Monday 20 November 2017

Kelly's a hero as injury-time goal gets Offaly draw

Offaly 3-14 IT Carlow 0-23

There was late drama in Birr yesterday as Oisín Kelly found the net for Offaly deep into injury-time to rescue a draw against IT Carlow in the Walsh Cup. Stock photo: Sportsfile
There was late drama in Birr yesterday as Oisín Kelly found the net for Offaly deep into injury-time to rescue a draw against IT Carlow in the Walsh Cup. Stock photo: Sportsfile

Brian Lowry

There was late drama in Birr yesterday as Oisín Kelly found the net for Offaly deep into injury-time to rescue a draw against IT Carlow in the Walsh Cup.

The students were the better team throughout and looked to be heading for the win before Kelly scooped home the rebound from Sean Cleary's initial effort to level matters.

IT Carlow lined out without the likes of Colin Dunford, Charles Dwyer and Stephen Maher, but it didn't stop them from firing over 23 points.

Kilkenny's Kevin Kelly and Carlow's Martin Kavanagh led the way for IT Carlow as Offaly, for the second week in a row, hit over 15 wides during the game.

IT Carlow led 0-13 to 1-8 at the break, as they upped the ante in the last 10 minutes of the half to cancel out Oisín Kelly's opening goal on 19 minutes.

That effort looked to be the tonic that Offaly needed, but Kavanagh was on song from frees, while Kilkenny's Chris Bolger also added a brace to put them in the driving seat at half-time.

DJ Carey's charges continued to keep the scoreboard ticking over with two early points in the second-half, before Sean Cleary sent a rocket to the net to bring Offaly back into it.

However, IT Carlow rallied again, with Offaly only staying in touch through Shane Dooley frees, and when substitutes Andrew Mortimer and Seamus Casey put the Carlow men three clear, it looked to be all over.

Offaly battled on, though, and Kelly's late goal salvaged the draw. Both sides move on to next weekend with a semi-final berth in their own hands, as Offaly take on Kildare and the students tackle Meath.

Scorers - Offaly: O Kelly 2-1, S Dooley 0-6 (0-5f and 0-1 '65'), S Cleary 1-1, D King 0-2, S Gardiner, C Kiely, A Treacy and P Geraghty 0-1 each. IT Carlow: M Kavanagh 0-8 (0-6f and 0-1 '65'), K Kelly and T Nolan 0-4 each, C Bolger 0-3, A Mortimer, J Fitzpatrick, E Rowland (free) and S Casey 0-1 each.

OFFALY: J Dempsey; P Delaney, M Cleary, D Maloney; A Treacy, C Doughan, S Gardiner; D King, B Conneely; C Molloy, S Dooley, S Ryan; P Geraghty, O Kelly, S Cleary. Subs: P Rigney (for A Treacy 17-21m blood), E Nolan (for C Molloy H/T), P Rigney (for P Delaney H/T), D Shortt (for C Doughan 51m), C Kiely (for P Geraghty 58m), L Langton (for E Nolan 66m).

IT CARLOW: E Rowland; R Brown, K Hannafin, D Palmer; S Phelan, J Doyle, R Moran; T Nolan, K Kelly; J Fitzpatrick, M Kavanagh, D O'Hanlon; C Bolger, D Tobin, M Redmond. Subs: L Mullally (for S Phelan H/T), M O'Hanlon (for D Tobin 45m), A Mortimer (for M Kavanagh 51m), S Casey (for J Fitzpatrick 67m), D Conroy (for C Bolger 70m)

Referee: C Daly (Kildare)

Irish Independent

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