Great performance by 14 man Offaly

November 8, 2018

Leinster SHC Semi-Final: Offaly 3-16 Galway 2-19

A never-say-die attitude by the Offaly hurlers helped them to draw with hot favourites Galway in the Leinster SHC semi-final at Croke Park.

Offaly were harshly reduced to 14 men in the second half, but still came back from four points down to earn a replay, which was the least they deserved.

Along with the sending off, which even some of the Galway contingent agreed was wrong, the referee made numerous decisions which angered the Faithful County fans.

Even so, Offaly played with enormous pride and will now look forward to the replay with confidence.

Although Galway opened brightly with a series of unanswered points, when Offaly settled down they took the game to their opponents. Joe Brady was set up for a 10th minute goal by Shane Dooley which reduced the deficit to 0-5 to 1-1. Dooley then netted himself to put Offaly 2-3 to 0-5 ahead in the 19th minute and it got even better when Joe Bergin fired home to leave Offaly in front by 3-4 to 0-7 in the 23th minute.

Brian Carroll, Derek Molloy and Dylan Hayden also chipped in with exellent points and Offaly deservedly led by 3-7 to 0-11 at the interval.

In the second half, Galway came storming back and by the 43rd minute had edged ahead by 2-13 to 3-8 thanks to quick fire goals from Joe Canning and Ger Farragher.

Accurate free-taker Shane Dooley and substitute Kevin Brady kept Offaly in touch, but Joe Dooley’s men were rocked when the referee showed Daniel Currams a red card. Currams had come on for the in-form Derek Molloy, who had been forced off with an ankle injury.

Galway probably felt they were home and dry when ahead by four points, but Offaly refused to give up and the defenders performed heroics. Joe Bergin and Rory Hanniffy came up with vital scores and with less then five minutes remaining, the sides were tied at 3-14 to 2-17.

Galway took control again with two points and by now the 70 minutes were almost up. But Shane Dooley narrowed the gap and deep into injury time he floated over a difficult free to send the game to a replay. It was a case of history repeating itself for Dooley as he also fired over a free with the last puck of the game to take the first round game against Antrim to extra-time.

Offaly Scorers: 1-7 (6f), Joe Bergin 1-2; Joe Brady 1-1; Brian Carroll 0-2; Derek Molloy, Dylan Hayden, rory Hanniffy and Kevin Brady 0-1 each.

OFFALY: James Dempsey; David Franks, David Kenny, Stephen Egan; James Rigney, Paul Cleary, Derek Morkan; Brendan Murphy, Dylan Hayden; Derek Molloy, Joe Brady, Rory Hanniffy; Shane Dooley, Joe Bergin, Brian Carroll.

Subs: Daniel Currams for Molloy; Kevin Brady for Murphy; Ger Healion for J Brady; Odhran Kealey for Carroll.