IT may only be early December and there is a lot of work to be done on and off the field between now and the start of the league next February but the signs are already positive for new Offaly manager Emmett McDonnell.
Senior Inter-county Tournament
His side followed up their win over Louth last week with an impressive come from behind win over Meath on Sunday to win the Fitzsimons Cup in the tournament run by the Gaeil Colmcille based near Kells.
Offaly trailed by two points entering the final minutes but they show great resolve to rattle off five unanswered points to claim the win.
Captain Niall McNamee lead the way kicking 10 of Offaly’s 16 points including two of the crucial scores near the end of the game.
The game was one where each team enjoyed periods of dominance with scores coming in lumps.
Offaly lead by 0-2 to 0-1 early in the game but Meath hit the next three to move into the lead.
Offaly responded with three of their own with Niall McNamee (2) and Richie Dalton finding the target.
Meath again responded and the sides went together deadlocked at 0-8 apiece after an entertaining first half.
Niall McNamee was on the mark again twice at the start of the second-half to put Offaly in front but Meath enjoyed their best period of the game and opened up a 0-13 to 0-11 lead entering the final minutes.
However Offaly were not to be denied and points from Niall McNamee (2), Anton Sullivan (2) and marauding wing-back David Brady put them back in front and they held on for a confidence boosting win
Offaly: Alan Mulhall, Brian Darby, Paul McConway, Sean Pender, David Brady (0-1), Derek Kelly, Michael Verney, Richie Dalton (0-1), Alan McNamee, Ross Brady, Brian Connor(0-1), Eoin Carroll, Anton Sullivan (0-2), Niall McNamee (0-10), Bernard Allen (0-1).
Meath: Paddy O’Rourke, Caolan Young, Donal Keoghan, Seanie Curran, Cormac Rowe (0-1), Darren Hagan, Davy Dalton, Conor Gillespie (0-1), Tom Walsh, Daragh McNamara (0-1), Damien Carroll (0-1), Stephan Crosby (0-1), Sean Tobin (0-2), Michael Newman (0-5), Andrew Tormey (0-1).
Referee Brian Kelly Kildare