Offaly footballers fall to third straight league defeat

Derry prevail by five points

Justin Kelly

Reporter:

Justin Kelly

Offaly footballers fall to third straight league defeat

Stephen Wallace and his Offaly senior footballers have fallen to their third straight league defeat after a five-point defeat at the hands of Derry in Celtic Park. 

The throw-in of this Division 3 clash had been delayed a half an hour and Offaly's effort seemed to be back on the bus as Derry hit 1-6 without reply early in the contest. 

Emmett Bradley and the returning Michael Bateson opened the Oak Leafers account, while Niall Toner and Terence O'Brien also notched points in a fruitful opening 10 minutes for the Ulster outfit. 

The game looked out of Offaly's reach after just 13 minutes when Emmett Bradley added a goal to his earlier point, and a further Enda Lynn point put Derry 1-6 to no score in front. 

Bobby O'Dea  opened the Faithful account on 16 minutes as the Offaly lads set about turning around a nine point deficit and they battled well to half time. 

They hit the next four without reply to the break, including points from Nigel Dunne and Declan Hogan. 

Bernard Allen continued the comeback as he scored the first two points of the second half, putting Offaly within two points of their opponents. 

Derry then got their act together again with a number of points but further scores from Dunne and Allen kept Offaly within a goal on the 51 minute mark.

Dunne struck again to cut the gap to two again, but Derry had enough to hold them at bay, despite losing the midfield battle with Offaly for much of the second period.

Shane Tierney and the excellent Nigel Dunne kept up the pressure on until the end, but Derry notched four scores in the final eight minutes to record their first win of the campaign on a final scoreline of 1-15 to 0-13. Offaly captain Anton Sullivan was also dismissed in the dying moments for two yellow cards in quick succession. 

Offaly remain bottom of Division 3 and are now looking at a relegation battle to survive at the level.