23 Jan 2022

Offaly hurlers in quarter-finals - Footballers give themselves fighting chance

Offaly GAA

Offaly GAA

The sun shone on both Offaly senior teams on their travels on Sunday as the hurlers reached the league quarter-final with a win over Kerry and the footballers gave themselves a fighting chance at staying in Division 3 with a win away to Sligo.

Despite conceding a late goal to Kerry, the hurlers secured a 1-21 to 2-16 win in Austin Stack Park. Offaly led by 0-15 to 1-9 at half-time having played with the wind and Kerry had been reduced to 14 men. 

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Kerry hit the first three points of the second-half but Offaly managed to keep their noses in front until Stephen Quirke struck for a goal to give Offaly breathing space.

That wasn't the end of the drama however as Kerry struck for a late goal to give Offaly some nervous moments for the closing seconds. Thankfully for Offaly, they held on for a two point win which, coupled with Laois' narrow loss to Wexford, secured Offaly a place in the league quarter-final against Tipperary.

Meanwhile the footballers have their fate in their own hands going into next week's final game with Laois after they secured an impressive 2-14 to 2-10 win over Sligo. The result means that should Offaly win that game against their neighbours, they will avoid relegation to Division 4.

After falling behind early in the game thanks to a Sligo goal at 1-3 to 0-3, Offaly should excellent character and with the help of a Nigel Dunne goal and points from Bernard Allen, they went to the break with a 1-7 to 1-4 lead holding Sligo to just one point in the process. 

Offaly built that lead to four points in the second-half but they were hauled back when Sligo scored from the penalty spot with goalkeeper Alan Mulhall receiving a black card. 

In previous games in the league, Offaly have struggled late but on this occasion, they finished strong to claim the win. With the scores level at Offaly 1-11 to Sligo 2-8, David Hanlon struck for Offaly for what turned out to be the winning goal.

Sligo did manage to get within two in the closing minutes but Offaly finished off the game with the final two points to claim a 2-14 to 2-10 win. 

The result leaves four teams, Laois, Antrim, Longford and Offaly on four points with Sligo just one point ahead.With Longford and Antrim also going head to head, it means a win would secure Offaly's position in Division 3 next year.

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