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Dooley fires up Faithful comeback

Shane Dooley powered home a goal from a 25-metre free six minutes from the end to help a depleted Offaly claim victory over Wexford in a challenge match to mark the official opening of Oulart-The Ballagh's new club grounds yesterday.

A near full-strength Wexford had the better of the opening 30 minutes but Offaly managed to remain in touch despite playing into a strong breeze.

After an Eanna Martin point had put the home side in front after just two minutes, it was Colm Egan who powered home an Offaly goal one minute later.

While there was little to separate the sides, Wexford -- with goals from Martin and David Redmond after 14 and 21 minutes -- went in with a six-point interval lead of 2-8 to 1-5.

The sides continued to trade points in the second half with Dooley, Derek Molloy and Egan finding the target for Offaly, while Wexford had scores through Nicky Kirwan, Rory Jacob and Martin.

Wexford were leading by a goal when Dooley found the net from a free to level, while further points from Derek Markham and Egan secured the win.

SCORERS -- Offaly: S Dooley 1-6 (1-5 f), C Egan 1-3, T Carroll, D Molloy 0-2 each, D Markham, G Healion 0-1 each. Wexford: N Kirwan 0-6 (3f), E Martin 1-3, D Redmond 1-1, R Jacob 0-2, P J Nolan 0-1.

Offaly -- J Dempsey; S Egan, D Kenny, B Mulrooney; D Hayden, E Murphy, D Markham; S Kelly, J Mulrooney; C Egan, J Bergin, S Dooley; T Carroll, G Healion, C Gath. Sub: D Molloy for J Mulrooney.

Wexford -- N Carton; P Roche, K Rossiter, C O'Shaughnessy; L Prendergast, C Kenny, M Jacob; D Redmond, H Kehoe; J Nolan, T Waters, S Banville; R Jacob, E Martin, N Kirwan. Subs: E Furlong for Waters, J Berry for Kirwan.

Ref -- D Murphy (Wexford).

  • Laois will head into next weekend's Leinster championship opener with Antrim on the back of a 14-point defeat, after Cork swept them aside by 3-18 to 0-13 in a SH challenge game at a windy Dromina last night.

Brendan Fennelly fielded the closest side possible to next week's starting 15, but Laois couldn't handle the score-taking ability of Patrick Horgan, who hit 0-13 and two goals from Jamie Coughlan, which had the Rebels 2-7 to 0-7 ahead at the interval.

Scorers -- Cork: P Horgan 0-13 (10f), J Coughlan 2-3, R Clifford 1-0, B Corry, C Naughton 0-1 each. Laois: W Hyland 0-7 (4f), C Dunne 0-2, J Walsh, G Reddin, J Brophy, W Dunphy 0-1 each.

Irish Independent