Leinster Senior Hurling Championshp Quarter-Final
A hat-trick from Shane Dooley and an incredible 3-11 in the second-half guided Offaly to victory over Westmeath in the Leinster Senior Hurling Championship on Saturday in Mullingar.
Two of Dooley's goals came in the closing minutes with the game on the line as he brought his personal haul to a match winning 3-8.
His first goal came early in the game from a penalty as Offaly got off to a strong start as they led 1-1 to 0-2 but Westmeath scored the next three points to move into the lead.
Padraic Guinan leveled matters for Offaly on his debut but Westmeath edged back in front soon after. Points from Oisín Kelly and Shane Dooley got Offaly back in front after 25 minutes but the home side hit six in a row before the break to build a 0-12 to 1-4 lead at the break.
Offaly set about cutting the gap after the restart hitting five of the first six points of the second-half to drastically cut the deficit. Westmeath rallied again and led by 0-15 to 1-9 with midway through the second-half.
Offaly were far from done and Shane Dooley, Joe Bergin and Liam Langton all pointed to level matters again.
It was nip and tuck at this point but a goal from Emmet Nolan with six minutes remaining tipped the balance in Offaly's favour. That left the visitors with a 2-13 to 0-18 lead but the drama was far from done.
Dermot Shortt put Offaly two ahead and when Shane Dooley struck for his second goal as the game ticked into injury-time, it looked as if Offaly were home and hosed.
However Westmeath hit a remarkable 1-2 in short order to tie things up and leave the game on a knife edge again.
Thankfully for Offaly, Shane Dooley was on hand to get his third goal of the game to get his side back in front and he added a point for good measure to insure the win.
Offaly will now face the winners of the quarter-final between Galway and Dublin in the semi-final.
WESTMEATH – P Maloney; S Power, T Doyle, T Gallagher; A Craig, P Greville, C Shaw; A Clarke 0-1, G Greville; C Boyle, K Doyle 1-2, J Boyle 0-3; R Greville 0-1, N O’Brien 0-2, A Devine 0-10 (0-9f). Subs: D Egerton 0-1 for Gallagher inj (16), J Galvin for O’Brien (38 BS), O’Brien for Galvin (41), Galvin for Power int (62), B Murtagh for O’Brien (66).
OFFALY – J Dempsey; B Conneely, D Shortt 0-1, E Grogan; S Gardiner, A Treacy, D King; S Ryan, P Guinan 0-1; O Kelly 0-2, S Kinsella, E Nolan 1-1; S Cleary, S Dooley 3-8 (1-0p, 0-5f), P Geraghty. Subs: J Bergin 0-1 for Geraghty and P Murphy for Treacy (both half time), L Langton 0-1 for Kinsella (48), S Quirke for Cleary (51), C Kiely for Guinan (58)