Allen leads Offaly surge to promotion
Offaly booked their Division 3 ticket and qualified for a league final with Longford but they made hard work of disposing of Antrim in Tullamore.
Goals were exchanged by CJ McGourty and Nigel Dunne in the sixth minute but Offaly went on to lead 1-5 to 1-2 at half-time, and then pulled away.
Offaly manager Pat Flanagan was not happy with his side's start, saying: "It was the same thing against Waterford, it was only in the last 20 minutes that we took over.
"We were eight points up against Leitrim and took our foot off the pedal. Last week against Longford the same, and before that against Carlow we were three points down before we started playing."
Bernard Allen led the way for the Faithful men, ably assisted by Graham Guilfoyle and Willie Mulhall, who came to the fore in the final 20 minutes with two points each to cement victory.
Antrim played second fiddle for the majority of the game and their day went from bad to worse when captain Conor McGourty was shown a second yellow card late on.
Man of the match: Bernard Allen (Offaly)
Scorers - Offaly: B Allen 0-6 (3fs), N Dunne 1-1 (0-1 '45'), W Mulhall (0-1f), G Guilfoyle 0-3 each. Antrim: CJ McGourty 1-4 (0-4fs), M Pollock 0-2 (1f), J Crozier 0-1.
Offaly - A Mulhall 8; B Darby 8, J Ledwith 6, D Brady 7; N Darby 6, J Moloney 8, J O'Connor 6; G Guilfoyle 8, N Smith 7; E Carroll 6, N McNamee 5, A Sullivan 7; B Allen 8, N Dunne 7, W Mulhall 7. Subs: E Rigney 5 for Ledwith (27), P Cunningham for W Mulhall (66), J Evans for Dunne (67), N Bracken for Allen (67).
Antrim - C Kerr 7; J Laverty 7, C Burke 7, D Lynch 5; C McGuinness 6, R Johnston 7, T Scullion 7; B Hasson 6, O Gallagher 6; C Murray 7, CJ McGourty 7, M Fitzpatrick 5; J Crozier 7, M Pollock 7, R Murray 7. Subs: P McBride 6 for Lynch (28), D McAleese 5 for R Murray (ht), N McKeever 7 for Fitzpatrick (43), R McGrady 6 for Gallagher (58), J Carron for Hasson (66), M Kane for McBride (70, BC).
Ref - L Devenney (Mayo)