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Conor Whelan bagged Galway's first-half goal.
Conor Whelan bagged Galway's first-half goal.
Image: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

Flynn hits 0-13 as Galway move to top of the table with comfortable win over Offaly

Elsewhere it finished all square between Carlow and Laois while St Kieran’s lifted the Leinster colleges crown.
Feb 24th 2019, 5:32 PM 9,510 6

Galway 2-20
Offaly 0-14

Kevin Egan reports from Tullamore

AN UNDERSTRENGTH GALWAY side easily held Offaly at bay in a one-sided Allianz League Division 1B encounter in Tullamore this afternoon, with Jason Flynn’s metronomic display of shooting the highlight in a contest that was otherwise dominated by defensive play on both sides.

Cathal Mannion, Joe Canning, Davy Glennon and Aidan Harte were all left out of the side that Galway manager Micheál Donoghue named during the week, but the Tribesmen didn’t miss a step as a result and still took control of the game in the early stages, building on their dominance of the Offaly puckout.

They won the first four Offaly restarts and while they struggled to gain traction close to the Offaly goal, with Niall Houlihan and Ben Conneely both putting in strong performances, they drew fouls from slack Offaly tackling further out the field. Flynn was in immaculate form throughout the seventy minutes, racking up 13 points in total, eight by half time, all while registering just one wide late on.

James Skehill produced a brilliant reflex save to deny Kevin Connolly on the Offaly side’s first meaningful attack, though Joe Bergin pointed the resultant ’65, and when Colin Egan added the next score with 19 minutes gone, Offaly were just four points adrift and could have felt that they had weathered the storm.

They continued to struggle up front however with Egan (0-3) their only scorer in the first half, aside from that Bergin ’65. Galway too found the going tough closer to goal, but with Flynn piling on the points, they still held a comfortable lead and added to it in first half injury time when Conor Whelan kicked a loose ball to the net after dissecting the posts from out on the stand-side touchline.

1-12 to 0-4 ahead at half time, Offaly produced some of their best hurling of the year so far in the ten minutes after half time and cut the gap back to six points, with Kevin Connolly, Kevin Dunne, Sean Dolan and Bergin all on the scoresheet.

The nervousness on the Galway sideline was palpable and it spilled over as Michéal Donoghue took issue with the awarding of a point for a Colm Gath sideline cut that looked to have drifted wide, leading to Sean Stack sending the Galway manager up to the terrace.

It proved inconsequential however as Galway steadied the ship in the final quarter, aided by strong performances from Padraic and Cathal Mannion off the bench. Their full back line kept a tight grip on the game, even after Shane Dooley was introduced for the home side, and a late goal from Brian Concannon put real distance between the sides and piled the pressure on Offaly ahead of their trip to Carlow next Sunday.

Scorers for Galway: Jason Flynn 0-13 (0-8f, 0-4 ‘65s), Conor Whelan 1-2 (0-1f), Brian Concannon 1-1, Niall Burke, Davy Glennon, Seán Kilduff, Seán Loftus 0-1 each.

Scorers for Offaly: Joe Bergin 0-6 (0-5f, 0-1 ’65), Colin Egan 0-3, Kevin Connolly, Kevin Dunne, Seán Dolan, Colm Gath (sideline), Paddy Murphy 0-1 each.

Galway

1. James Skehill

2. Sean Linnane
3. Paul Killeen
4. Darren Morrissey

19. Jack Fitzpatrick
6. Gearóid McInerney
5. John Hanbury

21. Seán Loftus
9. Seán Kilduff

10. Niall Burke
13. Conor Whelan
14. Jason Flynn

23. Ronan O’Meara
24. Brian Concannon
22. Kevin Cooney

Subs

15. Davy Glennon for Burke (32)
20. Padraic Mannion for Hanbury (51)
8. Cathal Mannion for O’Meara (57)
18. Ronan Burke for Fitzpatrick (59)

Offaly

1. Conor Clancy

2. Paddy Rigney
3. Niall Houlihan
4. Ben Conneely

5. Damien Egan
6. Pat Camon
7. Andy Flynn

8. Aidan Treacy
9. Mark Egan

10. Kevin Dunne
11. Colin Egan
12. Seán Dolan

15. Colm Gath
14. Joe Bergin
13. Kevin Connolly

Subs

17. Shane Kinsella for Flynn (10)
18. Paddy Murphy for Colin Egan (46)
20. Shane Dooley for Gath (52)
23. Eoghan Parlon for Mark Egan (62)
21. David Nally for Dunne (70)

Referee: Sean Stack (Dublin)

******************************

Elsewhere it finished 0-17 apiece between Carlow and Laois in Division 1B of the Allianz hurling league in Netwatch Cullen Park with David English grinding out a late draw for the home side.

Marty Kavanagh shot 0-8 for Carlow and Mark Kavanagh matched that total for Laois in a game where Laois were in front 0-9 to 0-7 at the interval.

In O’Moore Park, St Kieran’s claimed the Leinster senior colleges hurling title with a 1-17 to 2-7 success over Coláiste Eoin. Ciarán Brennan’s goal helped St Kieran’s lead 1-8 to 2-4 at the interval and they stretched clear in the second half to win by seven points.

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