O'Byrne Cup round-up: Longford see off Louth while Offaly rack up big score
The new GAA season is underway as the O'Byrne Cup kicked off today.
Longford 2-13 Louth 1-10
Pete McGrath’s first foray as Louth manager didn’t go the way he would have liked, as his new side went down at home to Longford in the Bord Na Móna O’Byrne Cup in Darver.
An early Pauric Gill goal gave the midlanders a perfect start, storming to 1-2 to no score lead after four minutes.
With Louth’s first score, Ross Nally pulled a goal back, but Sean McCormack’s assured presence on the edge of the square kept Longford in control. He kicked four of his six points in the opening half. There would be five between them at the break.
Louth fought back and drew level in the second period. Firing off six scores without reply including two points each from Sam Mulroy and debutant replacement James Butler. Mulroy would suffer a broken ankle before the game’s end.
However, Denis Connerton’s more experienced side on the day saw the game out with an Andrew Farrell goal, Dessie Reynolds point and McCormack brace.
Scorers – Longford: P McCormack 0-6 (4fs); P Gill 1-1; A Farrell 1-0; R McEntire 0-2; M Quinn, D Reynolds, C Berry, P Collum 0-1 each. Louth: W Woods (1f), S Mulroy(2f) 0-3 each; Ross Nally 1-0; J Butler 0-2; T Durnin, J McEneaney 0-1 each.
Longford: P Collum; P Fox, P McCormack,B McKeon; M Quinn, B Gilleran, P Foy; D Gallagher, C Berry; R McEntire, D Reynolds, P Gill; D Carrigy, S McCormack, A Farrell. Subs: C Lee for R McEntire (21) S Donohue for P McCormack BC (61) P Hanley for D Galllagher BC, C Reilly for P Gill (72).
Louth: L Haggins; J Bingham, P Reilly, F Donohoe; D Maguire, B Duffy, A Khan; A McDonnell, T Durnin; C McKeever, J McEneaney, C Downey; W Woods, S Mulroy, R Nally. Subs: J Butler for C Downey, N Conlon for R Nally (51) R Holcroft for S Mulroy (59) E Keenan for D Maguire (68)
Referee: P Coyle (Meath)
Offaly 3-16 Wexford 0-9
A brace of goals from Jordan Hayes and another from fellow debutant Cian Johnson fired Offaly to a convincing win over Wexford in Tullamore yesterday in the opening round of the O’Byrne Cup.
New boss Stephen Wallace saw his side in free-scoring form with all three goals coming in the opening half as they led by 3-5 to 0-5 at the break. Anton Sullivan, Bernard Allen and Craig Dunne also impressed for the Offaly men who now move on to face Dublin on Wednesday.
Both sides made use of the unlimited substitutions but there was no doubting Offaly’s superiority on the day.
Scorers – Offaly: J Hayes 2-0, C Johnson 1-3, B Allen 0-6 (2f), S Doyle 0-4 (2f), J O’Connor, B O’Dea and S Tierney 0-1 each. Wexford: D Shanley 0-3 (3f), D Holmes 0-2, G Malone, M Rossiter, C Devereux, C Carty 0-1 each.
Offaly: P Dunican; D Brady, J Lalor, D Hogan; D Dempsey, S Pender, C Donohue; C Dunne, S Nally; J Hayes, A Sullivan, M Brazil; B Allen, C Johnson, S Doyle. Subs: B O’Dea for Hayes (h-t), J O’Connor for Brazil (h-t), B Rohan for Dunican (43), G Spollen for Nally (48), M Brazil for Sullivan (51), S Tierney for Johnson (51), J Egan for Brady (55), J Hayes for Donohue (57).
Wexford: M Doyle; J Rossiter, M O’Neill, M O’Connor; M Furlong, C Carty, G Malone; S Byrne, N Doyle; J Stafford, D Shanley, D Holmes; C McCabe, M Rossiter, C Devereux. Subs: D Lyons for Byrne (h-t), P Curtis for Stafford (h-t), R Frayne for Holmes (43), G Sheehan for O’Connor (43), C Swaine for M Doyle (48), A Nolan for O’Neill (48), B O’Connor for M Rossiter (51), D Pepper for Devereux (59), Q Sanders for Malone (61), D Furlong for Shanley (61).
Referee: N Ward (Westmeath)
Carlow 3-8 Wicklow 0-6
Carlow got their year off to a perfect start with a convincing 11-point win over Wicklow at a windswept Bray.
Playing with the aid of a strong wind, the visitors didn’t have it all their own way, kicking seven wides and only a late scoring burst which yielded 1-3 gave them a five-point lead at half-time.
However, two goals in the third quarter, both from John Murphy, extended that lead to 11 and Wicklow were unable to mount any sort of response, even with the wind at their back.
Brendan Murphy controlled everything from midfield for Carlow while their defence was very strong in keeping the Wicklow attack at bay. Carlow welcome Meath on Wednesday in a game which should decide who qualifies from the group into the semi-final.
Scorers – Carlow: J Murphy 2-1 (1-0 pen), S Gannon 1-0, P Broderick (1f), D Foley (1f) 0-2 each; C Moran, D Walshe, J Clarke 0-1 each. Wicklow: M Jackson (2f), D Hayden 0-2 each; S Furlong (f), R Finn 0-1 each.
Carlow: R Molloy; BJ Molloy, S Redmond, C Lawlor; J Morrissey, D St Ledger, C Moran; B Murphy, S Murphy; S Gannon, D O’Brien, E Ruth; P Broderick, D Foley, J Murphy. Subs: C Kearney for R Molloy, L Roberts for D St Ledger, D Walshe for D O’Brien (all h-t), D Moran for S Murphy (52), B Kavanagh for D Foley, L Walker for J Morrissey (both 56), J Clarke for E Ruth (66), B Cawley for BJ Molloy, C Crowley for P Broderick (both 67), S Doyle for S Gannon, J Kennedy for C Moran (both 69).
Wicklow: M Jackson; J Snell, H Wilson, P Merrigan; R O’Brien, D Healy, J Crowe; R Finn, K Murphy; P O’Toole, D Hayden, C McGee; J McGrath, S Furlong, C Byrne. Subs: C Hyland for H Wilson (22, inj.), D Fitzgerald for C McGee, G Murphy for J McGrath (both h-t), T Smith for P O’Toole, B Kennedy for J Crowe (both 52), A Nugent for C Byrne (55), PJ O’Keeffe for J Snell (59), M Kenny for S Furlong (62), S Kearon for D Hayden (69).
Referee: J King (Dublin)
Westmeath 1-13 Laois 1-12
Judging by the paltry attendance, the locals in Mullingar were uninspired by the idea of the new season starting before the turn of the year as Westmeath got Colin Kelly's reign as manager off to a winning start.
Only a small scattering of supporters ventured to Cusack Park to see the home side emerge on top, with Westmeath laying the ground work for their win in the first half as they took a six point lead in at the break despite having played against a stiff breeze.
Both sides fielded a combination of new faces and established regulars as Kelly and his Laois counterpart John Sugrue got the first chance to see their sides in competitive action.
The game was littered with errors early on but Westmeath's Luke Loughlin, who lined out for New York when they almost toppled Roscommon in the Connacht championship in 2016, was one of the brightest lights in the opening exchanges.
He led the line for Westmeath early on and finished the half with 0-3 to his name. He was well supported by James Dolan who showed once more just how good he is at going forward when he got on the end of the fine move to goal just before half time and put Kelly's men in control.
Laois had their moments too but would only manage two points from play in the opening half. And when Sean Moore was put clear, Eoin Carberry was on hand to make a smart save and ensure Westmeath went in 1-7 to 0-4 clear at the break.
Laois improved a little on the restart and grabbed the first point of the half through a Gary Walsh free. However, Westmeath got one of their own after Kieran Martin and Dolan combined to set up Finbar Coyne for a well worked score.
Loughlin and Coyne added two more fine points for the home side before Brian Glynn replied for Laois with a pair of points from centre back.
Both managers took the chance to run their bench but Westmeath were in control and stretched their lead to seven points.
However, Paul Kingston breathed new life into the Laois challenge when he found the net on 60 minutes before two Gary Walsh frees suddenly cut the gap to just two with five minutes to play. Westmeath steadied the ship with a Loughlin point but there was late drama as Laois cut the gap to the minimum. However, Westmeath held on.
SCORERS - Westmeath: L Loughlin 0-5 (1f), J Dolan 1-0, C McCormack 0-3, G Leech (2f), F Coyne 0-2 each, D Corroon 0-1.
Laois: G Walsh 0-9 (7f), P Kingston 1-0, B Glynn 0-2, A Dowling 0-1.
Westmeath: E Carberry; K Daly, S Duncan, M McCallon; J Dolan, G Carr, N Mulligan; A Stone, D Corroon; G Leech, L Loughlin, N Scally; C McCormack, K Martin, J Egan SUBS: F Coyne for Leech (43), C Shanley for Martin (51), C Slevin for Egan (55), J Marshment for Scally (59), B Sayeh for Stone (65), B Kavanagh for Loughlin (70).
Laois: G Brody; D Holland, M Timmons, R Fennell; T Collins, B Glynn, O Buggy; J O’Loughlin, P McEvoy; A Dowling, P Kingston, A Farrell; S Moore, G Walsh, R Donagher SUBS: E Lowry for Buggy (25), D Luttrell for McEvoy (41), C Finn for Timmons (47), R Murray for Farrell (51), D Whelan for Donagher (53), F Crowley for Glynn (59).
Referee: P Maguire (Longford)