Leinster Under 20 Football Championship: Offaly 1-10, Wexford 1-09
Offaly deservedly advanced to the Leinster Under 20 Football Championship semi-final with a one point win away to Wexford, and will meet Westmeath in the semi-final.
It looked set to be a comfortable win for Declan Kelly’s side when leading 1-10 to 0-6 after 47 minutes. However, the home side hit 1-3 without reply in the closing stages and almost forced extra-time.
Nevertheless, Offaly were the better team and will look forward to a semi-final meeting with Westmeath, who defeated Longford in a penalty shoot-out.
Offaly led from start to finish in Chadwicks Wexford Park on a lovely evening for football. With Morgan Tynan dominating at midfield, early points were scored by Cormac Delaney and Aaron Kellaghan.
Wexford depended on frees to stay in touch, but Morgan Tynan (free), Aaron Kellaghan (mark) and Jack Bryant left Offaly leading 0-5 to 0-2 at the first half water break. Tynan and Bryant added another point each as the half time score read 0-7 to 0-3.
Wexford improved with the breeze at their backs in the second half and reduced the gap with two early points.
The key score for Offaly came in the 34th minute, when Jack Bryant fired a penalty to the net after Morgan Tynan was fouled. Full-forward Bryant and Cormac Delaney (free) ensured Offaly led by 1-9 to 0-6 at the second half water break. Offaly’s final point was a fisted effort from Cathal Flynn, but the pressure mounted from then on.
Even allowing for Wexford’s comeback, there were some outstanding performances in the Offaly defence and midfield, so they will have a fighting chance against an impressive Westmeath side who have already ousted Kildare and Longford.
Offaly: Jack Bryant 1-3 (goal from a penalty), Morgan Tynan (1f), Cormac Delaney (2f) and Aaron Kellaghan (1m) 0-2 each, Cathal Flynn 0-1.
Wexford: Shane Pettitt 1-5 (5f), Anthony Larkin 0-2 (2f), Jack O’Leary (m) and Joe Curtis 0-1 each.
OFFALY: Sean O’Toole (Shamrock); Fionn Dempsey (Bracknagh), Kieran Dolan (Shamrocks), Lee Pearson (Edenderry); Rory Egan (Edenderry), John Furlong (Tullamore), Aaron Brazil (Shannonbridge); Ed Cullen (Clara), Morgan Tynan (Ballinagar); Ciaran Egan (Tullamore), Cathal Flynn (Ferbane); Cathal Donoghue (Kilcormac/Killoughey); Cormac Delaney (Clara), Jack Bryant (Shamrocks), Aaron Kellaghan (Rhode). Subs: Keith O’Neill (Bracknagh) for Kellaghan (45m), Mikey Cunningham (Bracknagh) for Egan (50m), Gavin Young (Rhode) for Tynan, inuj. (54m),
WEXFORD: Anthony Larkin; Conor Lyne, Brian Cushe, Rian Fitzpatrick; Zac Firman, Jason Bolger, Sean Carley; Conor Hughes, Liam Doyle; Conor Hughes, Liam Doyle; Jack Higgins, Shane Pettitt, Ciaran Regan; Conor Kinsella, Jack O’Leary, Conor Kehoe. Subs – Alan Mahoney for Kinsella (39m), Joe Curtis for Kehoe (43m), Conor Murphy for Hughes (48m), Shane Kehoe for O’Leary (56m),
Referee – Barry Tiernan (Dublin).