Offaly put in strong opening half while aided with the breeze to lay the foundations for a win over Meath in the second round of the Joe McDonagh Cup on Saturday.
hile they flattered to deceive in the second half, the home side had the work done in the opening 35 minutes to always be in control.
Leading 2-14 to 0-10 at half time, Offaly only managed eight second-half points as Meath, powered by Jack Regan, outscored them by a point in final 35 minutes.
First-half goals from Belmont club-mates David Nally and Leon Fox gave Offaly the perfect tonic as they pulled away from a Meath side who were sticking with them early on until that opening goal from Nally in the 16th minute.
Meath full back Shane Brennan was sent off just seconds after the restart for his part in a melee as the teams came back out after half time and while they never looked like winning the game, they will be heartened by their second-half display.
Offaly will have as many questions as answers when they look back on the game and while championship games are for winning, Michael Fennelly will know that level of performance won’t be good enough to be contesting for Joe McDonagh honours.
Scorers for Offaly: E Cahill 0-9 (5f), D Nally 1-2 (1f), L Fox 1-1, A Cleary 0-3, J Sampson and B Duignan 0-2 each, J Keenaghan, K Sampson and J Murphy 0-1 each.
Scorers for Meath: J Regan 0-14 (12f), E O’Donnchada 0-2, M O’Sullivan, D Reilly and P O’Hanrahan 0-1 each.
OFFALY: S Corcoran; P Cantwell, C Burke, D King; J Screeney, B Conneely, E Kelly; L Fox, Joey Keenaghan; A Cleary, E Cahill, K Sampson; D Nally, J Sampson, P Clancy. Subs – E Parlon for Cantwell (H/T), R Ravenhill for Kenaghan (H/T), J Murphy for Clancy (51m), B Duignan for Cleary (56m), S Cleary for Nally (71m),
MEATH: C Ennis; S Geraghty, S Brennan, B McKeon; S Morris, D Healy, J Kelly; P O’Hanrahan, D Reilly; J Walsh, N Potterton, M O’Sullivan; M Cole, J Regan, E O’Donnchada. Subs – G Murphy for McKeon, (50m), J Coyne for Potterton (52m), P Potterton for Reilly (54m), T Healy for Morris (64m), C Reilly for Walsh (70m).
Referee – Michael Kennedy (Tipperary).
Kerry 3-21 Carlow 0-15
Kerry made the long journey to Netwatch Cullen Park a rewarding one when they came away with a comprehensive Joe McDonagh Cup second-round win over the home side.
Playing against the strong breeze in the first half, the visitors took the game by the scruff of the neck with Shane Conway firing over two points from play. Chris Nolan replied with a point for Carlow but Kerry contained them in the half to lead 0-8 to 0-7 at the interval. Padraig Boyle was in good dead-ball shooting form accounting for five of the Kerry total in the opening period.
Carlow tried to build some momentum on the restart and found the Kerry posts with points from Nolan and Kavanagh. Boyle’s goal on 46 minutes stemmed the Carlow attempted fight-back and from there they built on their lead.
Such was their superiority that the Kerry full-back, Eoin Ross, came forward to score a point and as Carlow wilted Shane Conway found the net for a second Kerry goal. When the home side coughed up easy ball from a puck-out Niall Mulcahy drove forward to score his side’s third three-pointer.
Marty Kavanagh ended up with ten points from placed balls and play for Carlow but he was poorly served by those around him, who were not allowed to express themselves by a determined Kerry side who gave nothing away on the day.
Scorers for Kerry: P Boyle 1-11 (6fs 3 65s), S Conway 1-3 (1f), N Mulcahy 1-2, J Conway 0-2, D Carroll, C Harty, E Ross 0-1 each
Scorers for Carlow: M Kavanagh 0-10 (7fs), C Nolan 0-2, F O’Toole, Diarmuid Byrne (sl), J M Nolan 0-1 each.
Kerry: L Dee, F McCarthy, E Ross, E Leen, S Weir, M Boyle, F MacKessy, M Leane, C Walsh, P Boyle, C Harty, P O’Connor, G Dooley, D Collins, S Conway. Subs: N Mulcahy for Dooley (h/t), M O Connor for Collins (42), J Conway for Harty (52), D O’Carroll for Walsh (58), M Heffernan for Conway (66).
Carlow: B. Tracey; P Doyle, C Lawlor, M Doyle, J McCullagh, D Byrne, F Fitzpatrick; J Kavanagh, R Coady, S Murphy, JM Nolan, K McDonald, C Kehoe, M Kavanagh, C Nolan. Subs: T. Lawlor for J Kavanagh (5), P Coady for Kehoe (h/t), T Joyce for McDonald (53), F O’Toole for Lawlor (59), N Bolger for Fitzpatrick (66).
Referee: S Hynes (Galway)