Offaly undone by hungry Louth outfit in Tullamore
Leinster MFC Rd 5
Offaly 1-11 Louth 2-12
Offaly bowed out of the Leinster Championship on Tuesday evening after an underwhelming performance against a Louth side that now advance to a Shield semi-final.
Offaly's realistic hopes of making a Leinster semi-final were dashed last week at the hands of Meath and in truth, that defeat appeared to knock the fizzle out of an Offaly team that had started the campaign so well.
In terms of last night’s game, Offaly got off to the best possible start with a Cathal Flynn goal early on but Louth's forward were well up to carving into the deficit, especially Joe Mee who hit his third point after just 23 minutes.
Cathal Flynn, Jack Bryant and Aaron Kellaghan pointed again for the hosts as they led 1-5 to 0-4 nearing half-time, but a goal from Craig Lennon meant there was just a point between the teams at the break.
Offaly once again started in the ascendency in the second period with Morgan Tynan and Jack Bryant tagging on early scores but throughout the half, the Offaly defence struggle to tie Louth's Cathal Fleming down. He went on to score six second half points, including four frees.
That kept the scoreboard ticking for the Wee County and the sides were level at 1-8 apiece on the 43-minute mark. The teams traded scores heading to the close of play and when Aaron Kellaghan fired over his second point of the evening on the 49-minute mark, the teams were level once more at 1-10 apiece.
The sides went toe to toe to the end with Louth just sticking their noses in front, 1-12 to 1-11 on 57 minutes, and the fatal blow was dealt in the dying embers of the game by Louth's Ryan Walsh.
TEAMS AND SCORERS
Offaly: Seán O'Toole; Aaron Brazil, Kieran Dolan, Briain Nolan; Ed Cullen (0-1), Rory Egan, Harry Balsiger; Cathal Donoghue, Morgan Tynan (0-1); Peter Bennett, Seán Courtney, Mikey Cunningham (0-2); Jack Bryant (0-3), Aaron Kellaghan (0-2, one free), Cathal Flynn (1-1)
Subs: James Nolan for Bennett (40), Daniel Lowry (0-1) for Courtney (43), Cormac Delaney for Cunningham (50), Luke Egan for Donoghue (53)
Louth: James McGillick; Finbarr Lynch, Paul McEvoy, Tom Jackson; Rúairí Hanlon, Craig Shevlin (0-1), Gabriel Bell (0-1); Ryan Walsh (1-0), Joe Mee; Bobby Butterly, Dáire Nally, Cathal Fleming (0-6, four frees); Seán Healy, Conal McCaul (0-3), Craig Lennon (1-1)
Sub: Conor Quigley for Mee (53)
Referee: Darragh Sheppard (Dublin)