Grehan's double blast sees off brave Wicklow resistance
A brace of goals by Brian Grehan sealed the deal for Offaly in Ferbane.
Seven of the Faithful's starting team were playing on their home sod and they took full advantage of the familiar setting, with Grehan hitting his first goal inside two minutes before Wicklow had a chance to settle.
Wicklow remained well within striking distance until a five-minute spell either side of half-time.
A manageable 1-3 to 0-3 deficit was tripled by six consecutive Offaly points, Aaron McDonagh and Ciarán Cahill each scoring twice.
A Kevin Kealy goal in the 44th minute offered Wicklow a reprieve but Grehan then responded with his second goal. The visitors' hopes were further dashed when 'keeper Garry Carroll was dismissed for dissent.
Scorers -- Offaly: B Grehan 2-1, A McDonagh 0-4 (1f), C Cahill, J Maher (1f), L Fox 0-2 each, D Corbett (f), S Connolly 0-1 each . Wicklow: A Conway 0-4 (3f), K Kealy 1-1, A Howard 0-2f, P Mac Suibhne, P Kelleher 0-1 each.
OFFALY -- K Dunne; J Nally, A Camon, P Brazil; S Wren, D Corbett, J O'Connor; C Cahill, L Fox; D McDonagh, A McDonagh, B Grehan; S Connolly, E Lowry, M Hackett. Subs: J Maher for D McDonagh, C Stewart for Hackett, R Crombie for Lowry, S Rickard for O'Connor.
WICKLOW -- G Carroll; S Murphy, P Geoghegan, K Geraghty; C Healy, J Miley, S Phelan; S Pierce, P Mac Suibhne; A Howard, A Conway, P Ellis; K Kealy, D Dawson, P Kelleher. Subs: D Lohan for Geraghty, C French for Kelleher, C Ó Hannain for Kealy, S Geoghegan for Howard.
REF -- B Hickey (Kildare).