NFL Division 3 South: Offaly hit the ground running against Wicklow
Offaly 1-14 - 1-10 Wicklow
By Eoin Horkan
John Maughan charges had more up front than Wicklow to win there opening game in the league.
The away side then managed to break the lines, but Mark Jackson pulled off a great save from a Peter Cunningham effort. Ruari McNamee opened the scoring moments later fisting the ball over the bar.
Conor Byrne run spilt open the Offaly defence , he laid the ball off to Eoin Darcy he fired into the net for the home side . Jackson made a 2nd point blank save moments later. The resulting 45 was slotted over the bar by the Offaly keeper.
Wicklow midfielder Podge O ‘Toole fired over from range to extended there lead.
This was the home sides last score till nearly the 30th minute.
Offaly got scores from wing back Jordan Hayes, Anton Sullivan and a free from Joe Maher before the water break.
Maher fired over 2 more scores another free before slotting from a very tight angle.
Bernard Allen added a free along with one from play as the away side looked to be in complete control.
Dean Healy managed to narrow the gap, before Jackson slotted a long range free .
Just before the break it was 3rd time lucky for the faithful county as wing back Colm Doyle, slotted the ball under Jackson and into the net for a 6-point half time lead.
Davy Burke’s men opened the scoring in the 2nd half with Andy Maher outrageous outside of the boot effort . Conor Byrne received a black card early in the half.
Offaly debutant Bill Carroll tapped over the bar from a mark. Offaly sub-Cian Farrell made his mark on the game early by receiving a black card.
Conor Byrne came back from the black card and fired over a response in anger to narrow the gap.
Veteran forward Niall McNamee responded with a free. Darcy responded with another dead ball. Jackson narrowed the gap again with another long-range dead ball.
Dean Healy burst through the middle to leave only a goal between the sides. Offaly subs Shane Horan and Cian Farrell added their names to the scorers with well taken points.
The aforementioned Healy narrowed the gap before that man McNamee responded in kind when he could have got a goal if needed. Mark Kenny added to the home sides scoring with the final score of the game.
Wicklow Eoin Darcy 1-,1 (1 free) Podge O’ Toole 0-1, Dean Healy 0-3, Mark Jackson 0-2(2 frees), Andy Maher 0-1, Conor Byrne 0-1, Mark Kenny 0-1
Offaly: Joe Maher 0-3 (2 frees), Ruairi McNamee 0-1, Bernard Allen 0-2, (1free) , Sullivan , 0-1, Dunican 0-1 (1 45) , Hayes 0-1, Niall McNamee , 0-2 ( 1 Free) ,Shane Horan 0-1, Cian Farrell 0-1, Bill Carroll 0-1
Wicklow: Mark Jackson: Nicky Devereux, Jamie Snell, Oran Manning: Andy Maher, Niall Donnelly, Dave Devereux: Podge O’ Toole, Dean Healy; Darragh Fitzgerald, Mark Kenny, Conor Byrne; Eoin Darcy, Seanie Furlong Cathal McGee
Subs Arran Murphy for Cathal McGee, Patrick O’ Connor for Arran Murphy, Ross O Brien for Dave Devereux, Kevin Quinn for Darragh Fitzgerald, James Sheerin for Eoin Darcy, JP Hurley for Conor Byrne , Eoin Murtagh for Jamie Snell
Offaly: Paddy Dunican: Declan Hogan, Eoin Rigney, Niall Darby: Colm Doyle, Johnny Moloney, Jordan Hayes: Peter Cunningham, Eoin Carroll: Bill Carroll, David Dempsey, Anton Sullivan: Bernard Allen, Joe Maher, Ruairi McNamee
Niall McNamee for Joe Maher, Cian Farrell for Bernard Allen, Cian Donohue for Colm Doyle, Shane Horan for Anton Sullivan, Jack Bryant for Ruairi McNamee, Carl Stewart for David Dempsey, Rory Egan for Jordan Hayes
Man of the Match : Anton Sullivan