OFFALY exited the O'Byrne Cup last night at the hands of DCU on a scoreline of 0-17 to 0-8.
A very impressive DCU side are in the final preparations for their defence of the Sigerson Cup and they were far fitter than an Offaly side just back training in recent weeks.
Offaly started brighter and opened up a three point lead in the opening minutes but after that it was all DCU and Offaly will now travel to Longford on Sunday in the O'Byrne Shield.
Tom Cribbin was without the Rhode contingent but Offaly fans will be heartened to see midfielder Niall Smith and defender James Keane returning to the county side.
Last year's minor captain Noel Andrew Graham also made his senior debut and he chipped in with a point in the second-half. Ken Casey top scored with four points, three from frees.
Offaly started well with points from Ken Casey (2), Ciaran McManus and John Reynolds hit the target.
DCU got back on level terms with Donie Shine, Shane Roche and Martin McElhinney all finding the target.
John Coughlan edged Offaly back in front before Shane Roche drew DCU level again after 27 minutes.
Before the break DCU edged ahead to take a 0-8 to 0-6 lead to the break.
The students are the defending O'Byrne Cup Champions and their superior fitness told after the break and they kicked seven unanswered points during the opening nineteen minutes to move 0-15 to 0-6 clear.
Ken Casey and 2010 minor player Noel Andrew Graham registered Offaly's only second half points, with DCU's final brace of scores coming courtesy of Dublin's Bryan Cullen and McElhinney.
DCU: R Hennelly; N Collins, K Gavin, S Ormsby; C Rafferty, N McAdam, J McCarthy; F O'Shea (0-1), M McElhinney (0-2); C McGuinness (0-1), D O'Gara, D Kinnan (0-1); S Roche (0-5, 2f), D Shine (0-4, 2f), D Kelly. Subs.: M Murphy (0-2) for Kinnan, B Cullen (0-1) for Rafferty, B Watters for McGuinness, P McMahon for Collins, L O'Donovan for Kelly.
OFFALY: A Mulhall; J Keane, S Brady, S Pender; S Ryan, R Brady, S Lonergan; N Smith, R Dalton; NA Graham (0-1 f), K Slattery, C McManus (0-1 '45); J Reynolds (0-1), J Coughlan (0-1), K Casey (0-4, 3f). Subs.: N Dunne for Slattery, W Crampton for Smith, P Bracken for Dalton, W Mulhall for Reynolds, M Cocoman for Ryan.
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