Wednesday 26 November 2014

Late Faithful rally sinks Antrim

Published 29/06/2014 | 18:55

Offaly's Shane Dooley gets a shot off with Odhran McFadden of Antrim looking on during the Round 1 All-Ireland hurling qualifier in Ballycastle, Co. Antrim.
Offaly's Shane Dooley gets a shot off with Odhran McFadden of Antrim looking on during the Round 1 All-Ireland hurling qualifier in Ballycastle, Co. Antrim.

Offaly left it late but a Brian Carroll goal in injury-time handed his team victory over Antrim in Ballycastle.

The result was cruel on an Antrim team that looked to be heading for victory in this keenly-contested qualifier, but Carroll pounced as Offaly recovered from their drubbing at the hands of Kilkenny the last time out.

Leading by five points with five minutes to play, Antrim ,failed to score again and were caught by a sucker punch right at the death.

The Saffrons led by 0-13 to 0-10 at the break, before Offaly got in front thanks to a David Kenny goal on 41 minutes.

However, Antrim showed great resolve and character to reply with four points in a row, while Chrissy O'Connell delivered a heroic performance between the posts, making a string of remarkable saves to keep out Brian Whelahan's charges. 

When Antrim struck for a goal in the 58th minute through PJ O'Connell, they moved 1-19 to 1-14 ahead and looked to be on course for a place in Round 2 of the Qualifiers.

Carroll cut the gap to two points in the 66th minute before his goal put Offaly ahead in injury time.

Substitute Seán Cleary added an insurance score deep into added time.  

OFFALY: J Dempsey; N Wynne, R Hanniffy, C McDonald; K Brady, G Healion, C Parlon (0-1); C Mahon (0-1), S Ryan; S Dooley (0-3), D Kenny (1-0), C Egan (0-2); B Carroll (1-4, 1-2f, 2 '65'), D Currams (0-1), J Bergin (0-5, 2f). Subs: D Morkan (0-1) for Ryan (30); E Nolan for Wynne (46); S Cleary (0-1) for Dooley (55); K Connolly for Healion (64).

 

ANTRIM: C O’Connell; O McFadden, C McKinley, A Graffin; S McCrory, N McAuley (0-01), N McManus (0-1, 1f); T McCann (0-1), J McGreevy (0-1); C Carson, P Shiels (0-8, 4f, 1 65), C McCann (0-1); D Hamill, C Clarke (0-3), PJ O’Connell (1-2). Subs: M Bradley (0-1) for McCrory (21); S McAfee (0-1) for Hamill (47); D McKernan for McGreevy (53); N McKenna for McAuley (60); C McGuinness for PJ O’Connell (64).

 

Referee: James McGrath (Westmeath)

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