Sport Gaelic Football

Sunday 18 February 2018

The game at a glance

Man of the match: Niall McNamee (Offaly): Close run between McNamee and Ciaran McManus as both men were central to the tormenting of the Monaghan defence. McNamee just edges it for his 1-4, particularly the well-taken goal.

Turning point

The period between the 39th and 43rd minute when Offaly extended a two -point half-time lead to six points. McManus landed two from frees and McNamee another two to stamp Offaly's authority on the game.

Talking point

Offaly's new-found self-respect within the camp after a couple of weeks of damning criticism will make them a threat to any opposition in the next round of the qualifiers.

Ref watch

Syl Doyle dished out eight cards, but avoided sending anyone off. Gave Offaly midfielder Niall Smith a break when he ticked him when he could have awarded a second yellow in the second half. Some inconsistencies, but kept up with play well and gave a satisfactory display.

What they said

Tom Cribbin (Offaly manager):

"We'd a lot to make up to ourselves, to nobody else, just to prove to ourselves that we can finish out games. Sometimes, when you get a right kick in the arse, it makes you stand up and be counted."

Eamonn McEneaney

(Monaghan manager):

"We were very much off the pace in the second half. We can't really explain it. They looked to be the Division 1 team, we looked to be the Division 3 team. That's not good enough for a championship performance."

Match statistics

Wides: Offaly 8 (6); Monaghan 9 (6)

Frees: Offaly 20 (10); Monaghan 17 (7)

Yellow cards: Offaly 4 (N Smith 21; B Allen 46, R Dalton 52, P Bracken 67); Monaghan 4 (O Duffy 5, N McAdam 15, C McGuinness 32, D Hughes 49)

Attendance: 3,600

What next?

Offaly play Limerick in next round of qualifiers on July 9; Monaghan's championship is over.

Irish Independent

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