Offaly suffered their second consecutive defeat in Division 3 of the Allianz League last Sunday as Cavan cruised to a six point victory in O’Connor Park.
Allianz NFL Division 3 Round 2
Last year’s All Ireland quarter-finalists were rarely threatened and they had seven points on the board before Niall McNamee eventually opened Offaly’s account after 23 minutes. The Rhode man was the catalyst for a mini revival from the home side and by half-time they had closed the gap to five at 0-9 to 0-5.
However any lingering hopes Offaly may have had of mounting a second-half comeback evaporated within ten minutes of the restart as a mistake in their defence gifted possession to Cavan and Eugene Keating made no mistake to put Cavan 1-10 to 0-6 ahead.
Offaly goalkeeper Alan Mulhall could do nothing to deny Keating but on the day he made a number of fine saves that kept his side from suffering an even heavier defeat.
With only Niall McNamee finding the target more than once for Offaly, the home side only managed three points in total in the second-half as Cavan won the game at a canter.
Offaly find themselves rooted to the foot of the table after three games behind Longford on score difference. Next up for Emmett McDonnell’s men is a trip to Sligo on March 2 and even at this early stage of the campaign, that has become a must win game. After a win over Limerick in their opener, Sligo lost by 2-13 to 1-10 against Fermanagh at the weekend.
Scorers – Offaly: Niall McNamee 0-4, Peter Cunningham 0-1, Nigel Dunne 0-1, Joe Maher 0-1, K Casey 0-1f.Cavan: E Keating 1-3, M Dunne 0-5, M Argue 0-1, F Flanagan 0-1, K Tierney 0-1.
Offaly – A Mulhall; D Brady, P McConway, J Moloney; J O’Connor, D Hanlon, M Brazil ; E Carroll, N Smith; R Allen, N McNamee, A Sullivan; P Cunningham, J Maher, K Casey. Subs: G Guilfoyle for R Allen (Black card 31mins), N Darby for J O’Connor (42mins), N Dunne for J Maher (44mins), L Kelly for A Sullivan (52mins), J Brickland for L Kelly (66mins), N Geraghty for K Casey (67mins).
Cavan – C Gilsenan; J Hayes, R Dunne, K Clarke; J McEnroe, D O’Reilly, F Flanagan; M Argue, D McKiernan; K Brady, N McDermott, M Reilly; E Keating, M Dunne, K Tierney. Subs: N Smith for K Tierney (58mins), G McKiernan 7 for D McKiernan (58mins), R Maloney Derham for K Brady (60mins), P Leddy for N McDermott (69mins), P Tinnely for M Reilly (70mins)