McNamee ends Louth's run
Offaly withstood a late comeback in Drogheda to end Louth's 100pc record and throw the division wide open.
A 20-minute purple patch after half-time that yielded 1-3 without reply proved crucial, as the Faithful County joined their hosts and Wexford on six points at the top of a congested table.
Louth took a 0-6 to 0-5 lead into half-time, but Offaly took complete control after the restart, and points from Ciaran McManus and Niall McNamee put them back in front before McNamee fired home a penalty and they opened up a 1-8 to 0-6 lead through McManus five minutes later.
Brian Donnelly hit back for Louth, but McManus converted another free to reopen a five-point cushion.
Louth worked their way back in the final ten minutes, but a late chance for sub Adrian Reid flew wide as Offaly clung on for a vital win.
Man-of-the-match: Ciaran McManus
SCORERS -- Offaly: N McNamee 1-2 (1-0 pen), C McManus (3f), J Reynolds 0-3 each, R Dalton 0-1. Louth: B Donnelly 0-5 (0-3 '45's, 0-1f), S Lennon 0-4 (3f), JP Rooney, P Keenan 0-1 each.
OFFALY -- A Mulhall 7; B Daly 6, S Brady 7, S Pender 6; S Sullivan 6, K Slattery 7, S Lonergan 6; R Dalton 7, Niall Smith 7; S Ryan 6, N McNamee 7, C McManus 7; N Dunne 6, J Reynolds 7, K Casey 7. Subs: B Kelly for S Lonergan (58), G Guilfoyle for N Dunne (64), B Connor for S Ryan (66).
LOUTH -- S Connor 7; D Byrne 6, A Hoey 6, G Hoey 6; R Finnegan 6, D Finnegan 6, S Fitzpatrick 6; P Keenan 7, B Donnelly 7; D Crilly 6, M Brennan 7, A McDonnell 7; D Maguire 7, S Lennon 7, JP Rooney 6. Subs: E McAuley for S Fitzpatrick (58), A Reid for M Brennan (58), C Judge for JP Rooney (62), P Smith for R Finnegan (62), R Greene for D Maguire (64).
REF -- S Carroll (Westmeath).