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21/09/2021

Offaly supporters in race for tickets as 2,400 allowed into Croke Park

Offaly supporters in race for tickets as 2,400 allowed into Croke Park

An empty terrace at Offaly and Carlow last year.

OFFALY GAA supporters were in a race for tickets this afternoon after they went on sale for Saturday's National Football League Division 3 final against Derry.

The ticketmaster website went live for sales at 4.00pm and eager supporters were quick to try and get their hands on tickets.

The game was designated as an official pilot fixture for the return of spectators to sports matches. 2,400 spectators will be allowed to attend the game which has a 5.00pm throw in.

Patrons will be asked to wear masks at the match and observe social distancing guidelines. There was technical difficulties with accessing tickets on the website in the hour or so after 4.00pm but these appeared to have been ironed out and hundreds of supporters successfully purchased a ticket.

Only upper deck Cusack Stand tickets were available in the first hour plus after they went on sale. Both Offaly and Derry had the option of playing or not playing the match – Offaly could have opted out of it as they are playing championship against Louth a week later. However, manager John Maughan said after their win over Fermanagh on Saturday that he wanted the game to go ahead if it was in Croke Park.

After Derry agreed to play the game on Sunday morning, Offaly GAA chairman Michael Duignan told GAA president Larry McCarthy that they would play it if it was in Croke Park. McCarthy was in Baltinglass at the National Hurling League Division 2A game between Offaly and Wicklow and was spotted in converation with Michael Duignan and his fellow Offaly man, Leinster Council chairman Pat Teehan.

Larry McCarthy had also been in Tullamore on Saturday to see Offaly book their spot in Division 2 next season with a hard earned win over Fermanagh.

With spectators eager to see a game after their long absence because of Covid-19 restrictions, the 2,400 tickets should sell out for this final but it will be sufficient to satisfy most of the demand in Offaly and Derry.

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