Offaly shake off sluggish start to claim win over London

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Offaly had to overcome a slow start against London in their Allainz Football League Division 4 opener before eventually overcoming the Exiles by eight points in Rusilip on Sunday

Offaly had to overcome a slow start against London in their Allainz Football League Division 4 opener before eventually overcoming the Exiles by eight points in Rusilip on Sunday

Allianz Football League Division 4

London 1-5

Offaly 1-13

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Without their captain and ace marksman Niall McNamee, Offaly had to rely on their younger generation for scores and they did not disappoint with Peter Cunningham, Anton Sullivan, Bernard Allen, Graham Guilfoyle and Eoin Carroll accounting for all the visitors’ scores.

Offaly were very slow to get going and conceded 1-3 inside the opening ten minutes with the goal for London coming from the penalty spot from Padraig McGoldrick from the penalty spot.

Offaly gradually clawed their way back after the poor start but they found the London defence very difficult to break down and trailed by 1-4 to 0-5 at the break with Offaly’s scores coming from Bernard Allen (2), Anton Sullivan (2) and Peter Cunningham.

Manager Emmett McDonnell had brought on Peter Cunningham after 25 minutes and the decision certainly paid off as the young man continued his tremendous early season form finishing the game with five points, four of them from play.

Two of those points came inside the first three minutes of the second-half as Offaly emerged from the dressing room intent on turning around the game.

They restricted London to just one point in the second-half while adding an impressive 1-8 of their own.

The goal came ten minutes from time from Anton Sullivan and that spectacular effort effectively ended the game as a contest as it put Offaly 1-10 to 1-4 ahead with London still looking for their first score of the second-half.

Peter Cunningham almost added a goal to his already impressive haul but he was denied by a fine save from the London goalkeeper.

Elsewhere in Division 4, Carlow overcame Tipperary, Limerick defeated Leitrim and Waterford saw off Clare. After one round, Offaly top the table but there will be tougher challenges ahead for Emmett McDonnell’s side starting next Sunday against Limerick in O’Connor Park.

Club Faithful have a big treat in store for young Offaly fans ahead of this match and keep an eye out for details in the local press, the Offaly Express website, Facebook, Twitter and the Offaly GAA web-site.
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SCORERS: Anton Sullivan 1-3 (0-3 frees), Bernard Allen 0-4, Peter Cunningham 0-4 (0-1 free), Graham Guilfoyle (0-1), Eoin Carroll (0-1).

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OFFALY: Alan Mulhall (Walsh Island); Brian Darby (Rhode), Eoin Rigney (Rhode); Sean Pender (Edenderry); David Hanlon (Edenderry), Derek Kelly (Edenderry); Graham Guilfoyle (Clara); Alan McNamee (Rhode), Shane Sullivan (Rhode); Ross Brady (Clara), Brian Connor (Walsh Island), Eoin Carroll (Cappincur); Matthew Mitchell (Clara), Bernard Allen (Tubber), Anton Sullivan (Rhode).
Subs.: Peter Cunningham (Bracknagh) for Mitchell, Michael Brazil (Tullamore) for Darby, Richie Dalton (Edenderry) for McNamee, Paul McPadden (Rhode) for Allen, Joe Maher (Ferbane) for Connor.

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