Allianz national Football League Division Three (South)
Offaly 0-16, Limerick 1-11
Kevin Egan at Bord na Móna O’Connor Park
Strong contributions from the substitutes bench were crucial for Offaly as they edged out Limerick by two points in a Division Three contest in Tullamore this afternoon that never really caught fire.
Despite playing with the aid of a slight breeze in the first half, Limerick would have been the happier side to go in level at 0-5 each. Two close range saves from Donal O’Sullivan prevented Offaly goals, while Joe Maher also crashed a penalty off the post for the home side.
Limerick took their first lead of the game through a Hugh Bourke goal after 39 minutes and with Danny Neville showing much more energy up front, winning a series of frees, what followed was a nip and tuck half hour where the sides traded scores.
In the end however, Offaly’s ability to spring scorers off the bench proved crucial as Shane Horan and Cian Farrell each added a brace, then two more from Niall McNamee in the closing minutes were enough to seal the win.
The result puts Offaly top of the table with two wins from two outings, but they may need at least a draw at home to Tipperary next Saturday to guarantee a place in the semi-finals.
Scorers for Offaly: B Allen 0-5, S Horan, R McNamee, C Farrell & N McNamee 0-2 each, J Maher, A Sullivan & E Carroll 0-1 each
Scorers for Limerick: H Bourke 1-4 (0-2f, 0-1m), J Ryan 0-3f, G Brown, R Childs, D Neville 0-1 each.
OFFALY: P Dunican; N Darby, D Hogan, E Rigney; C Doyle, J Moloney, J Hayes; E Carroll, P Cunningham; B Carroll, D Dempsey, A Sullivan; B Allen, J Maher, R McNamee.
Subs: J Lalor for Hogan (24), C Farrell for Maher (HT), S Horan for B Carroll (HT), N McNamee for Sullivan (55), C Stewart for Dempsey (65), R Egan for Doyle (65), C Donnelly for Rigney (65).
LIMERICK: D O’Sullivan; S O’Dea, B Fanning, M Donovan; T McCarthy, R Childs, G Brown; D Treacy, T Childs; B Donovan, I Corbett, C Sheehan; C Fahy, D Neville, H Bourke.
Subs: P Maher for McCarthy (HT), J Ryan for Sheehan (HT), P Nash for B Donovan (55), L Murphy for Brown (61), G Stack for Bourke (69), A Enright for Fahy (69).
Referee: J Gilmartin (Sligo)