Murt Murphy reports from Austin Stack Park
OFFALY’S HURLING SLUMP continues as they will be playing in the third tier of the All-Ireland senior hurling championship after suffering relegation from the Joe McDonagh Cup today.
A dejected Oisin Kelly after Offaly’s defeat.
Source: Oisin Keniry/INPHO
21 years after being crowned Liam MacCarthy Cup champions, Offaly lost out by two points to Kerry in Austin Stack Park and will drop down to the Christy Ring Cup next season. Kerry were superbly led by captain Shane
Conway who had a game high 0-11 from frees and he set up Kerry’s crucial goal for Podge Boyle.
Offaly were dejected and crestfallen at the final whistle. In twelve months they have been relegated from the Liam MacCarthy, dropped to Division 2A in the league and now find themselves in the Christy Ring Cup.
Offaly boss Joachim Kelly during the game.
The victory means Kerry survive to retain their status in the second tier for another year. Padraig Boyle’s first-half goal helped Kerry to go in front 1-7 to 0-6 at the interval. Offaly had made the better start to this crucial clash and looked like blowing Kerry out of the water as the home side appeared very nervous.
Points from Eoghan Cahill, Shane Dooley, Cillian Kiely and Kevin Connolly saw Offaly race 0-4 to 0-0 by the fifth minute. Then disaster in the 7th minute for Offaly when wing-forward Peter Geraghty was shown a straight red for an off-the-ball incident with Kerry corner back James O’Connor.
On the stroke of half-time Kerry struck for a crucial goal when Shane Conway found Podge Boyle with a sublime pass and Boyle buried the ball in the Offaly net to see Kerry retire 1-7 to 0-6 at the interval.
Kerry selector Brendan Cummins with manager Fintan O’Connor celebrate after the game
Source: Oisin Keniry/INPHO
The second half saw Offaly resume a more determined side and threatened to do the improbable with 14 men when a Sean Cleary point was followed by a Shane Dooley goal after a defensive error by Kerry at the back that gifted the Offaly sharpshooter a vital score.
But at the other end Eoghan Cahill made a terrific double save from Jordan Conway and Podge Boyle to deny Kerry a goal. Conway was unerring from frees as Offaly’s defence were guilty of indiscipline but points from Cahill and the excellent Sean Cleary saw the gap reduced to the minimum 1-10 to 1-19 by the 45th minute.
Kerry then took over with Mikey Boyle a colossus at centre-back while Shane and Jordan Conway added points along with Colm Harty with the captain adding five more frees for fouls on him.
Four Shane Dooley frees made for a nervous finish but Kerry should really have put Offaly away with more to spare only for wayward shooting.
Scorers for Kerry: Shane Conway 0-11 (0-11f), Padraig Boyle 1-1, Jordan Conway, Colum Harty 0-2 each, Jack Goulding, Patrick Kelly 0-1 each.
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Scorers for Offaly: Shane Dooley 1-6 (0-6f), Sean Cleary 0-4, Eoghan Cahill 0-2 (0-2f), Cillian Kiely, Kevin Connolly, Joe Bergin, James Gorman 0-1 each.
1. John B O’Halloran (Kilmoyley)
2. James O’Connor (Abbeydorney)
3. Bryan Murphy (Causeway)
4. Sean Weir (Crotta O’Neills)
18. Dan Goggin (Causeway)
6. Michael Boyle (Ballyduff)
7. Daniel Collins (Kilmoyley)
8. John Buckley (Lixnaw)
9. Tomas O’Connor (Crotta O’Neills)
10. Michael O’Leary (Abbeydorney)
11. Shane Conway (Lixnaw)
12. Patrick Kelly (Clarecastle, Clare)
13. Padraig Boyle (Ballyduff)
14. Jordan Conway (Crotta O’Neills)
15. Jack Goulding (Ballyduff)
19. Colum Harty (Causeway) for Goggin (half-time)
25. Michael Slattery (Abbeydorney) for Goulding (70+2)
1. Eoghan Cahill (Birr)
2. Niall Houlihan (Tullamore)
3. Ben Conneely (St Rynagh’s)
4. Mark Egan (Belmont)
5. Damien Egan (Belmont)
6. Cillian Kiely (Kilcormac-Killoughey)
7. Eoin Parlon (Coolderry)
8. Shane Kinsella (Kinnitty)
9. Colm Gath (Drumcullen)
10. Sean Cleary (Shinrone)
11. Dermot Gath (Drumcullen)
12. Peter Geraghty (Kilcormac-Killoughey)
13. Kevin Connolly (Coolderry)
14. Oisin Kelly (Belmont)
15. Shane Dooley (Tullamore – captain)
17. Joe Bergin (Seir Kieran) for D Gath (24)
22. David Nally (Ferbane) for C Gath (half-time)
26. Tom Spain (Brosna Gaels) for Egan (43)
19. James Gorman (Kilcormac-Killoughey) for Kinsella (48)
18. Sean Dolan (St Rynagh’s) for Connolly (57)
Referee: Colm Lyons (Cork)
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