Cribbin happy squad taking shape
OFFALY hurlers and footballers have contrasting aims as they head into crucial Allianz League games next Sunday.
The hurlers have yet to win a game and are bottom of Division 1 as they prepare to take on Tipperary in Nenagh, while the footballers are very much in the promotion race in Division 3. However, they face a big test against leaders Louth -- whom they trail by two points -- in Drogheda.
Football manager Tom Cribbin believes his squad are beginning to take shape at the right time after being weakened by injury and unavailability earlier on.
"We lost a lot of defenders at one stage and it took a while for the Rhode lads (who were involved in the Leinster club final in January) to get back, but we're getting stronger by the week now. We'll need it all against Louth. They have carried on the good form from last year," said Cribbin.
His hurling counterpart Joe Dooley must plan without his son Shane, who is a recovering from a serious ear injury sustained against Dublin last Sunday. Thankfully, there will be no permanent damage, which comes as a major relief.
However, the injury rules Dooley Jnr out of Sunday's game, and he will be joined on the absentee list by Ger Healion, who damaged his hamstring against the Dubs. Offaly are also without James Rigney, Joe Brady, Paul Cleary and Derek Molloy, all of whom are recovering from longer-term injuries.
"It's a bad time to be without so many players, but we've got to get on with it as best we can," said Joe Dooley.