Shane Dooley hits 1-10 as Offaly bounce back with victory over Carlow
Offaly 1-17 Carlow 2-11
Offaly are back in contention in the Leinster round robin after an extraordinary week in the province finished off with a three-point win over Carlow at O’Connor Park in Tullamore.
Shane Dooley was the star for Offaly and his 44th-minute strike laid the foundations as they won the second half, and outwitted an ill-disciplined Carlow side, who had Diarmuid Byrne, Hugh Paddy O’Byrne and Brian Treacy all sent off late on.
They all went for straight red cards, and despite goals from Ross Smithers and Sean Murphy and a 1-7 to 0-9 half-time advantage, Carlow are now in danger of falling into the Christy Ring Cup for 2017.
Offaly lost to Westmeath for the first time in 40 years last weekend and manager Eamonn Kelly made four changes for this game. But Dooley remained and he starred with an impressive personal tally of 1-10.
They trailed 0-5 to 0-1 when Kevin McDonald scored for Carlow in the fifth minute, but Dooley hit five of Offaly’s next six scores as they took the initiative. Smithers struck a crucial goal in the 32nd minute and it looked as if Carlow would push on, even though they shot seven wides with the wind at their backs in the first half — they had 13 wides in the first half against Kerry last week.
But they only led by the minimum at the break, and despite Murphy’s goal eight minutes into the second half, Dooley was always a threat.
He got his goal chance one minute later and made no mistake. Carlow couldn’t repel the onslaught and when Byrne saw red, in the 66th minute, for allegedly grabbing Shane Kinsella’s helmet, it was the end. O’Byrne and Treacy soon followed as Carlow fell to pieces.
Scorers — Offaly: S Dooley 1-10 (0-6f, 1’65, 0-1 sl), J Mulrooney, J Bergin (0-1f), P Murphy 0-2 each, K Connolly 0-1. Carlow: Sean Murphy 1-1, R Smithers 1-0, J Doyle 0-3, K McDonald (0-1f), D Murphy (0-1f) 0-2 each, J M Nolan, Seamus Murphy, D Byrne 0-1 each.
Offaly: J Dempsey; P Rigney, D Shortt, C McDonald; D King, S Gardiner, D Mooney; P Camon, S Cleary; C Kiely, J Bergin, S Kinsella; P Murphy, S Dooley, K Connolly. Subs: J Mulrooney for Kiely (47), P Guinan for Cleary (56), J Sampson for Connolly (59).
Carlow: B Treacy; G Coady, M Ryan, A Corcoran; J O’Hara, R Coady, R Kelly; J Doyle, D Byrne; Sean Murphy, Seamus Murphy, J M Nolan; R Smithers, M Kavanagh, K McDonald.Subs: D Murphy for McDonald (47), H P O’Byrne for Nolan (60), C Lawlor for Kelly (70).
Referee: James McGrath (Westmeath).