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Dublin: 13 °C Tuesday 14 July, 2020
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0-8 for Allen as Offaly defeat Westmeath to book place in O'Byrne Cup final

A five-point success for the home side in Tullamore today.

Bernard Allen was Offaly's top scorer today.
Bernard Allen was Offaly's top scorer today.
Image: Laszlo Geczo/INPHO

Offaly 0-16
Westmeath 0-11

Kevin Egan reports from Bord na Móna O’Connor Park, Tullamore

OFFALY’S MORE THOUGHTFUL and incisive attacking play proved to be their trump card in this afternoon’s O’Byrne Cup semi-final clash with Westmeath at Tullamore, as they recorded a fully-deserved five- point win over their neighbours at Bord na Móna O’Connor Park.

Injuries to key attackers John Heslin and Kieran Martin were significant blows to the Lake county in advance of the game as that left them with just two forwards from the team that started their final championship game of 2019 against Clare.

One of those – Callum McCormack – kicked five points overall and generally caused Offaly some problems, but outside of that only fellow corner-forward Lorcan Dolan caused the hosts any problems.

Playing with the wind in the first half, Westmeath got plenty of possession around midfield where Denis Corroon was the dominant influence, but they struggled to break through Offaly’s defensive lines. In contrast, the Faithful county were far more dangerous on the attack, with the rampaging runs of wing back Jordan Hayes a vital weapon.

Hayes kicked two points and hit the post once from three first half goal chances, and Bernard Allen also struck four of his eight points in the opening 35 minutes as the home side took an 0-8 to 0-7 interval lead at the break.

With a deceptively strong wind at their backs after half time, Offaly effectively won the tie in the third quarter when they scored five points without reply. Four of those were frees from Allen while the fifth came from Cian Johnson, with Johnson unlucky not to add a goal to his tally as well. He took a pass from Eoin Carroll and fired the ball into the top corner from 13 metres out, but referee David Fedigan failed to allow advantage after Carroll was fouled and play was called back for a free.

Substitutes Adam Neary and Conor Coughlan made a positive impact for Westmeath and after kicking their first score of the half in the 53 rd minute, Jack Cooney’s men quickly added two more points to get back within a goal.

Offaly had one last trump card to play however, in the shape of IT Carlow student, 20-year old Cian Farrell. Farrell was a key man for the county U20 side last year and he came off the bench to kick two excellent late scores, including the only offensive mark of the game, to wrap up the win.

Scorers for Offaly: Bernard Allen 0-8f, Jordan Hayes & Cian Farrell (0-1m) 0-2, Rúairí McNamee (f), Paddy Dunican (f), Cathal Mangan, Cian Johnson 0-1 each.

Scorers for Westmeath: Callum McCormack 0-5 (0-3f), Conor McCormack (0-1f) & Lorcan Dolan 0-2 each, Luke Loughlin (f) & Adam Neary 0-1.

Offaly

1. Paddy Dunican (Shamrocks)

2. David Dempsey (Ballycommon)
3. Eoin Rigney (Rhode)
4. Niall Darby (Rhode)

5. Eoin Carroll (Cappincur)
6. Shane Nally (Ferbane)
7. Jordan Hayes (Edenderry)

8. Cathal Mangan (Kilclonfert)
9. Michael Brazil (Tullamore)

12. Jason Dempsey (Bracknagh)
11. Rúairí McNamee (Rhode)
10. Conor McNamee (Rhode)

13. Cian Johnson (Ferbane)
14. Bernard Allen (Tubber)
15. Anton Sullivan (Rhode)

Subs

17. Cian Donohoe (St. Brigid’s) for Dempsey (half-time)
24. Ronan McEvoy (Shannonbridge) for C McNamee (49)
19. Brian Darby (Rhode) for Nally (53)
18. Cian Farrell (Edenderry) for Sullivan (57)
21. Aaron Leavy (Tullamore) for Brazil (61)
20. Ciarán Donnelly (Bracknagh) for R McNamee (67)

Westmeath

1. Jason Daly (St. Loman’s)

6. Ronan Wallace (Multyfarnham)
3. Kevin Maguire (Caulry)
4. Boidu Sayeh (Rosemount)

5. Killian Daly (Mullingar Shamrocks)
2. Conor Slevin (Tyrrellspass)
12. Anthony McGivney (Multyfarnham)

8. Denis Corroon (Mullingar Shamrocks)
9. Noel Mulligan (Athlone)

20. Noel O’Reilly (Milltownpass)
7. James Dolan (Garrycastle)
13. David Lynch (St. Malachy’s)

26. Lorcan Dolan (Castledaly)
15. Callum McCormack (Maryland)
11. Conor McCormack (Caulry)

Subs

22. Conor Coughlan (The Downs) for Mulligan (half-time)
21. Adam Neary (Tang) for O’Reilly (half-time)
19. Alan Stone (Castledaly) for Conor McCormack (57)
18. Luke Loughlin (The Downs) for L Dolan (61)
16. Eoin Carberry (Rosemount) for Daly (66)
23. Conor Dillon (Milltown) for McGivney (69)
24. Stephen Connolly (Caulry) for Slevin (70)
25. Nigel Scally (Kilbeggan Shamrocks) for Callum McCormack (70+4)

Referee: David Fedigan (Louth)

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About the author:

Kevin Egan

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