Monday 22 May 2017

Game at a glance

Man of the match

Sean Pender (Offaly)

No Down player stood out and it was Offaly's two teenagers, Anton Sullivan (18) and Pender (19) who most caught the eye, especially the latter's heroic defending.

Turning point

Aidan Carr's daisy-cutter goal soon after the re-start. It gave Down their first lead and though Offaly levelled it again, it gave the Mourne men the confidence to drive on.

Talking point

Benny Coulter's high challenge on Anton Sullivan after 33 minutes. The Down talisman got a yellow card but the initial impression was that he looked lucky not to get red.

Ref watch

Did Michael Duffy err on the Coulter card? Otherwise he played tightly to the rules, intelligently over-ruling his umpires twice -- but he needs to get them to sharpen up their game.

What they said

James McCartan (Down manager):

"That wouldn't be good enough no matter who we draw next but I'm happy with the fact that we turned a corner during the game, which we didn't do against Tyrone.That's one big plus."

Tom Cribbin (Offaly manager):

"We created the goal chances and played with character even when we lost some of those early chances. Down were bound to come back at us but the lads showed unbelievable character."

Match statistics

Wides: Down 13 (4); Offaly 11 (6).

Frees: Down 15 (4); Offaly 16 (9).

Yellow cards: Down 3 (Rooney 23, Coulter 34, M Clarke 59); Offaly 4 (Sullivan 23, McManus 49, Reynolds 53, Connor 65).

Red cards: Down 0; Offaly 0.

Attendance: 3,200.

What next?

Down go through to face Sligo in the fourth phase of the qualifiers, while Offaly's season is over.

Irish Independent

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