Offaly drop points to Cork

November 8, 2018

Allainz NHL Division 1: Cork 1-22, Offaly 1-11

Offaly were level at half time and only trailed by two points with 13 minutes remaining, but Cork won this opening round tie in the National Hurling League by 11 points at Pairc Ui Chaoimh on Sunday, 21st February.

This was a tough opening test for The Faithful County, who are glad to be back in Division 1, and the prospects didn’t look too bad in the opening 35 minutes.

The sides were level six times during that period, including at half time when the scoreboard read 0-9 each.

Offaly led early on thanks to Brian Carroll and Shane Dooley frees and it was 0-5 apiece after 15 minutes. Offaly had a couple of goal chances which weren’t taken, but even after falling two points behind, deservedly drew level again.

The big difficulty for Offaly came early in the second half. Cork hit five points without reply, as they continued to convert some dubiously awarded frees.

Offaly struggled to add to their tally but a 58th minute goal by Shane Dooley reduced their deficit to 0-15 to 1-10. A great move should have resulted in a second goal, only for Ger Healion’s shot to go narrowly wide.

Unfortunately, Cork responded with an Aiske O hAilpin goal in the 62nd minute and they finished with a series of unanswered points to give them a victory margin which stretched into double figures which was harsh on Offaly.

With another away game versus Kilkenny next Sunday, it is the hardest possible start to the league for Offaly but they will hope to build on their first half display and attempt to solve the problem of fading in the second half against the top teams.

Offaly scorers: Shane Dooley 1-8 (6 frees, 1 ‘65’), Brian Carroll, Conor Mahon and Cathal Parlon 0-1 each.

Offaly: Eoin Kelly; James Rigney, Paul Cleary, David Kenny; Dylan Hayden, Ger Oakley, Derek Morkan; Diarmuid Horan, Rory Hanniffy; Brian Carroll, Conor Mahon, Cathal Parlon; Joe Bergin, Ger Healion, Shane Dooley.

Subs Used: Kevin Brady for Oakley; Daniel Currams for Parlon; Derek Molloy for Carroll.