Sunday 16 December 2018

Last-gasp Murphy makes point after Sligo claw their way back

Allianz FL Division 3: Offaly 0-8 Sligo 0-8

Sligo’s Niall Murphy. Photo: Oliver McVeigh/Sportsfile
Sligo’s Niall Murphy. Photo: Oliver McVeigh/Sportsfile newsdesk

A free from Niall Murphy deep in injury-time rescued a draw for Sligo after they came from behind to grind out a point.

Offaly had led 0-4 to 0-2 at half-time having played against the wind but Sligo won the final 20 minutes 0-5 to 0-2. Offaly need to go to Westmeath next Sunday and win while hoping Sligo versus Derry doesn't end in a draw.

The opening exchanges were less than adventurous. When Nigel Dunne blazed over the bar with the goal at his mercy, Offaly only led 0-2 to 0-1 with 12 minutes on the clock. Ten minutes passed before Sligo drew level from Liam Gaughan but it was Offaly who would have been the happier side playing against the strong wind.

Offaly were then dealt a blow when full-forward Conor Carroll received a black card to add to his yellow card which resulted in a red card.

Offaly went 0-4 to 0-2 ahead with points from Dunne and Bernard Allen before Sligo's Stephen Coen was sent off on a straight red two minutes before half-time. Nigel Dunne extended Offaly's lead to three after the restart but Sligo introduced Cian Breheny at half-time and he got their first score of the second half to bring it back to a two-point game with 42 minutes gone.

Sligo hit a purple patch with points from Patrick O'Connor and Neil Ewing leaving one in it, while Adrian Marren saw his effort come back off the crossbar. Sub Sean Carribine then levelled the game on 53 minutes and, suddenly, Sligo were back in business.

Frees from Dunne and Allen put Offaly back in front by two but the final seven minutes were down to the wire. Both sides worked tirelessly in the closing stages before the last score from Murphy left it honours even.

Scorers - Offaly: N Dunne 0-4 (2f), B Allen 0-3 (1f), A Sullivan 0-1. Sligo: A Marren (f), C Harrison, N Murphy (f), N Ewing, P O'Connor, L Gaughan, C Breheny and S Carribine 0-1 each.

OFFALY - P Dunican 7; D Hogan 7, P McConway 7, S Nally 6; D Dempsey 6, J Lalor 6, N Darby 6; P Cunningham 7, M Brazil 7; C Carroll 5, C McNamee 6, C Donohue 6; B Allen 8, N Dunne 7, A Sullivan 6. Subs: J Hayes 6 for C Donohue (53), C Johnson 6 for N Dunne (BC, 61), D Brady 6 for P McConway (64), S Tierney for A Sullivan (70).

SLIGO - A Devaney 7; R Donovan 6, L Nicholson 6, C Harrison 6; K Cawley 6, K McDonnell 7, G O'Kelly Lynch 6; A McIntyre 6, N Murphy 7; N Ewing 7, P O'Connor 6, L Gaughan 6; S Coen 5, P Hughes 6, A Marren 7. Subs: C Breheny 7 for P Hughes (h-t), Kyle Cawley 6 for Keelan Cawley (h-t), S Carribine 7 for L Nicholson (52), D Cummins 6 for A Marren (BC, 66), P Hughes for P O'Connor (70).

Ref - J Molloy (Galway)

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