Tuesday 12 December 2017

Coffey refuses to raise white flag with Offaly


Jackie Cahill

TOM Coffey will tell Offaly chiefs that he wants a three-year deal to become the Faithful County's full-time senior football team boss.

Coffey believes that he's the right man to take Offaly forward following a dismal 2012 campaign.

In Coffey's defence, he took over from Gerry Cooney in April following the team's relegation to Division 4 of the Allianz National Football League.

But Offaly suffered a 13-point whipping against a powerful Kildare outfit in the Leinster championship and displayed little appetite for battle against Tipperary at Semple Stadium in Saturday's Round 1 qualifier.

The white flag of surrender was waving midway through the second half as Tipp embarked on a scoring run that sent them six points clear and out of danger with less than 10 minutes remaining.

Ken Casey was the honourable exception as he kicked five points for the visitors and never stopped trying, while Niall McNamee showed flashes of class but was clearly off the pace following a difficult campaign.

Tipp, in contrast, have enjoyed a solid championship campaign and a fourth qualifier success from 13 outings since 2001 will send confidence levels soaring in the camp.


Peter Creedon also took over a team relegated from Division 3 when he succeeded John Evans in April, but the Cork native has worked wonders in a short space of time.

Tipp lost by just six points to Kerry in the Munster championship and have now claimed a first championship win since a 2010 qualifier success over Laois.

Peter Acheson's 17th-minute goal helped Tipp to lead by 1-5 to 0-6 at half-time, but Michael Quinlivan missed a penalty in first-half stoppage-time.

That didn't deter Tipp, however, and it was 19-year-old Quinlivan who kicked the opening point of the second half and would finish as his team's leading scorer with 0-4.

"After missing a penalty before half-time, and only being two points up, it could have been a downer for the team," Creedon said. "But we kicked the first point of the second half and we had that spell, which shows they were taking responsibility. That was the most pleasing aspect."

Coffey reflected: "They're good lads and they've trained hard for the last few weeks, but we need to get a plan in place for the next three or four years. Most counties have done that -- we've fallen behind. There's a lot of work to be done in Offaly.

"I was brought in as interim manager so the management position will be up probably at the next county board meeting. But I would like if the job came my way and I would be prepared to put three years into it."

A crowd of 1,310 watched five of Tipperary's six starting forwards register scores from play on a night when Offaly could muster just seven points from play.

Scorers -- Tipperary: M Quinlivan 0-4 (1f), A Maloney 0-3, P Acheson 1-0, P Austin, R Ryan 0-2 each, B Mulvihill 0-1. Offaly: K Casey 0-5 (1f), N Dunne 0-3 (2f), N McNamee 0-2.

TIPPERARY -- P Fitzgerald 6; A Morrissey 6, P Codd 7, C McDonald 7; B Fox 7, R Kiely 7, A Campbell 6; G Hannigan 6, H Coghlan 6; P Austin 7, P Acheson 7, D Leahy 6; A Maloney 7, M Quinlivan 8, R Ryan 7. Subs: B Mulvihill 7 for Coghlan (43), S Scully for Leahy (62), L Egan for Hannigan (66), B O'Brien for Quinlivan (67), P Whelan for Maloney (68).

OFFALY -- A Mulhall 6; S Sullivan 6, J Moloney 6, S Pender 6; B Darby 6, M Brazil 5, E Rigney 5; R Brady 6, A McNamee 5; N Dunne 6, K Casey 8, R Dalton 5; A Sullivan 5, P Cunningham 5, N McNamee 7. Subs: N Smith 5 for A McNamee (h-t), D Hanlon 5 for Brazil (51), G Guilfoyle 5 for Rigney (51), D Currams for Cunningham (64), D Kelly for Dunne (68).

Ref -- C Lane (Cork).

Irish Independent

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