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McNamee the Faithful hero

OFFALY confounded the odds by securing promotion with a deserved win in Tullamore.

The final scoreline was harsh on Tipperary as Offaly scored the closing four points, but the hosts were the better side.

Tipp were 0-5 to 0-2 ahead after 30 minutes but Niall McNamee got in for an equalising goal just before half-time. Anton Sullivan's brilliant free gave Offaly a 1-3 to 0-5 interval lead and suddenly the momentum had swung in their favour.

McNamee's second goal put Offaly 2-3 to 0-6 ahead but they were unable to push on as they played too defensively with the wind in their favour.

Tipp got back to within a point in the 45th minute when Alan Mulhall goaled, but Offaly kept their noses in front before Tipp's Robbie Costigan was sent off for a second yellow and they powered on to take the glory.

Man of the match: B Connor (Offaly)

SCORERS – Offaly: N McNamee 2-1, K Casey 0-3 (2fs), B Connor, A Sullivan (1f) 0-2 each, G Guilfoyle, B Darby 0-1 each. Tipperary: A Maloney 1-3, B Grogan (2fs), C Sweeney 0-2 each, R Costigan 0-1.

OFFALY – A Mulhall 6; P McConway 6, S Pender 7, S Sullivan 6; E Carroll 6, B Darby 9, M Brazil 8; A McNamee 7, R dalton 8; G Guilfoyle 7, B Connor 9, A Sullivan 6; N McNamee 7, N Darby 6, K Casey 6. Subs: R Allen 6 for S Sullivan (23), J Moloney 6 for Allen (50), R Brady 6 for A McNamee 7, B Allen 6 for Guilfoyle (71).

TIPPERARY – P Fitzgerald 6; J Coghlan 6, P Codd 7, C McDonald 6; B Fox 6, R Costigan 8, D Leahy 6; P Acheson 7, G Hannigan 8; C Sweeney 8, H Coghlan 6, A Matassa 6; M Quinlivan 6, B Grogan 6, A Maloney 8. Subs: R Kiely for H Coghlan (h-t), B Mulvihill for Matasa (44), B Jones for Acheson (55), D Lowry for Quinlivan (55).

Ref – M McNally (Monaghan)

Irish Independent