AN impressive Dublin City University side gave a fine display of sharp-shooting as they recorded a very comfortable win over Offaly in Rhode last night.
The students were far fitter and sharper than the home side and their place against Kildare in Newbridge on Sunday was assured well before the final whistle was blown.
Offaly started brightly enough and they were the better side for the opening quarter. They led by 0-4 to 0-1 after just six minutes, but this was as good as it got for them.
The hosts continued to hold their own for most of the rest of the half, but DCU became increasingly potent as it wore on.
With Donie Shine and Shane Roche in fine form up front, they didn't miss anything and they were level, at 0-4 apiece, after 23 minutes.
John Coughlan blasted over the bar with the goal at his mercy for Offaly in the 25th minute, but DCU took over control subsequently as they strode into a 0-8 to 0-6 half-time lead.
The second half was one-way traffic towards the Offaly goal as DCU totally dominated.
The Midlanders ran out of steam and ideas and DCU could afford the luxury of introducing five substitutes -- none of whom weakened their overall team performance.
They were 0-15 to 0-6 ahead before Offaly got their only two scores of the second half from frees by Ken Casey and Noel Graham.
DCU finished well and points from Bryan Cullen and Martin McElhinney put the icing on the cake.
SCORERS - DCU: D Shine 0-5 (0-3f), S Roche 0-4
(0-1f), M McElhinney, C McGuinness 0-2 each, D Kinnan, D O'Gara, B Cullen, M Murphy 0-1 each. Offaly: K Casey 0-4 (0-3f), N Graham (0-1f), C McManus (0-1 '45'), J Reynolds, J Coughlan 0-1 each.
DCU -- R Hennelly; N Collins, K Gavin, S Ormsby; J McCarthy, N McAdam, C Rafferty; F O'Shea, M McElhiney; D Kinnan, D O'Gara, C McGuinness; S Roche, D Shine, D Kelly. Subs: M Murphy for Kinnan (h-t), B Cullen for Rafferty (h-t), B Waters for McGuinness (41), P McMahon for Collins (48), L O'Donovan for Kelly (48).
OFFALY -- A Mulhall; J Keane, S Brady, S Pender; S Lonergan, R Brady, S Ryan; N Smith, R Dalton; N Graham, K Slattery, C McManus;J Reynolds, J Coughlan, K Casey.
Subs: N Dunne for Slattery (45), W Crampton for Smith (49), P Bracken for Dalton (54), W Mulhall for Reynolds (64), M Cocoman for Ryan (64).
REF -- D Gough (Meath)