Disappointment for Offaly footballers and hurlers on opening day of League
Down made light work of Offaly as the boosted their promotion hopes with a convincing eight point win in Tullamore.
It was a game that never really sparked to life though as Down never looked like not coming away with the two points despite having two players sent to the sin bin for two separate 10 minute stints.
Barry O’Hagan was the man in form for the Mourne men as the wing forward helped himself to six points. He was a thorn in the Offaly defence and the powerful running game from the likes of O’Hagan and James Guinness had Offaly reeling.
Down played with the strong wind in the opening half and had a decent 0-11 – 0-2 buffer at half time as Offaly struggled to break through the mass Down defence.
O’Hagan tore the Faithful County apart in that opening half but the home side did try hard to get themselves back into the game after half time.
Ruairi McNamee kicked a couple of frees and with Corey Quinn spurning a goal chance at the other end, Offaly had it back to a six point game – 0-13 to 0-7.
Down upped it a gear for the final 20 minutes and with Offaly wing back Eoin Carroll picking up his second yellow card, Offaly were a beaten docket.
Liam Kerr, Connaire Harrison and Owen McCabe all kicked points in the closing 10 minutes as Down eased to victory.
Down: B O’Hagan 0-6 (0-4 Frees), J Guinness 0-3, C Quinn 0-2, C Doherty 0-1, L Kerr 0-3 (0-1 Free), O McCabe 0-1, C Harrison 0-1.
Offaly: R McNamee 0-3 (Frees), A Sullivan 0-2, M Brazil 0-1, E Carroll 0-1, A Leavy 0-1, B Allen 0-1 (Free).
DOWN: R Burns; R McAleenan, P Murdock, K McKernan; J Guinness, G Collins, P Fegan; D Guinness, C Poland; J Flynn, C Doherty, B McArdle; L Kerr, B O’Hagan, C Quinn. Subs: O McCabe for J Flynn (51 mins), A Morgan for K McKernan (55 mins), P Delvin for C Doherty (58 mins), C Harrison for C Quinn (61 mins), N Donnelly for P Murdock (inj 65 mins).
OFFALY: P Dunican; C Doyle, E Rigney, D Hogan; E Carroll, D Dempsey, N Darby; C McNamee, M Brazil; S Horan, P Cunningham, C Mangan; A Sullivan, B Allen, R McNamee. Subs: Subs: A Leavy for C McNamee (44 mins), C Johnson for A Sullivan (60 mins), C Donnelly for M Brazil (60 mins), C Donohue for P Cunningham (70 mins), S Nally for C Doyle (72 mins).
Referee: James Corrigan (Cork).