Offaly fightback against Westmeath to claim third consecutive win

Offaly made it three wins in this year’s O’Byrne Cup as they came from four points down at half-time to defeat Westmeath by a point in Cusack Park on Sunday.

Offaly made it three wins in this year’s O’Byrne Cup as they came from four points down at half-time to defeat Westmeath by a point in Cusack Park on Sunday.

O’Byrne Cup Group C Round 3

Westmeath 0-7

Offaly 0-8

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Offaly trailed by 0-6 to 0-2 at the break but they were the better side on the restart restricting the home side to just one point while adding six of their own to claim the win.

The sides exchanged scores early in the first half but Westmeath began to ease away and with half-time approaching they lead 0-5 to 0-1.

Offaly ended a lengthy drought with a point before the interval but Westmeath responded to put four points between the sides again before the break.

However while the home side held the lead, they had lost both Dessie Dolan and Denis Gleenon to injury in the opening 35 minutes.

Offaly came out after the break determined to get back into the game and within ten minutes of the restart they were back within just a single point with Niall McNamee, Graham Guilfoyle and Ross Brady on target.

They played with more pace and intensity and cut out the mistakes that had proved costly in the opening 35 minutes

Brady eventually levelled the scores before Paul Bannon scored Westmeath’s only point of the second-half to briefly give his side the lead again.

Offaly however had the momentum on their side and a free from Ross Brady got them back on terms with ten minutes to go.

A draw would have been enough to see Offaly through to the semi-finals but they were not finished yet and a point from Paul McPadden in the closing stages proved to be the winning score.

Offaly now go on to face Kildare in the semi-final in the Tullamore next Sunday as they look to build futher momentum and confidence ahead of the league opener with London in February.

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Scorers – Offaly: N McNamee 0-2 (0-1f), R Brady (0-2f), A McNamee 0-1, D Hanlon 0-1, G Guilfoyle 0-1, P McPadden 0-1.

Westmeath – Dessie Dolan 0-2 (0-1f), P Bannon 0-2, P Sharry 0-2 (0-1 ‘45) 0-2, Denis Glennon 0-1f.

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Offaly – Alan Mulhall; Paul McConway, Brian Darby, Eoin Rigney; David Hanlon, Sean Pender, Derek Kelly; Alan McNamee, Richie Dalton; Graham Guilfoyle, Brian Connor, Eoin Carroll; Peter Cunningham, Niall McNamee, Ross Brady. Subs: Anton Sullivan for Peter Cunningham (23 mins), Matthew Mitchell for Richie Dalton (35 mins), Shane Sullivan for Eoin Carroll (42 mins), Paul McPadden for Eoin Rigney (61 mins), Keith McGuinness for GrahamGuilfoyle (70 mins).

Westmeath – G Connaughton; M McCallon, K Gavin, K Maguire; M Curley, P Sharry, D Harte; D Corroon, P Bannon; K Reilly, Denis Glennon, D Mullan; R Foley, C Curley, Dessie Dolan. Subs: David Glennon for Dessie Dolan (17 mins), D McCormack for Denis Glennon (28 mins), L Smith for C Curley (44 mins), Damien Dolan for Harte (50 mins), D Daly for Reilly (60 mins).