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Dublin: 9 °C Wednesday 24 October, 2018
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First victory for Offaly at Croke Park since 2005 with convincing 13-point defeat of Dublin

Kevin Martin enjoyed victory in his first competitive game in charge of the Faithful.

Offaly 2-25

Dublin 1-15

Kevin O’Brien reports from Croke Park

KEVIN MARTIN’S TENURE in charge of Offaly got off to a flying start with a 13 point hammering of Dublin in the Division 1B opener tonight.

Shane Dooley scores his side's first goal with a penalty Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

This was Offaly’s first league win at Croke Park since 1991 and their first victory of any kind at HQ since 2005.

Second-half goals from substitutes Shane Dooley and Liam Langton helped Offaly to the comfortable win, and consigned Pat Gilroy to a heavy defeat in his first game over Dublin.

Both sides came into this game under new management, but it was Offaly boss Martin who left Croke Park in far better spirits after they hit the ground running in the league.

The Tullamore native was a double All-Ireland winner with Offaly in the 1990s and was tasked with stopping the county’s alarming slide in the last decade.

Colin Egan, Conor Mahon and Dan Currams – three players Martin enticed back into the set-up – make successful returns to inter-county action. Egan and Currams scored 0-5 between them, while Mahon was fouled for Dooley’s goaled penalty.

Gilroy, who was without his Cuala contingent, started with eight debutants in Bill O’Carroll, Cian Hendricken, Cian McBride, Tomás Connolly, Fergal Whitely, Ronan Smith, Alan Moore and Paul Winters.

Pat Gilroy Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

Conal Keaney arrived on as a second-half substitute to make his first appearance in a Dublin jersey since July 2015.

Dublin played with Alan Moore and Fionn O Riain Broin as a two-man full-forward line, with three in midfield. Johnny McCaffrey looked to release centre-back Cian McBride in front of his full-back line at every opportunity.

The Faithful opted for a more conventional system, but looked far more comfortable on the ball and held a greater scoring threat up front.

Offaly looked sharper from the early stages and led by 0-6 to 0-3 after the opening quarter, with Kinsella, Currams and Kelly on target early on.

Kinsella, who scored 1-3 in the Walsh Cup semi-final against Kilkenny, continued his fine pre-season form and scored three points from play in a fine display.

Paul Winters’ goal in the 26th minute, which arrived after Shane Barrett broke forward unmarked, threatened to derail Offaly but they responded impressively.

Tomas Connolly and Oisin Kelly Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

They hit six of the next eight scores, including a few long-range beauties from Damien Egan and Currams, to lead by 0-16 to 1-8 at the interval.

Conor Mahon was hauled down inside the area three minutes after the restart and substitute Shane Dooley duly dispatched the penalty.

Dublin enjoyed their best spell in the third quarter as Gilroy ran the bench and Donal Burke fired over a few frees, but they never looked capable of mounting a comeback.

Langton turned Bill O’Carroll and skipped around Alan Nolan for a well-taken goal seconds after coming off the bench. A couple of late Dooley frees and a booming effort from Dermot Shortt put the icing on the cake for the visitors.

Scorers for Offaly: Shane Dooley 1-5 (1-0 pen, 0-5f), Joe Bergin 0-6 (0-3f, 0-1 65), Shane Kinsella 0-3, Oisin Kelly (0-1 sideline) and Colin Egan 0-3 each, Liam Langton 1-0, Daniel Currams and Damien Egan 0-2 each and Dermot Shortt 0-1.

Scorers for Dublin: Donal Burke 0-6 (0-5f), Paul Winters 1-1, Alan Moore 0-2, Chris Crummey, Fergal Whitely, Niall McMorrow, John Hetherton, Ronan Smith and Eamonn Dillon 0-1 each.

Offaly

1. Conor Slevin (Kilcormac/Killoughey)

2. Tom Spain (Brosna Gaels)
3. Sean Gardiner (Lusmagh)
4. Ben Connelly (St Rynagh’s)

5. Patrick Delaney (Kinnitty)
6. Pat Camon (St Rynagh’s)
7. Dermot Shortt (St Rynagh’s)

8. David King (Coolderry)
9. Shane Kinsella (Kinnitty)

10. Joe Bergin (Seir Kieran)
11. Colin Egan (Belmont)
12. Damien Egan (Belmont)

13. Oisin Kelly (Belmont)
14. Conor Mahon (Kilcormac/Killoughey)
15. Daniel Currams (Kilcormac/Killoughey)

Subs

17. Shane Dooley (Tullamore) for Bergin (half-time)
23. Thomas Geraghty (Kilcormac/Killoughey) for Egan (52)
24. Liam Langton (Clodagh Gaels) for Mahon (62)
18. David O’Toole (Shamrocks) for Conneely (71)
20. Daniel Doughan (Shinrone) for Delaney (75)

Dublin

1. Alan Nolan (St Brigid’s)

2. Paddy Smyth (Clontarf)
3. Bill O’Carroll (Kilmacud Crokes)
4. Cian Hendricken (Naomh Mearnog)

5. Shane Barrett (Na Fianna)
6. Cian McBride (St Vincent’s)
7. Chris Crummey (Lucan Sarsfields)

8. John McCaffrey (Lucan Sarsfields)
9. Tomas Connolly (St Vincent’s)

12. Ronan Smith (Lucan Sarsfields)
11. Fergal Whitely (Kilmacud Crokes)
10. Donal Burke (Na Fianna)

13. Alan Moore (St Vincent’s)

14. Paul Winters (St Brigid’s)
15. Fionn O Riain Broin (St Jude’s)

Subs

24. Eamonn Dillon (Naomh Fionbarra) for O Riain Broin (26)
18. Darren Kelly (Craobh Chiarain) for McBride (35 – half-time, blood sub)
21. Niall McMorrow (Ballyboden St Enda’s) for McCaffrey (43)
23. Conal Keaney (Ballyboden St Enda’s) for Moore (46)
25. John Hetherton (St Vincent’s) for Winters (52)
19. James Madden (Ballyboden St Endas) for Hendricken (65)

Referee: Paud O’Dwyer (Carlow).

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Kevin O'Brien

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