Offaly hurlers suffer second league defeat

Damian Moran

Reporter:

Damian Moran

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The Offaly Senior hurlers remain without a point in the Allianz National Hurling League Division 1B table after suffering a six point defeat at the hands of Wexford on Sunday in New Ross.

The Offaly Senior hurlers remain without a point in the Allianz National Hurling League Division 1B table after suffering a six point defeat at the hands of Wexford on Sunday in New Ross.

Allianz HL Division 1B

Wexford 2-19

Offaly 2-13

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After a slow start that saw them fall six points behind their hosts in the early exchanges, Offaly came back strongly and goals from Joe Bergin and Conor mahon had them 2-8 to 1-10 ahead by the break.

Offaly extended their lead to three after the restart as they kept Wexford scoreless for the first ten minutes of the second-half however once they found their range, Wexford clawed their way back. The game turned in the 56th minute when Liam Og McGovern found the back of the net to put them back in front.

That settled Wexford and they pulled away in the closing stages outscoring Offaly by six points to two.

Wexford sit on top of Division 1B as the only team with two wins from two games while Offaly are just ahead of Antrim at the foot of the table on score difference.

Wexford shot out of the blocks and when Ian Byrne found the back of the net after eight minutes, the home side were 1-4 to 0-1 in front despite playing against the wind.

Offaly, who lost their opening game against Laois the previous weekend, eventually settled into the game and after scoring four points in a row, they got themselves right back into proceedings with a goal from Joe Bergin from a powerfully struck 20 metre free.

Wexford were still in front at this stage but Offaly got their noses in front just before the break when the Kilcormac/Killoughey duo of Daniel Currams and Conor Mahon combined well with Mahon slotting the ball to the back of the net.

Leading by 2-8 to 1-10 at the break, Offaly extended their advantage after the restart with Brian Carroll leading the way with the opening point of the half. With Wexford struggling for scores, Offaly edged 2-10 to 1-10 ahead after 43 minutes and seemed to be on course for a positive result.

However Wexford eventually found their range and were only a point behind when Liam McGovern struck for his side’s all important second goal.

From there, despite Offaly’s best efforts, Wexford kept picking off their points and ran out six point winners on the final whistle.

Things don’t get any easier from here for Offaly as they face a daunting trip to Cork on March 9.

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Wexford: Mark Fanning; Bobby Kenny, Matthew O’Hanlon, Ciarán Kenny; Andrew Shore, Lee Chin, James Tonks; Diarmuid O’Keefe (0-2), Harry Kehoe; Shane Tomkins (0-1), Jack Guiney (0-2, 0-2f), Ian Byrne (1-1, 0-1f); Paul Morris (0-6, 0-1f, 0-1 ‘65’), Gary Moore (0-5), Liam Óg McGovern (1-2). Subs: Eanna Martin for Tonks, Liam Ryan for Kenny, Rory Jacob for Byrne, Conor McDonald for Guiney.
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Offaly: James Dempsey; Niall Wynne, Dan Kelliher, Brian Watkins; Sean Gardner, Rory Hanniffy, Dermot Mooney; Damien Kilmartin, Sean Ryan; Sean Cleary, Joe Bergin (1-3f), Conor Mahon (1-2); Brian Carroll (0-7, 0-3f), Daniel Currams, Stephen Quirke (0-1). Subs: Chris McDonald for Dan Kelliher, Thomas Geraghty for Sean Cleary, Damien Egan for Niall Wynne, Shane Dooley for Stephen Quirke.
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Ref: Cathal McAllister (Cork)