Thursday 17 January 2019

Faithful depart with a point as Dubs held in Parnell

Dublin 1-13 Offaly 0-16

23 December 2017; Dublin coach Paul Clarke. Photo by Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile
23 December 2017; Dublin coach Paul Clarke. Photo by Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile

Rónán Mac Lochlainn

DUBLIN made a scrappy start to their O’Byrne Cup campaign when drawing 1-13 to 0-16 with Offaly at Parnell Park.

Under interim manager Paul Clarke, there was plenty to admire in the fluency of the freshly- assembled panel initially.

They lacked cohesion at times in the second-half but did just enough to earn a share of the spoils and withstand an improved showing from Offaly upon the restart.

After comprehensively beating Wexford last Sunday, Offaly made the brighter start and with the breeze they pulled two points clear inside five minutes following scores from Cian Johnston and Anton Sullivan.

The hosts found their attacking groove in the sixth minute as Colm Basquel put the finishing touches to a fine move involving Glenn O’Reilly and Killian O’Gara, calmly slotting home from eight yards.

Although Declan Hogan replied for Offaly to restore parity, Emmet Ó Conghaile and Shane Carthy were be ginning to exert a strong influence around the middle third as Dublin regained their lead through a Killian O’Gara score.

The holders played their most fluent football at this stage and kicked three points clear by the 13th minute with Basquel and Carthy on target.

As the half evolved, the Dubs were forced to play a patient game with the wind mitigating against quick delivery inside but their composure was rewarded as Gerry Seaver timed his run well from wing-back to kick an eye-catching point in the 23rd minute.

The visitors kept in the hunt through points from Johnston and substitute Nigel Dunne but it was fitting that Basquel, the game’s most influential attacker, should end the scoring with a brace of points edging Dublin five clear (1-8 to 0-6) by the interval.

The Faithful resumed on the front foot with Johnston adding to his personal tally with a well-taken score in the 37th minute.

Some rash shooting undermined their ambitions of a comeback but with Dublin restricted to a Basquel free in the opening ten minutes of the half, Offaly found their range through points by Dunne, Johnston and Jordan Hayes.

Dublin were largely reliant on Basquel frees as they struggled to impose themselves up front and they paid for their inadequacies as Offaly finished strongly to earn a deserved share of the spoils thanks to scores from Dunne and the impeccable Johnston.

Both teams had chances to clinch the victory late on but Sullivan saw an effort clip to safety off the upright while at the opposite end, Seaver kicked a long-distance free well wide in the final play.

SCORERS–Dublin:C Basquel 1-6 (0-3f), S Carthy 0-3 (0-1f), G Seaver, K Doherty, K O’Gara, C Carthy 0-1 each. Offaly:C Johnston 0-7, N Dunne 0-4 (0-3f), A Sullivan, D Hogan, C Donohue, J Hayes, J O’Connor 0-1 each.

DUBLIN: A Bunyan; R McGowan, G Hannigan, S McMahon; D Devereux, B Howard, G Seaver; E Ó Conghaile, A Elliott; G O’Reilly, S Carthy, K Doherty; C Basquel, K O’Gara, C Sallier. Subs: C Carthy for O’Gara (half-time), N Walsh for Doherty (42), R Deegan for Elliott (50), K Callaghan for Sallier (56), S Ryan for Ó Conghaile (61), E O’Brien for Howard (65), C Doyle for S Carthy (72).

OFFALY:A Mulhall; D Brady, J Lalor, S Pender; D Dempsey, C Donohue, D Hogan; C Dunne, S Nally; M Brazil, A Sullivan, J Hayes; B Allen, C Johnston, S Doyle.Subs:P McConway for Lalor (15), N Dunne for Brazil (21), J O’Connor for Doyle and C McNamee for C Dunne (half-time), B

O’Dea for Dempsey (60, Black Card).

REFEREE:Brendan Cawley (Kildare)

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