklow side that had already eliminated Longford.
Conditions were fine for football and the teams served up a tight and tense battle which hung in the balance until the closing stages.
The opening quarter began in a lively manner, but there wasn’t an abundance of scores, with Keith O’Neill (two) and Jamie Guing ensuring Offaly held a 0-3 to 0-2 advantage after 16 minutes.
Wicklow soon edged ahead with a couple of Eoin Doyle frees, but Offaly responded with another excellent score from Keith O’Neill and then Alex Egan’s goal came at the best possible time before the interval.
Early in the second half, Jamie Guing stretched the gap to four points, but the visitors then hit four in a row to tie the scores (1-5 to 0-8). A ‘black card’ shown to one of the Wicklow players stalled their momentum and Offaly took advantage, with Guing, John Furlong and Cormac Egan all on target.
There were still only two points between the sides before Cormac Egan burst through for a decisive goal in the 57th minute and Jamie Guing wrapped it up late on.
Offaly: Jamie Guing 0-4, Cormac Egan 1-1, Alex Egan 1-0, Keith O’Neill 0-3, John Furlong 0-1.
Wicklow: Eoin Doyle 0-7 (6f), Tom Keogh and Liam O’Neill 0-1 each.
OFFALY: David Dunican (Ferbane); Diarmuid Finneran (Ballinagar), Tom Hyland (Bracknagh), Ciaran Conroy (Gracefield); David Dempsey (Clonbullogue), Cathal Ryan (Daingean), Geordi O’Meara (Ballinagar); John Furlong (Tullamore), Harry Plunkett (Tullamore); Marcus Dalton (Clara), Alex Egan (Clara), Padraig Robbins (Tubber); Jamie Guing (Clonbullogue), Keith O’Neill (Clonbullogue), Cormac Egan (Tullamore). Subs – Joe Bergin (Edenderry) forPlunkett (51m), Sean Finneran (St Rynagh’s for Alex Egan (51m), Patrick Taaffe (Ferbane) for Hyland (51m), Luka Myer (Durrow) for Cormac Egan (59m),
WICKLOW: Jack Sargent; Matt Nolan, Luke O’Brien, Austin Brennan; Noah Sheridan, Liam O’Neill, Mikey O’Rourke; Daniel Cooney, Jack Kirwan; Cathal Baker, Joe Pendergast, Finn Treacy; Tom Keogh, Eoin Doyle, John Paul Nolan. Subs – Conor Fee for Brennan (50m),
Referee – Gary Hurley (Westmeath).