Hyland's late surge sees Faithful home
Leinster MFC: Offaly 2-13 Westmeath 1-10
A late run of scores from Offaly was enough to overcome both Westmeath's momentum and the obstacle of a stiff breeze in Mullingar last night, though their six-point victory was a result that looked most unlikely with 20 minutes to play.
A host of handling errors from the visiting side kept Westmeath in touch in the first half when the wind aided Offaly's cause, as Cathal Daly punished a string of indiscretions with well-taken frees. A foul by Westmeath goalkeeper Joe Hyland on Shane Tierney allowed Tierney to score the game's first goal from the penalty spot midway through the opening half and that was the difference between the sides at the break as Offaly went in with a 1-8 to 0-8 advantage.
Westmeath withstood early Offaly pressure and then struck for an equalising goal on 35 minutes through Joe Halligan and they looked like the clear favourites when Ronan O'Toole put them in front shortly afterwards.
Offaly captain Jack Walsh put in a heroic shift for the remainder of the tie, however, and he set up two points with powerful runs before providing the finishing touch to the game's final goal, aided by great work from Ryan Heavin down the left flank.
Dylan Hyland brought his total for the night to 0-5 with two late points that confirmed Offaly's place in the next qualifying round. They are set for another local derby against Kildare that's scheduled for next Wednesday night at O'Connor Park in Tullamore.
Scorers - Offaly: D Hyland 0-5 (1f), S Tierney (1-0 pen) & J Walsh 1-1 each, R Heavin 0-3 (2f), C Maher, R Hynes & S O'Brien 0-1 each. Westmeath: J Halligan 1-2, C Daly 0-3f, F Coyne 0-2, A Roarke, B Berry, R O'Toole 0-1 each.
Offaly - K Kinahan; PJ Daly, C Horan, R Hynes; D Dempsey, G Smyth, A Keyes; C Maher, C Mangan; J Walsh, K Higgins, A Delaney; S Tierney, D Hyland, R Heavin.
Subs: S O'Brien for Maher (40), J Hayes for Delaney (40), J Lowry for Higgins (59).
Westmeath - J Hyland; B Flynn, G Carr, P Maxwell; E Nally, D Healy, S O'Neill; F Coyne, S Duncan; A Roarke, R O'Toole, C Daly; C Mannion, J Halligan, B Berry.
Subs: S Nxumalo for Flynn (22), A Loughlin for Coyne (28), Coyne for Halligan (40), M Scully for O'Neill (45), P Sleator for Healy (47)
Ref - D Moore (Laois)