Breheny contribution the difference in Sligo victory
Sligo talisman Eamon O'Hara's second-half introduction, Kenneth Sweeney's return at full-forward and Mark Breheny's contribution of four points were the vital ingredients for Sligo as Kevin Walsh's charges occasionally laboured to a one-point win over Offaly at Markievicz Park.
Offaly, for whom corner-forward Niall McNamee was superb until hampered by a second-half ankle injury, reduced the deficit to a single point in the helter-skelter closing minutes when defender Brian Darby pointed but this was the losers' only score of the last 20 minutes.
Sligo, who led at half-time 0-8 to 0-7, only hit four scores in the second period. Initially pegged back by their opponents after the break -- Offaly briefly led 0-9 to 0-8 -- Sligo went two points up, 0-12 to 0-10, with points from substitute Sean Davey and Sweeney.
Sligo opened the scoring with a Tony Taylor point in the first minute but Offaly, with McNamee contributing three classy first-half scores, played the more constructive football in the opening period when both defences were guilty of regular lapses.
Scorers -- Sligo: M Breheny 0-4 (3f), K Sweeney 0-2, T Taylor, S Coen, D Kelly, A Costello, S Gilmartin, S Davey 0-1 each. Offaly: N McNamee 0-5 (1f), J Reynolds 0-3, D Egan, C McManus, B Darby 0-1 each.
Sligo -- P Greene; C Harrison, N McGuire, R Donovan; N Ewing, M Quinn, J Davey; T Taylor, S Gilmartin; A Costello, M Breheny, K Sweeney; S Coen, D Kelly, G Gaughan. Subs: B Kennedy for McGuire, E O'Hara for Coen; S Davey for Costello; F Quinn for Gilmartin.
Offaly -- A Mulhall; C Kiely, S Pender, B Darby; P McConway, R Dalton, S Lonergan; J Coughlan, C McManus; A Lynam, S Brady, S Ryan; D Egan, J Reynolds, N McNamee. Subs: A Sullivan for Ryan, N Coughlan for Egan, P Sullivan for Brady, S Sullivan for Reynolds, N Dunne for Lynam.
Ref -- E O'Grady (Leitrim).