Saturday 4 February 2023 Dublin: 6°C
INPHO/Lorraine O'Sullivan Kildare manager Kieran McGeeney.
# State of Play
O'Byrne Cup: Offaly and Kildare lead the way
The Faithful and the Lilywhites are in strong positions in their respective groups after last night’s games.

Group C

Offaly continue to make the running in this group after securing their second win last night in Gracefield.

The Faithful were 3-11 to 1-9 victors over Athlone IT as they followed up on last Sunday’s success against Laois in Tullamore.

Emmett McDonnell’s side lead by 0-6 to 0-5 at the interval with Niall McNamee striking four points for them.

In the second-half Offaly were initially rocked by their third-level opponents as Colm O’Brien found the net to help Athlone IT go ahead by 1-6 to 0-8.

But then Offaly hit back with Peter Cunningham, Brian Connor and Eoin Carroll all raising green flags to ensure they powered clear and claimed success.

Offaly are now in an extremely strong position entering their last game and only need a point from that battle with Westmeath after Pat Flanagan’s side lost out to Laois in O’Moore Park last night by 2-12 to 0-12.

Laois lead narrowly at half-time by 0-6 to 0-5 with MJ Tierney on fire up front for the O’Moore county while Denis Corroon and Paul Bannon were amongst the point-scorers for Westmeath.

In the second-half David McCormack started to impress in the scoring stakes for Laois but it was Padraig Clancy who was the star of the show as he banged in two goals, to bring his overall return to 2-3, and help establish a six-point margin by the final whistle.

Sunday: Laois v Athlone IT, Portarlington, 2pm; Westmeath v Offaly, Mullingar, 2pm.

Group D

Kildare are the pace-setters in this group after they got the better of Dublin IT last night in Athy by 0-12 to 0-8.

The success followed up last Sunday’s victory for the Lilywhites against Carlow IT while Dublin IT had entered the match on the back of a win against Wexford.

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Kildare were 0-9 to 0-5 to the good at the break with Mikey Conway and Cathal McNally helping to point the way and despite the efforts of Cork’s Mark Collins and Offaly’s Bernard Allen, Kieran McGeeney’s side kept their opponents at bay during the second-half.

In last night’s other match, Carlow IT enjoyed a 0-12 to 0-10 victory against Wexford in Bunclody.

The teams were level at 0-6 apiece at the interval and while Kevin O’Grady showed up well for the Slaneysiders after the interval, it was their county star Ben Brosnan who finished up on the winning team as he helped Carlow IT claim a two-point success.

Sunday: Kildare v Wexford, St Conleth’s Park, Newbridge, 2pm; Carlow IT v Dublin IT, Carlow IT Grounds, 2pm.

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