Offaly march into final

Offaly 0-9 Wexford 0-2

Playing with the breeze, Offaly raced into a 0-5 to 0-0 lead by the end of the opening quarter. After Patrick Rigney pointed a free within 30 seconds of the start they went on to control the opening exchanges, adding further points through Anton Sullivan, Brian O’Connor (2), one free, one 45, and Graham Guilfoyle, as they controlled midfield.

Offaly’s lead could have been greater as Keith Lawlor pulled a great goal chance wide after seven minutes. At the opposite end Wexford were making little impact, with their only score of the opening half arriving after seventeen minutes, a Shane Bradley point, leaving the midlanders leading 0-5 to 0-1 at the interval, despite failing to score in the second quarter and kicking nine first half wides.

We had to wait until the 39th minute for the opening score of the second half, when Brian Connor pointed a 21-metre free to stretch the Offaly lead with five points. .

Wexford had to wait 35 agonising minutes for their second score, a Michael O’Regan pointed free 22 minutes into the second half but it was Offaly who still played with the greater composure with centre-back Brian Geraghty outstanding in defence.

Offaly finished the game strongly with points from a Michael O’Regan (free) and two from excellent centre-forward Patrick Rigney to secure their final spot with some ease as the home side could only manage a single point from play.

Offaly scorers: B Connor 0-3, 0-2 frees, 0-1, 45; P Rigney 0-3, 0-1 free; K Lawlor, G Guilfoyle, A Sullivan 0-1 each.

Wexford scorers: S Bradley, M O'Regan (f) 0-1 each.

WEXFORD: S O'Gorman; J Breen, S Gaul, M Crowdle; C Carty, J Lacey, D Whelan; C Kehoe, P Stafford; D Murphy, M O'Regan, B Berney; K O'Grady, G O'Toole, S Bradley.

Subs: B O'Gorman for Berney; B Nolan for Kehoe; E Kent for Bradley; J Doyle for Murphy; M Atkinson for Whelan.

OFFALY: S Nally; L Dunning, J Moloney, D Ryan; D Kelly, B Geraghty, A Murphy; B Connor, N Graham; K Lawlor, P Rigney, G guilfoyle; B Allen, A Sullivan, R Allen.

Subs: M Mangan for Kelly; K Knight for Allen.

Referee: E Craul (Wicklow).

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