Offaly sit on top of group C of the O’Byrne Cup with two wins from two games thanks to three second half goals which helped them see off the challenge of Athlone IT in foggy conditions in Gracefield on Wednesday evening
O’Byrne Cup Round 2
Athlone IT 1-9
Fresh from their three point win over Laois on Sunday, Offaly struggled for scores in the first half but goals after the break from Peter Cunningham, Eoin Carroll and Brian Connor saw the home side through. A draw or better against Westmeath on Sunday would now be enough to see them into the semi-final.
As they did against Laois on Sunday, Offaly created a host of chances in the first-half but came away with only six points and a wasteful eight wides. Niall McNamee kicked four of the points in the opening half as Offaly only lead by 0-6 to 0-5 at the interval.
Two points for Offaly early in the second-half were quickly cancelled out by a goal for AIT from Colm O’Brien that levelled the scores and it looked as if the game was going to be closer than many expected.
However that score seemed to spark Offaly into life and a goal soon after from young gun Peter Cunningham eased the nerves.
From their the home side took control and further goals from the hugely impressive Brian Connor and from Eoin Carroll helped Offaly ease clear.
By the final whistle they had opened up an eight point lead for a deserved win.
Offaly: Niall McNamee 0-6 (0-3f), Brian Connor 1-1, PeterCunningham 1-1, Eoin Carroll 1-0, Anton Sullivan 0-1, M Mitchell 0-1, A McNamee 0-1.
AIT: G Egan 0-3f, F Burke 0-3, C O’Brien 1-0, K Martin 0-1f, C Shine 0-1, C Duggan 0-1.
Offaly – Alan Mulhall; Brian Darby, Sean Pender, Eoin Rigney; David Hanlon, Derek Kelly, Graham Guilfoyle; Ross Brady, Brian Connor; Keith McGuinness, Matthew Mitchell, Eoin Carroll; Anton Sullivan, Niall McNamee, Peter Cunningham. Subs: Shane Sullivan for Keith McGuinness (35mins), James McPadden for David Hanlon (48mins), John Ledwith for Graham Guilfoyle (57mins), Joe Maher for A Sullivan (58mins).
AIT – K McGuire; C O’Brien, K Clarke, E Kerins; T Rahill, K Martin L Murphy; C Duggan, G Egan; J McGivney, J Mulligan, J Dolan; A Stone, C Shine, F Burke. Subs: D Maleady for E Kerins (42), D Queeney for C Duggan (54), A Caul for A Stone (59), A Coffey for J McGivney (63), C Tighe for K Martin (69).
Ref – S Carroll (Westmeath).