Trailing by nine points after 22 minutes, Offaly looked to be in serious trouble against Meath last Saturday but they staged an incredible recovery to come back and win by 11 points.
Electric Ireland Leinster GAA Minor Football Championship
Offaly 6-10 .
The home side made a great start to the game and lead by 2-6 to 0-3 but they only scored a further 1-2 for the remainder of the game while Offaly added a spectacular 6-10 in Pairc Tailteann in Navan.
Goals by Joey Wallace and Daire Rowe helped Meath to a 2-3 to 0-3 advantage with just 18 minutes elapsed playing with the wind.
The key score for Offaly came in the 26th minute when mid-fielder Patrick Dunican found the back of the net.
This got Offaly back within six points at the interval 2-6 to 1-3 and put them in a position to launch their incredible second-half scoring spree. Offaly made the perfect start to the second half when Kilclonfert’s Adam Mangan rattled home a goal that left just three points separating the sides.
By the 40th minute Meath were seven points up again after James McEntee’s goal made it 3-8 to 2-4 but Offaly dug deep and staged a miraculous revival. Goals by James Evans and Adam Shelly fired Offaly into a two point lead, 4-7 to 3-8, with seven minutes to go.
With Meath reeling, Offaly struck for further goals from full forward Shelly and the impressive Alan Geoghegan who ended the hour with 1-3 to his credit. Offaly’s reward for this sensational twenty-point turnaround victory is a quarter-final assignment on May 11. Offaly, along with Kildare, Laois, Westmeath, Dublin and Wicklow are safely into the last eight. Five counties who lost in the first round of the championship will have the opportunity to get back into contention. Meath play Longford with the winners going into the quarter-finals, with the winner of Carlow versus Wexford on April 24th taking on Louth on May 1st and the winner will complete the quarter-final line-up. Scorers: Offaly – Alan Geoghegan 1-3, Adam Shelly 2-0, Patrick Dunican 1-2 (0-1 free), James Evans 1-1, Adam Mangan 1-0, Ruairi McNamee 0-3, Gareth Byrne 0-1. .
OFFALY: Jason Dunne; Ken Hogan (capt.), James Lawlor, Michael Keogh; James Hendy, Oisin Cusack, Alan Heffernan; Patrick Dunican, Declan Byrne; Dean McDonagh, Adam Mangan, James Evans; Alan Geoghegan, Adam Shelly, Ruairi McNamee. Subs.: Darragh Keenaghan for D McDonagh (35 mins), Christian Brazil for M Keogh (56 mins), Gareth Byrne for A Shelly (57 mins).
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