Offaly struggle to see off London

London 1-05 Offaly 1-13

After a dreadful start where they conceded 1-3 in the opening 11 minutes, the Faithful County dominated the remainder of the game but struggled to make it count on the scoreboard.

Minus the injured Niall McNamee, it took the introduction of Peter Cunningham to spark Offaly into life, the Bracknagh clubman kicking five points as London began to wilt.

The Exiles were playing their first competitive game of the year and got off to a dream start when Padraig McGoldrick slotted a first-minute penalty after his initial shot was blocked. Bernard Allen and Anton Sullivan got the visitors off the mark but London hit back with a trio of points.

But London tired as the half progressed and were fortunate Offaly hadn’t their shooting boots on as they trailed 1-4 to 0-5 at the interval.

Three points in as many minutes – two coming from substitute Cunningham – put Offaly in front for the first time and they never looked back. The poor underfoot conditions saw London commit a high number of unforced errors, and one of those resulted in Sullivan finding the top corner of the net on 54 minutes. Cunningham finished with a flourish and kicked his fifth point with two minutes remaining to seal an eight-point victory.

Scorers for Offaly: P Cunningham 0-5 (1f), A Sullivan 1-2 (2f), B Allen 0-4, G Guilfoyle, E Carroll 0-1 each.

Scorers for London: P McGoldrick 1-2 (1-0 pen, 2f), S Kelly 0-2, E O’Neill 0-1 (1f).

OFFALY: A Mulhall; B Darby, E Rigney, S Pender; D Hanlon, D Kelly, G Guilfoyle; A McNamee, S Sullivan; R Brady, B Connor, E Carroll; M Mitchell, B Allen, A Sullivan.

Subs: M Brassel for Darby (15), P Cunningham for Mitchell (26), R Dalton for McNamee (50), P McPadden for Hanlon (55), J Maher for Carroll (69).

LONDON: E Byrne; S Hannon, K Lynam, S Curran; D Ryan, G Carr, G Crowley; M Gottsche, C Doyle; S Kelly, C McCallion, K O’Leary; P McGoldrick, E O’Neill, E Finnegan.

Subs: P Atkinson for Finnegan (35), D McGreevy for Crowley (38), J Monaghan for Doyle (44), S Mulligan for Ryan (55), C Eastwood for McGoldrick (66).

Referee: M Condon (Waterford).

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