Offaly can’t afford to slip against Tipp

BACK to back away wins against beaten provincial finalists from 2010 has put the Offaly footballers in a strong position to gain promotion from Divsion 3 of the Allianz Football League.

BACK to back away wins against beaten provincial finalists from 2010 has put the Offaly footballers in a strong position to gain promotion from Divsion 3 of the Allianz Football League.

Offaly are level on points with Wexford and Louth but trail the other sides on score difference whihc is the decisive factor if three sides finish level at the end of the campaign. If just two sides are tied on points, the result between the sides is the first tie breaker.

All three of the sides level at the top have played each other alread with Offaly having defeated Louth, Louth having defeated Wexford and Wexford having defeated Offaly. With that in mind, every point will be vital from here on in starting for Offaly this Sunday when they welcome Tipperary to O’Connor Park.

After winning two tough away games, it would be easy for Offaly to rest on their laurels at home this weekend against a Tipperary side struggling to make an impact in the campaign. A defeat this Sunday would undo the hard work of the past two games in Limerick and Louth.

Tipp come into this game off the back of a defeat against Waterford and have recorded just one win, that in their opening game against Limerick.

One area of concern for Offaly emerging from their consecutive away wins is the relatively poor return in comparison with chances created. Last week alone Offaly hit 15 wides with 10 of those coming in the opening 35 minutes. They have scrapped through the last two weeks despite their inaccuracy but that will come back to haunt them at some point if it continues at the same pace.

Defensively Offaly have been superb with Scott Brady arguably the team’s top performer in the league to date. Along with Karol Slattery and Ciaran McManus, Brady supplies veteran leadership for a young team.

Offaly have showed in recent weeks that they have the battling qualities to win tight games however both games should have resulted in more comfortable wins given Offaly’s dominance for large parts of both encounters.

The challenge this Sunday is to repeat the performance levels and to turn chances into scores to register a statement victory. They are more than capable of doing so and once they are not complacent, they should account for Tipperary with five or six points to spare.