Allen's star turn key
OFFALY recovered from an inauspicious opening to record an easy win in Tullamore.
A poor Cavan team, who clearly have a difficult road ahead of them, drew first blood with two early points.
While Offaly became increasingly dominant, their poor shooting -- they kicked nine first-half wides -- kept the visitors in it. However, with debutant Bernard Allen having an outstanding game at corner- forward, Offaly finally began to find their range and led by 0-7 to 0-2 at the interval.
Three unanswered points from Sean Johnston (their first scores since the seventh minute) gave Cavan hope.
Allen, though, had other ideas. He settled Offaly nerves by firing over a free-kick and 11 minutes from time tapped in the goal that sealed victory.
SCORERS -- Offaly: B Allen 1-4 (2f), C McManus 0-4 (3f), D Egan, A Sullivan, N McNamee (1f), J Reynolds 0-1 each. Cavan: S Johnston (1f), G Pierson 0-2 each, R Flanagan (1f), M Brennan (1 '45'), B Fitzpatrick, M McKeever 0-1 each.
OFFALY -- A Mulhall; B Darby, S Brady, S Pender; K Slattery, J Quinn, S Lonergan; R Dalton, J Coughlan; G Guilfoyle, D Egan, C McManus; B Allen, A Sullivan, N McNamee. Subs: J Reynolds for Egan (h-t), N Darby for Quinn (45), J Keane for Slattery (55), K Casey for McNamee (56), S Ryan for Guilfoyle (66).
CAVAN -- J Reilly; P Cahill, E Smith, S Jordan; D O'Dowd, A Clarke, D O'Reilly; E McGuigan, P O'Reilly; K Fannin, A O'Reilly, R Flanagan; S Johnston, M Brennan, B Fitzpatrick. Subs: M Cahill for Smith (22), J McCutcheon for Cahill (h-t), M McKeever for A O'Reilly (h-t), G Pierson for Brennan (59), R Cullivan for Fitzpatrick (53).
REF -- E Kinsella (Laois).