Offaly powered to a comprehensive victory on Sunday against Kerry in Tullamore. Despite Kerry playing in a higher division in the Championship, this was a complete mismatch, with Offaly in fine form led by Liam Langton who helped himself to 1-6 from play in what was a dominant performance from The Faithful.
National Hurling League Division 2A
It was ideal conditions for hurling, as the sun shone down on a glorious playing surface, with the heavy downpours on Saturday not influencing the fluency and passing in the opening quarter.
It was Kerry who opened the scoring through substitute Colin Walsh, who was a late addition to the Kerry side for Shane Conway. Offaly responded and registered their first score of the day through an Eoghan Cahill free after Oisin Kelly raced onto a loose ball and was subsequently dragged down.
It was point for point with Cahill and Shane Nolan both trading frees for the remainder of the quarter, but Offaly had a slight advantage over the Kingdom at the first water break taking in a 0-6 to 0-5 lead.
Kerry did manage to get the first point after the resumption of play, but remarkably The Faithful went on to outscore them by 2-10 to 0-1 from here on in. Liam Langton, who played much of the game on the half forward line got the game’s first goal. Shane Kinsella found Langton and he raced towards the Kerry defence and unleashed a rocket, giving John B O’Halloran in the Kerry goalkeeper no chance.
Brian Duignan, Cahill and Kelly all chipped in to extend the Offaly lead to six. Further points from Langton, a monster score from Leon Fox inside his own half and an Eoghan Cahill free stretched the lead to nine.
Just before half time, Kerry were dealt a hammer blow. Jason Sampson, who had just entered the field raced onto an Oisin Kelly pass and although O’Halloran did get a touch to it, it was not enough to keep the ball out of the net, as Offaly were cruising and took a 15 point lead into the break with the game effectively over at Nathan Wall’s half time whistle.
Offaly continued their impressive hurling through Duignan again and he picked off the first two scores of the second half. Three further points, two from Langton, and a point each for Duignan and Cahill left Offaly in a comfortable position. Kerry did manage to split the posts through Jason Diggins, and a Shane Nolan free, but anything at this stage seemed a consolation for The Kingdom, as Offaly took a 2-22 to 0-11 point lead into the second water break, a break which Kerry were probably wishing was the full time whistle.
Offaly continued the charge, with Duignan, Langton, Padraic Guinan and John Murphy all picking up points for themselves and with the contest long over as they popped over scores at ease.
Two wonder scores from Murphy and Killian Sampson under the stand and a point from substitute David Nally proved to be the final Offaly scores in what was an almost perfect performance as they powered to a 21-point victory.
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Offaly: Liam Langton 1-6, Eoghan Cahill 0-8 (0-3F), 0-1 (’65), Brian Duignan (0-5), Oisin Kelly, John Murphy 0-2 each, Killian Sampson, David Nally, Shane Kinsella, Padraic Guinan, Leon Fox all 0-1 each.
Kerry: Shane Nolan 0-4 (0-3F), 0-1(65), Padraig Boyle (0-4), Michael Leane, Colin Walsh, Fionan O’Sullivan, Jason Diggins, Eric Leen all 0-1 each.
Offaly: Conor Clancy (St Rynaghs); Jordan Quinn (Kilcormac Killoughey), Ciarán Burke (Durrow), David King (Coolderry); Brian Watkins (Birr), Ben Conneely (St Rynaghs), Killian Sampson (Shinrone); Leon Fox (Belmont), Ross Ravenhill (Durrow); Shane Kinsella (Kinnity), Liam Langton (Clodiagh Gaels), Brian Duignan (Durrow); Oisín Kelly (Belmont) Adrian Hynes (Seir Kieran), Eoghan Cahill (Birr).
Subs: Jason Sampson (Shinrone) for Adrian Hynes (34), Padraic Guinan (Drumcullen) for Brian Watkins (41). John Murphy (Ballinamere) for Shane Kinsella (43), David Nally (Belmont) for Leon Fox. Shane Dooley (Tullamore) for Eoghan Cahill (54), Aidan Treacy (St Rynaghs) for Ben Conneely (54)
Kerry: John B O’Halloran (Kilmoyley); John Buckley (Lixnaw), Evan Murphy (Causeway), Niall O’Mahoney (Abbeydorney); Jason Diggins (Causeway), Barry O’Mahoney (Crotta O’Neills), Fionan Mackessy (St Brendan’s); Shane Nolan (Crotta O’Neills), Paudie O’Connor (Kilmoyley); Padraig Boyle (Ballyduff), Daniel Collins (Kilmoyley), Michael Leane (Ballyheigue); Colin Walsh (Ballyheigue) Mikey Boyle (Ballyduff), Maurice O’Connor (Kilmoyley).
Subs: Eric Leen (St Brendan’s) for Barry O’Mahoney (Blood Sub) Erin Leen for John Buckley (38), Donal Hunt (Crotta O’Neills) for Colin Walsh (44), Fionan O’Sullivan (Kenmare Shamrocks) for Michael Leane (44), Daniel Casey (Kilgarvan) for Maurice O’Connor. Billy Lyons (Causeway) for Jason Diggins (54), Coleman Savage (Kilmoyley) for Niall O’Mahoney (68).
Referee: Nathan Wall (Cork).
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