Molloy dictates the terms for Faithful
Offaly 1-19 Carlow 0-10
Offaly comfortably accounted for Carlow on Saturday evening and booked a Leinster MHC second round date with Dublin.
Despite a poor start that saw them trail 0-3 to 0-0 after five minutes, the home side clicked into gear with Coolderry's Conor Molloy leading the charge from midfield.
By the 15th minute Offaly were 0-5 to 0-4 ahead with Molloy landing three frees and after Kevin McDonald pointed Carlow's fifth score in the 18th minute, Offaly kept their visitors scoreless for the remainder of the half as Liam Langton, John Murray and the excellent Molloy continued to attack the scoreboard as Offaly led 0-12 to 0-5 at the break.
Offaly were full value for their win and once they corrected their early jitters, they never looked like losing to a Carlow side dependent on the frees of centre-forward Kevin McDonald.
While the Offaly forwards thrived on the space in O'Connor Park, their defensive unit were also impressive, conceding only four points from play.
Offaly continued to stretch their lead early in the second half and the game was put to bed on 43 minutes when JP Cleary found the net for the Faithful County to leave it 1-15 to 0-8 as Joe Errity's side closed out the game with Liam Langton and captain Eoghan Cahill in fine form up front.
Carlow are down but not out as they will now get a second chance and move on to face Westmeath, who themselves had a big win over Wicklow.
Scorers - Offaly: C Molloy 0-9f, JP Cleary 1-2, E Cahill 0-3, L Langton 0-3, J Murray 0-2.
Carlow: K McDonald 0-6f, A Kane and C Nolan 0-2 each.
OFFALY - W Malone; C O'Brien, B Conneely, P Delaney; S Lowry, J Fogarty, E Kelly; M Gilligan, C Molloy; O Kelly, JP Cleary, C Cleary; L Langton, E Cahill, J Murray. Subs: J Dooley for P Delaney (56), J Maher for S Lowry (56), C Curran for L Langton (56), D Buckley for C Cleary (57).
CARLOW - T Dowling; S Brennan, P Shanahan, A Casey; J Murphy, E Redmond, P Coughlan; O Roberts, A Amond; N Lynham, K McDonald, A Kane; D Grennan, L Galway, C Nolan. Subs: A Whelan for N Lynham (34), G Lawlor for A Amond (38), A Hosey for D Grennan (50), S O'Neill for L Galway (50), R McEvoy for A Kane (54).
Ref - M McHugh (Westmeath)