Offaly in the hat for second round of Qualifiers after seeing off London

Offaly Express Reporter

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Offaly in the hat for second round of Qualifiers after seeing off London

Offaly in the hat for second round of Qualifiers after seeing off London

All Ireland Senior Football Championship Qualifiers Rd 1

Offaly 1-21 London 1-11

Offaly will be in the hat for the second round draw for the All Ireland Qualifiers after seeing off London with relative ease in O'Connor Park on Saturday.

With Bernard Allen leading the way with 11 points, Offaly were not at their best for much of the game but they always had enough in hand to keep London at bay. There will be plenty for John Maughan and his management team to work ahead of the next game but this was a day when it was very much a case of getting the job done.

Offaly moved into an early three point lead playing with the wind but a Killian Butler goal drew London level. Offaly pulled away again and rebuilt their three point lead but they let London back into the game again and the Exiles closed the gap to just one point with half-time approaching. 

However Offaly closed out the half well with Niall McNamee and Bernard Allen guiding Offaly to a 0-10 to 1-3 lead at the break.

Three points from the on form Allen and one from Cathal Mangan extended the advantage to 0-14 to 1-3 within ten minutes of the restart but again Offaly let London back into the game as the visitors hit the next four points to get back within four again. 

Any nerves that may have been building in the very small crowd in O'Connor Park when Rhode's Ruairi McNamee found the back of the net to put Offaly seven ahead midway through the half. Anton Sullivan added another point to stretch the lead but again Offaly allowed London to close the gap as they hit three in a row. 

That left the score at 1-15 to 1-10 after 56 minutes but Offaly dominated the final quarter hour outscoring their opponents by six points to one to round off a workmanlike victory with Bernard Allen fittingly rounding off the scoring.

Offaly will now be in the hat for the next round draw on Monday morning.

OFFALY: P Dunican; D Hogan, E Rigney, D Dempsey; C Donohoe, J Moloney, N Darby (0-1); E Carroll, P Cunningham; S Horan, A Sullivan (0-3), C Mangan (0-1); B Allen (0-11, 0-5f), N McNamee (0-3, 0-1f), R McNamee (1-1). Subs: J O’Connor for C Donohoe (27mins), P McConway for S Horan (61mins), M Abbott for C Mangan (62mins), S Tierney (0-1) for R McNamee (65mins), S Nally for N McNamee (69mins), C Carroll for E Carroll (71mins).

LONDON: G McEvoy; P Butler, M Moynihan, C O’Neill; D Carrabine, M Clarke, E Flanagan; A McDermott, L Feerick; M Gottsche, L Gavaghan (0-1), B Tully; C Doran (0-6, three frees), F McMahon (0-2), K Butler (1-1). Subs: N Maher for G McEvoy (35,mins), L Gallagher for A McDermott (45mins), L Mulvey (0-1) for Tully (45mins), A McGarvey for D Carrabine (53mins), D Dunne for F McMahon (66mins).