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In-form Offaly in hunt for promotion as Munster champions Tipperary face relegation battle

It finished 1-17 to 1-12 in favour of Offaly in Tullamore.

Niall McNamee scored 0-3 for Offaly while Conor Sweeney hit 1-2 for Tipperary.
Niall McNamee scored 0-3 for Offaly while Conor Sweeney hit 1-2 for Tipperary.
Image: INPHO

Offaly 1-17

Tipperary 1-12

OFFALY CONTINUE TO be one of the form teams in this year’s Allianz League after they recorded a third consecutive victory in Tullamore this afternoon, moving through the gears in the final quarter to condemn Munster champions Tipperary to a relegation playoff against Longford.

It was a difficult week in Offaly, particularly in the Rhode club, following the tragic death of their goalkeeper Dean Morris during the week, and his club colleagues were clearly of a mind to put their best foot forward this afternoon, playing key roles all over the field.

Cian Farrell had been drafted into the starting team after kicking two points off the bench against Limerick last week and he kicked the first point of the game, before adding a goal to crown a strong first quarter for the home side.

It was 1-6 to 0-4 when referee James Bermingham signalled for the first water break, and could have been even more as Bernard Allen shot just over the bar when trying to pick out a goal, while Jordan Hayes was also denied by a great goal-line clearance.

That stoppage completely killed their momentum however and with Conal Kennedy and Steven O’Brien taking over at midfield, each adding a point for good measure, Tipperary turned the tide after the restart.

A penalty goal from Conor Sweeney gave David Power’s side a one-point interval lead and they had the better of the third quarter too, but some errant shooting meant the game remained on a knife edge, tied at 1-11 each at the third stoppage.

Tipperary continued to hold a slight advantage in the battle for kickouts, but Offaly’s high-tempo defending forced them into some poor shot choices, and it was only because of some excellent dead ball scores from Evan Comerford and Jack Kennedy that they were level.

john-maughan Offaly manager John Maughan. Source: Bryan Keane/INPHO

The final quarter saw Offaly take over however, firing six points in a row before Tipperary registered a late consolation score. As he did last week against Limerick, Niall McNamee came off the bench to make a crucial contribution, kicking three points in the final quarter.

With Tipperary forced to chase the game, Offaly looked fit and sharp as they struck on the break, Bill Carroll and David Dempsey adding excellent scores that set up promotion tilt against Fermanagh in a fortnight.

Scorers for Offaly: Cian Farrell 1-3 (0-2f), Anton Sullivan, Bernard Allen, Paddy Dunican (0-2f, 0-1 ’45), Niall McNamee 0-3 each, David Dempsey, B Carroll 0-1 each.

Scorers for Tipperary: Conor Sweeney 1-2 (1-0 pen, 0-1f), Philip Ryan 0-3 (0-1 mark), Conor Bowe 0-2, Conal Kennedy, Steven O’Brien, Evan Comerford (0-1f), Jack Kennedy (0-1 ’45), Padraic Looram 0-1 each.

Offaly

1. Paddy Dunican (Shamrocks)

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

5. Colm Doyle (Clara), 19. Carl Stewart (Clara), 7. Jordan Hayes (Edenderry).

18. Cathal Mangan (Kilclonfert), 9. Eoin Carroll (Cappincur)

10. Shane Horan (Kilmacud Crokes), 14. Peter Cunningham (Bracknagh), 12. Anton Sullivan (Rhode).

13. Bernard Allen (Tubber), 24. Cian Farrell (Edenderry), 15. Rúairí McNamee (Rhode).

Subs

17. James Lalor (Raheen) for Mangan (46)

25. Niall McNamee (Rhode) for R McNamee (50)

8. Bill Carroll (Cappincur) for Sullivan (50)

20. Cian Donohoe (St. Brigid’s) for Hayes (59)

23. Joe Maher (Ferbane) for Allen (59)

26. Aaron Leavy (Tullamore) for E Carroll (62)

21. Rory Egan (Edenderry) for Doyle (70+2)

2. Ciarán Donnelly (Bracknagh) for Dempsey (70+3, temp)

Tipperary

16. Evan Comerford (Kilsheelan Kilcash)

4. Tadhg Fitzgerald (Moyle Rovers), 3 Jimmy Feehan (Killenaule), 2 Alan Campbell (Moyle Rovers)

5. Emmet Moloney (Drom & Inch), 6. Colm O’Shaughnessy (Ardfinnan), 7. Paudie Feehan (Killenaule)

8. Stephen O’Brien (Ballina), 9. Conal Kennedy (Clonmel Commercials)

12. Brian Fox (Éire Óg Annacarty Donohill), 11. Jack Kennedy (Clonmel Commercials), 10. Conor Bowe (Moyne Templetuohy).

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13. Colman Kennedy (Clonmel Commercials), 14. Conor Sweeney (Ballyporeen), 15. Seán O’Connor (Clonmel Commercials).

Subs

26. Philip Ryan (St. Brigid’s, Dublin) for O’Connor (19)

18. Kevin Fahey (Clonmel Commercials) for J Feehan (19)

22. Padraic Looram (Clonmel Commercials) for Moloney (28)

20. Jack Harney (Moyle Rovers) for O’Shaughnessy (30, temp)

21. Jason Lonergan (Clonmel Commercials) for Fox (47)

17. Liam Boland (Moyle Rovers) for Colman Kennedy (53)

23. Bill Maher (Kilsheelan-Kilcash) for P Feehan (53)

19. Shane Foley (Moyle Rovers) for Kennedy (59)

25. Riain Quigley (Moyle Rovers) for Foley (70+3, temp)

Referee: James Bermingham (Cork)


Source: The42 Rugby Weekly/SoundCloud

Bernard Jackman and Murray Kinsella join Gavan Casey to discuss their roles in the rugby media, the concept of ‘bias’, punditry preferences, the art of co-commentary, new-age online analysts and much more

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Kevin Egan

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