Sligo 1-14 Offaly 1-12
SLIGO secured their place in Division 3 next season with a hard-fought but deserved win over Offaly in Tullamore yesterday.
Offaly are now staring Division 4 football in the face and while they ended up hanging on, Sligo controlled the game for long periods and laid the foundations for victory in the first half.
Offaly started well and seemed to be motoring nicely as they led by 0-3 to 0-2 after 10 minutes. Then Sligo took over with a penalty goal from Adrian Marren, after Stephen Coen was fouled by Sean Pender, putting them in the driving seat.
A fast Sligo attack soon had the Offaly defence in all sorts of bother with Coen, Mark Breheny and Marren causing problems. They finished the half superbly and deserved their 1-10 to 0-6 interval lead.
Offaly did rally early in the second half and a well-taken Bernard Allen goal cut the deficit to four points, 1-11 to 1-7, and gave them hope. Sligo, however, kept Offaly at arm's length for the most part as the standard of the game declined.
Offaly did get it back to three points with nine minutes left, but points from Marren and Coen put Sligo five clear. Three late Offaly points cut the deficit to two in injury-time but Sligo held on.
Man of the Match: Stephen Coen (Sligo)
SCORERS -- Sligo: A Marren 1-4 (1-0 pen, 1f), M Breheny 0-5 (2f), S Coen 0-4, C McGee 0-1 ('45'). Offaly: B Allen 1-2 (2f), A Sullivan, N Dunne, K Casey, J Coughlan (1f) 0-2 each, D Kelly, N McNamee 0-1 each.
SLIGO -- P Greene 7; N Ewing 6, J Martyn 6, R Donovan 7; C Harrison 6, M Quinn 7, J Davey 6; T Taylor 8, S McManus 8; C McGee 7, A Costello 6, M Breheny 9; S Coen 9, P Hughes 6, A Marren 8. Subs: P McGovern 6 for Davey (8), N McGuire 6 for Martyn (11), B Egan 6 for Hughes (41), D Maye 6 for McGee (61), E Mulligan 6 for Coen (72).
OFFALY -- A Mulhall 8; B Darby 6, E Rigney 7, S Pender 6; J Keane 6, J Moloney 7, D Kelly 6; B Connor 6, N Smith 7; G Guilfoyle 6, A McNamee 6, A Sullivan 6; B Allen 6, N Dunne 6, K Casey 7. Subs: N McNamee 6 for Kelly (h-t), A Keenaghan 6 for A McNamee (52), J Coughlan 6 for Dunne (63), M Brazil 6 for Guilfoyle (63).
Ref -- D O'Mahoney (Tipperary).