All-Ireland SFC Qualifier Round 2:

November 8, 2018

Offaly senior footballers got the weekend off to a good start with a victory over Waterford in the All-Ireland Senior Football Qualifier Round 2 game at O’Connor Park.

The first part of a double-bill had a 5pm throw-in and Offaly played better than they did against Clare in Round 1. In the first half, Offaly went three points in front on three separate occasions. Early on, the home side surged 0-4 to 0-1 in front, and later were 0-6 to 0-3 ahead. But despite good scores from Niall McNamee and Anton Sullivan, Waterford kept coming back, Conor McGrath and the Hurney brothers among those on target. But with a well-taken free and a ‘45’ from Ciaran McManus, Offaly were 0-9 to 0-6 ahead at the interval. Offaly also lost influential captain, Karol Slattery, to an injury in the first half, and he was replaced by Paul McConway. Early points by Ciaran McManus and Graham Guilfoyle gave Offaly a five point cushion early in the second half. But then they failed to convert possession into scores and Waterford hit back, leaving it 0-11 to 0-7 15 minutes into the second half. A second Gary Hurney free left only three between the sides, but Brian Connor eventually got Offaly’s 12th point midway through the half.
Offaly then stepped up a gear with Niall McNamee and Anton Sullivan giving them a six point cushion, 14 to 0-8. Waterford cut it back to four but a lovely free from the very impressive McNamee gave Offaly a comfortable 0-15 to 0-10 victory. Offaly could have had a bigger winning margin but a late goal bound effort from Paul McConway crashed off the crossbar.
Offaly Scorers: Niall McNamee (2 frees) 0-5; Ciaran McManus (1 ‘45’, 1 free) 0-3; Grahan Guilfoyle and Anton Sullivan 0-2 each; Ross Brady (free) and Ken Casey 0-1 each.
Waterford Scorers: Gary Hurney (3 frees) 0-5; Conor McGrath 0-2; Shane Briggs, Michael Donnelly, Patrick Hurney 0-1 each.
Offaly: Alan Mulhall; Brian Darby, Scott Brady, Sean Pender; Niall Darby, Ross Brady, Karol Slattery; Richie Dalton, John Coughlan; Graham Guilfoyle, Brian Connor, Ciaran McManus; Ken Casey, Anton Sullivan, Niall McNamee. Subs: Paul McConway for Slattery; John Reynolds for Guilfoyle; Sean Ryan for Coughlan; Alan McNamee for Casey.
Waterford: Tom Wall; Maurice O’Gorman, Tomas O’Gorman, Kieran Connery; Niall Hennessy, Shane Briggs, John Phelan; Mick Ahearne, Kevin Power; Wayne Hennessy, Conor McGrath, Brian Wall; Michael Donnelly, Gary Hurney, Patrick Hurney. Subs: Conor Phelan for Connery; Liam O Lionain for W Hennessy; Stephen Cunningham for P Hurney; John Hurney for N Hennessy; Paul Ogle for McGrath.