Cumann Lúthchleas Gael Cill Mhantáin

Allianz Football League

May 17th, 2021

Allianz Football League
WICKLOW 1 – 10
OFFALY     1 – 14
Offaly took the spoils in the opening round of this Allianz Football League Division 3 South encounter in sundrenched conditions in Aughrim.  A solid first half display by the Faithful County laid the foundation for this victory. A goal on the stroke of halftime, dealt Davy Burke’s charges a huge blow.
Both sides traded chances in the opening moments, before Mark Jackson saved brillianty from a Peter Cunningham piledriver, the ball fell to Ruairí McNamee, who fisted over a point for the opening score of the game in the 6th minute. Offaly lost possession in the middle of the park, Conor Byrne gathered the ball and made a darting run through the Offaly rearguard and offloaded to the onrunning Eoin Darcy, the Tinahely man drilled his shot to the top right hand corner, a tonic start for the Garden County outfit. Back came Offaly with a Bernard Allen effort, his goalbound shot was saved brilliantly by Jackson out for a 45, goalie Paddy Dunican split the uprights from the resultant 45. Pádraig O’Toole bombed over a point for the homeside in the 10th minute. Offaly then took a stranglehold on proceedings, moving forward at pace, breaking through tackles, tallying on three points, the pick of them from Jordan Hayes right boot. The first water break followed with Offaly leading 0-5 to1-1.
Offaly harvested the next four points on the bounce before Dean Healy stopped the rot with an excellent point for Wicklow in the 33rd minute. A long range point from the boot of Mark Jackson cut the deficit to three, as the homeside found some momentum going into injury time. However Wicklow were dealt a massive blow as wing back Colm Doyle guided the ball into Jackson’s net, seconds before the half time whistle sounded, as Offaly now led 1-9 to 1-3 at the interval.
Wicklow had the better of chances on the restart, Kiltegan’s Pádraig O’Toole cursed his luck as his low piledriver took the paintwork of the wrongside of the upright, Andy Maher landed a superb point in the 4th minute. Conor Byrne picked up a Black Card and was off for the next ten minutes, another blow to the homesides cause. Offaly had two great chances of increasing the lead, but some tenacious tackling by Nicky Devereux cleared the danger. Bill Carroll pointed from a mark, for the visitors in the 17th minute of the 2nd half, as the waterbreak was signalled. Each side introduced a number of fresh legs as players on both sides started to cramp up in the warm conditions.
On resumption, Cian Farrell picked up a Black Card for Offaly for a pull down on an opponent. Avondale’s Conor Byrne returned to the fray and raised Wicklow’s 5th white flag of the game, to cut the margin to 5. Niall McNamee replied with a point before Eoin Darcy found the target with a sweet point. Wicklow upped the ante as Mark Jackson pointed from a placed ball before an excellent point from Dean Healy, cut the deficit to three. Offaly put some daylight between the sides again with a brace of points before Dean Healy pointed his 3rd of the afternoon. Niall McNamee put the result beyond doubt with a point for John Maughan’s side, before Mark Kenny closed out proceedings with a point for the homeside.
Wicklow will make the long journey to Thurles next Saturday, in a huge encounter in a must win game against the reigning Munster champions, Tipperary.
WMOTM : Nicky Devereux.
Wicklow;  Eoin Darcy 1-01 (1f), Dean Healy 0-03, Mark Jackson 0-2 (2f), Andy Maher 0-1, Pádraig O’Toole 0-1, Conor Byrne 0-1, Mark Kenny 0-1
Wicklow : Mark Jackson (Baltinglass) ; Nicky Devereux (Ballinteer St.Johns), Jamie Snell (Rathnew), Oisín Manning (St.Judes); Andy Maher (AGB), Niall Donnelly (St.Patricks), Dave Devereux (Ballinteer St.Johns); Pádraig O’Toole (Kiltegan), Dean Healy (St. Patricks); Darragh Fitzgerald (AGB), Mark Kenny (Ballymanus), Conor Byrne (Avondale); Eoin Darcy (Tinahely), Seanie Furlong (Kiltegan), Cathal McGee (Bray Emmets) SUBS: Ross O’Brien (Rathnew), Patrick O’Connor (Blessington), Arran Murphy (Bray Emmets), Kevin Quinn (Blessington), Eoin Murtagh (Dunlavin), James Sheerin (Garrycastle) JP Hurley (AGB),
Offaly: Paddy Dunican (0-1(45)); Declan Hogan, Eoin Rigney, Niall Darby; Colm Doyle (1-00), Johnny Moloney, Jordan Hayes (0-1); Peter Cunningham, Eoin Carroll; Bill Carroll (0-1), David Dempsey, Anton Sullivan (0-1); Bernard Allen (0-2), Joe Maher (0-2 2f), Ruairi McNamee (0-1)
SUBS: Shane Horan (0-1), Niall McNamee (0-2), Cian Farrell (0-1), Carl Stewart, Rory Egan, Cian Donohue
Ref : Seamus Mulhare (Laois)

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