Kiely has Faithful in cruise control
Offaly 1-23 Westmeath 0-9
Offaly's young guns gave the county a much-needed boost by proving too strong for Westmeath in last night's first round clash in Mullingar.
The Faithful's seniors had lost a Joe McDonagh Cup encounter to the same county by 13 points just nine days earlier, but Gary Cahill's charges were always in control and now look forward to a date with Carlow.
Offaly, aided by the breeze, dominated the first-half with eight different players making the scoresheet, including impressive midfielder David Nally, who scored twice from open play in addition to converting a long-range free, a sideline ball and a '65'.
The hosts were forced to live off scraps and could easily have been more than 0-15 to 0-4 down at half-time. Despite having the aid of the elements for the second-half, they failed to make any major inroads into the deficit.
Substitute Brian Duignan, son of former All-Ireland winner Michael, became the ninth Offaly player to score with a 43rd-minute point, and another sub, Cillian Ryan, wrapped up a facile victory with a well-taken goal in the 51st minute, after being picked out by Cathal Kiely's clever free.
SCORERS - Offaly: C Kiely 0-9 (6f); D Nally 0-5 (1 sideline, 1f, 1 '65'); C Ryan 1-0; C Langton, J Murphy 0-2 each; C Doyle, C Sampson, B Kealey, J Keenaghan, B Duignan 0-1 each. Westmeath: J Gillen 0-3 (3f); J Smyth 0-2; E Daly, E Ahearn, C O'Brien, C McKeogh 0-1 each.
Offaly: E Cleary; R Hogan, R Ravenhill, S Beatty; C Burke, C Butler, C Doyle; D Nally, C Sampson; C Quinn, B Kealey, J Murphy; C Kiely, C Langton, J Keenaghan. Subs: B Duignan for Quinn (41), D Maher for Hogan (48), C Ryan for Kealey (48), C Lowry for Keenaghan (57), R Connaughton for Beatty (57).
Westmeath: B McHugh; L Moran, M McGrath, L Broderick; C Nolan, A Ennis, F Heeney; S Dowd, J Coll; C McKeogh, J Gillen, C Flynn; E Ahearn, C O'Brien, J Smyth. Subs: D Core for Dowd (22), O Dowdall for Heeney (h-t), E Burke for Flynn (h-t), E Daly for Gillen (48), J Moran for Coll (48).
REF - S Stack (Dublin).