Faithful put best foot forward

25 January 2008
New Offaly hurling boss Joe Dooley got his tenure off to a good start with a 4-13 to 2-12 Walsh Cup quarter-final win over Down at Darver.

Daniel Currams and Francis Kerrigan set Offaly on their way with two goals inside the opening 10 minutes of the first half.

Offaly dominated most sectors of the field in the opening half as they used the wind to good advantage.

However Down were far from a pushover and good work from Stephen Clarke and first half goal scorer Brendan Ennis ensured they kept in touch.

Offaly were that bit more efficient in going forward though and their more slick stickwork and greater economy of effort helped them build up a 2-12 to 1-4 cushioned lead at half-time.

Down bounced back well in the second half and excellent scores from Kevin McGarry, Stephen Clarke and a goal by Paddy Coulter heaped the pressure on the Faithful.

Down went onto restrict Offaly to just 2-1 in the second half with a second goal from Francis Kerrigan (47th) the only score of the final quarter.

The Mourne men managed to cut the deficit to just five points with 12 minutes remaining in the game but a late goal from sub. Joe Brady sealed the issue for Offaly.

Offaly - D Kilmartin, C Hernon, K Brady, D Franks; D Horan, J Bergin 0-1, D Kenny, C Mahon, B Teehan 0-2, S Dooley 0-4, G Oakley 0-2, J Gorman, D Currams 1-1, D Molloy 0-1, F Kerrigan 2-2. Subs - D Murray for Molloy, J Brady 1-0 for Gorman, J Rigney for Teehan.

Down - G Clarke, L Clarke, F Conway, P Hughes; S Wilson, C Courtney, G Clarke; A Savage, C Coulter 0-1, S Clarke 0-5, B McGourty, D Coffey; B Ennis 1-1, P Braniff 0-1, P Coulter 1-0 Subs - K McGarry 0-2 for Coffey, R McGrattan for C Coulter, M Ennis for G Clarke, C Woods for McGarry, J Coyle 0-1 for Ennis.

Ref - F Devereaux (Kildare)