Offaly secure spot in Leinster semi-final with impressive win over Westmeath

Offaly had to hold off a late charge from Westmeath to secure the win

Offaly Express Reporter

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Offaly's Cian Johnson

Offaly's Cian Johnson

Eirgrid Leinster Under 20 Football Quarter Final

Offaly 1-17 Westmeath 1-10

Having been in control for much of the game and having held a ten point lead entering the final quarter, Offaly had to overcome some late drama to secure their place in the Leinster U-20 semi-final.

Offaly were 0-16 to 0-6 ahead at that stage against a Westmeath side who finished second in Division 1 of the league portion of the U-20 Championship with their only defeat coming against Dublin.

Westmeath gave themselves a lifeline with a goal and two points and they would have gotten much closer had it not been for a penalty save from Shannonbridge's Barry Rohan.

The result was finally put beyond doubt thanks to a goal from Jack Darcy as Offaly deservedly booked their place in the last four.

Westmeath made the better start to the game and were 0-4 to 0-2 ahead midway through the first-half but points from Shane O'Brien and Cian Farrell drew Offaly level. 

Westmeath edged briefly in front but three points in a row for Offaly from Dan Wyer, Cian Johnson and Conor Dunne put Offaly into the lead. Offaly were now in control and three points from frees from Cian Farrell in the closing stages of the opening half gave Declan Kelly's side a 0-10 to 0-5 lead at the break.

Farrell added another three points from frees after the break to just one in reply from Westmeath as Offaly continued to stretch their advantage and further points from Cian Johnson and Farrell again left Offaly cruising with a 0-16 to 0-6 lead.

Westmeath threw themselves a lifeline with a goal from Brian Kavanagh and they tacked on a point to reduce the gap to a more manageable six. They had a further chance to get within a score from the penalty spot but Barry Rohan saved Adam Loughlin's kick. 

Westmeath did get back within five late on but any doubt over the result was finally removed when Jack Darcy found the back of the Westmeath net.

OFFALY: Barry Rohan; Ronan Hynes, Pa Robilliard 0-1, Aidan Bracken; Jack O’Brien, Stefan Geoghegan, Jack Quinn; Kyle Higgins, Sean Ibbotson; Kevin McDermott, Cian Farrell 0-8f, Dan Wyer 0-1; Cian Johnson 0-4, Conor Dunne 0-1, Shane O’Brien 0-2.Subs: Ed Bennett for Stefan Geoghegan (30mins), Robin Galbriath for Dan Wyer (52mins), Jack Darcy 1-0 for Shane O’Brien (54), Andrew Delaney for Sean Ibbotson (58mins), Seamus O’Brien for Jack O’Brien (60mins).​ 

WESTMEATH: Jordan Nugent; Eoghan Bracken, Gareth Carr, Joe Moran; Conor Dillon 0-2, Eoin Nally, Plunkett Maxwell; Adam Loughlin 0-1, John Tumulty 0-1; Daniel Reid 0-1, Nigel Harte, James Maxwell; Tom Molloy, Seán Pettit 0-1, Brian Kavanagh 1-4. Subs: Eoin Geraghty for Jordan Nugent (10mins), Ben Treanor for Joe Moran (22mins), Sean Clinton for Daniel Reid (44mins), Kevin Regan for Nigel Harte (52mins), Robbie Forde for Conor Dillon (54mins).