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Darby's delight secures draw for Faithful

Offaly 0-10 Longford 0-10

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Longford played their best football against the wind in the opening half and deserved their half-time lead. (stock photo)

Longford played their best football against the wind in the opening half and deserved their half-time lead. (stock photo)

SPORTSFILE

Longford played their best football against the wind in the opening half and deserved their half-time lead. (stock photo)

Offaly and Longford have become the best of enemies in recent times and the sides could not be separated in another fiercely contested duel in Tullamore yesterday.

Longford were the better team for 40 minutes but a resurgent Offaly showed their mettle with captain Niall Darby striking for the equaliser four minutes from time.

Both sides will feel they should have won it. Offaly had their chances in those closing 30 minutes but wayward shooting cost them dearly, while Conor McNamee's goal-bound effort 20 minutes from time came back off the post.

Longford led 0-8 to 0-6 after 40 minutes with midfielder Darren Gallagher to the fore but Offaly kicked four of the last six points.

Longford played their best football against the wind in the opening half and deserved their half-time lead with Gallagher kicking the last score of the half to give his side a 0-6 to 0-5 advantage at the interval.

Gallagher had a massive game and he landed two more points within five minutes of the restart as Pádraic Davis's men edged 0-8 to 0-6 clear.

However, Bernard Allen kick-started the Offaly revival with two scores to bring it level but as the Faithful County racked up the wides, points from Dessie Reynolds and Oran Kenny maintained Longford's lead.

Both forward divisions spurned goal chances but the last word was left to Darby as he landed a superb equalising effort to earn Offaly a draw.

Scorers - Offaly: B Allen 0-4 (3f); A Sullivan 0-3; R McNamee 0-2 (1f); N Darby 0-1. Longford: D Gallagher 0-5 (1f); D Reynolds, O Kenny 0-2 each; R Brady 0-1.

OFFALY - P Dunican 7; D Dempsey 9, E Rigney 7, C Doyle 7; E Carroll 7, D Hogan 7, N Darby 7; C Mangan 7, M Brazil 7; S Horan 6, R McNamee 7, J Hayes 6; B Allen 7, A Sullivan 8, C Johnson 6. Subs: C McNamee 7 for Johnson (33), C Donohoe 6 for Hayes (52), C Donnelly for Sullivan (75).

LONGFORD - P Collum 7; P Fox 7, A Farrell 7, B O'Farrell 7; I O'Sullivan 7, G Rogers 7, CP Smyth 8; D Gallagher 9, K Diffley 7; M Quinn 6, D McElligott 7, D Reynolds 7; D Mimnagh 7, R Brady 7, O Kenny 7. Subs: J Hagen 6 for McElligott (62), D Doherty for Kenny (65), L Connerton for O'Sullivan (74).

ReF - L Devenney (Mayo)

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