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Dublin: 8°C Saturday 15 May 2021

Good start for new boss Brian Whelehan as Offaly rally to beat Antrim

A horrendous Saffrons own goal turned the tide for the home team in Tullamore.

Ciaran Clarke of Antrim with James Rigney of Offaly.
Ciaran Clarke of Antrim with James Rigney of Offaly.
Image: INPHO/Donall Farmer

A DISATROUS OWN GOAL by Antrim full-back Conor McKinley swung the tide of this afternoon’s Walsh Cup tie in Offaly’s favour.

New Offaly boss Brian Whelahan witnessed his side fight back from 0-10 to 0-5 down, in Tullamore, to ultimately claim the first round encounter 1-17 to 0-14.

The Saffrons got out to an early lead with points from Ciaran Clarke, Stephen McAfee, Jackson McGreevey and Daniel McKernan. Kevin Connolly and Barry McFaul responded for the home side but they were four points in arrears after 24 minutes.

That deficit stretched to six after the half-hour mark but two late free from Joe Bergin made it 0-9 to 0-5 at the break. Whelehan’s first ever half-time talk must have had the desired effect as Offaly began to steadily accumulate the points. Bergin’s frees were keeping his side in the hunt and disaster was to follow for the visitors.


Whelehan calls the Offaly shots from the sidelines. INPHO/Donall Farmer

Geraghty put Offaly ahead for the first time in the match, going into the final 15 minutes and a back-pedaling McKinley hand-passed the ball beyond goalkeeper Seanan McToal and into his own net. The mistake sapped Antrim and the Offaly replacements were starting to make an impact.

Final point of the match came from play as Joe Bergin registered his 10th score of the game to turn a six-point deficit into a six-point victory.

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Patrick McCarry

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