Allianz Hurling League Division 2A
Offaly 5-25, Down 1-19
Offaly will be competing in Division one of the hurling league in 2022 after securing promotion with a high scoring win over Down in Bord na Mona O’Connor Park
They hit five goals but should have had more as they ravaged the Down defence from start to finish.
Oisin Kelly, Liam Langton and Eoghan Cahill were all on top scoring form as the Faithful County booked their passage at the top table of league hurling.
Offaly got the dream start to the game as Brian Duignan got the ball from the throw in, headed straight for goals and dispatched to the roof of the net.
Offaly looked razor sharp and with Jason Sampson firing over three points before the 15th minute, Offaly were cruising leading 1-7 to 0-3.
Eoghan Cahill and Liam Langton both sent over fine points before Langton drove home Offaly’s second goal with a super individual effort to leave it 2-9 to 0-5 after 20 minutes.
Down were struggling to make any inroads with the free taking of Paul Sheehan their main scoring threat.
With 23 minutes on the clock, Offaly registered their third goal of the half as Oisin Kelly read the breaking ball, looped in behind the full back and fired home from close range.
Ryan McCusker did get a late point for Down but Offaly were cruising at the break leading 3-11 to 0-8.
Offaly extended their advantage early in the second half with points from John Murphy and Eoghan Cahill while Cahill also saw a penalty saved from Down keeper Stephen Keith.
Down did get a mini lifeline on 45 minutes after Conor Woods rifled home a penalty and Offaly’s David King was sent to the sin bin for 10 minutes.
At 3-15 to 1-10, Down had a chance but that chance went five minutes later as Oisin Kelly meandered through the defence, laid off to Liam Langton and he made no mistake in finding the back of the net.
Offaly were awarded another penalty on 54 minutes and this time Cahill made sure with a thunderous shot to the top corner to make it 5-16 to 1-13 at the water break.
The scoring dried up in the final quarter and as both sides emptied the bench, but Offaly were home and hosed long before that.
Offaly Scorers: E Cahill 1-11 (1-0 pen, 0-4f and 0-2 ‘65’s), L Langton 2-3, J Sampson and J Murphy 0-3 each, O Kelly and B Duignan 1-0 each, K Sampson, L Fox, A Treacy (free), S Dooley and D Nally 0-1 each.
Scorers for Down: P Sheehan 0-5 (0-4f and 0-1 ‘65’), O McManus (0-3f) and R Costello 0-4 each, C Woods 1-0 pen, E Sands 0-3, D Hughes, P McCrickard and R McCusker 0-1 each
Offaly: C Clancy; P Delaney, C Burke, D King; J Keenaghan, B Conneely, K Sampson; L Fox, R Ravenhill; J Sampson, L Langton, B Duignan; O Kelly, S Kinsella, E Cahill. Subs: J Murphy for S Kinsella (38-40 blood), J Murphy for B Duignan (44), D Nally for L Fox (59), A Treacy for J Keenaghan (59), C Langton for S Kinsella (59), P Guinan for P Delaney (62), S Dooley for R Ravenhill (62), L O’Connor for J Sampson (67)
Down: S Keith, M Hughes, C Cassidy, C Taggart; M Conlon, C Woods, L Savage; D Hughes, E Sands; P McCrickard, R McCusker; R Costello; D Sands, P Sheehan, J Doran. Subs: P Savage for J Doran (25), G Hughes for M Hughes (54), M Fisher for P McCrickard (54), O McManus for P Sheehan (54), PJ Davidson for D Hughes (61), R Campbell for R McCusker (61), D Og Rooney for C Cassidy (69).
Referee: S Hynes (Galway)