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Cleary puts Faithful in control






Offaly cruised into the next round of the Leinster U-21 championship as they accounted for a spirited Westmeath under failing daylight in Tullamore.

Goals from Emmet Nolan and Adrian Cleary propelled the Faithful County as they capitalised on wind advantage in the second half.

Westmeath got the dream start when Darragh Clinton sent in a long delivery that went all the way to the net after just 15 seconds but Offaly dragged themselves into the game, with senior star Emmet Nolan hitting the net on eight minutes. Offaly led 1-7 to 1-6 at half-time and an early, fortunate goal from Cleary gave them a 2-7 to 1-6 buffer early in the second half.

Clinton was rallying the Westmeath men but Dylan Murray and Cleary were on target for Offaly before captain Conor Doughan saw red for his second yellow card.

Niall O'Brien also saw red for a second yellow late on.

Scorers - Offaly: D Murray 0-6f, A Cleary 1-3, E Nolan 1-2, C Doughan (f), K Dunne, C Kiely & E Cahill (f) 0-1 each. Westmeath: D Clinton 1-2 (1f), CiarĂ¡n Doyle 0-5 (3f), N O'Brien 0-2 (1f), M Daly 0-1.

Offaly - K O'Connor; D Corbett, C Kiely, P Rigney; G Crowe, C Doughan, D Doughan; K Dunne, P Guinan; J O'Toole Greene, M Maloney, E Nolan; A Cleary, J Maher, D Murray. Subs: C Molloy for D Doughan (44), A Connolly for J Maher (50), S Guinan for J O'Toole Greene (58), E Cahill for D Murray (59).

Westmeath - W Casserly; C Shaw, T Gallagher, T Egan; M Heeney, G Greville, Liam Varley; M Daly, R Greville; C Doyle, D Clinton, E Corrigan; N Mitchell, N O'Brien, K Doyle. Subs: L Cassidy for M Heeney (44), B Doyle for N Mitchell (56), F Deegan for C Doyle (59).

Ref - B O'Leary (Wexford)

Irish Independent