Offaly players celebrate with the cup after the EirGrid Leinster GAA Football U20 Championship Final match between Dublin and Offaly at MW Hire O'Moore Park in Portlaoise, Laois.
Offaly players celebrate with the cup after the EirGrid Leinster GAA Football U20 Championship Final match between Dublin and Offaly at MW Hire O'Moore Park in Portlaoise, Laois.

Offaly stun Dublin in Leinster U20 Football Final

Eirgrid Leinster U20 Football Final


By Brian Lowry at MW Hire O'Moore Park

Offaly are the Leinster U20 football champions after a sensational display saw them stop Dublin’s bid for three in a row in O’Moore Park on Thursday night.

Dublin can have no complaints as the failed to register a point after the 14th minute of the opening half.

Offaly were full value for their win as a performance built on defensive toughness married with forward class propelled them to a three point win over the hotly fancied Dubs.

The first half was a ding dong battle. Moran Tynan opened the scoring with a ’45’ for Offaly but a couple of minutes later they were caught napping and Dublin stole in for their opening goal from the impressive Lorcan O’Dell.

With Dublin now leading 1-1 to 0-2, their tails were up but Offaly were hunting in packs and were well set up to deal with the Dublin forward power.

Jack Bryant lobbed over a fine score for Offaly but an Adam Fearon point just before the water break left The Dubs 1-3 to 0-3 up at the first water break.

Offaly roared into life after that break and kicked the next four points but it could have been even better after Cathal Flynn ran clean through from his own half back line to within 20 metres only for his shot to come back off the post. Aaron Kellaghan did clip over a point off the rebound and Tynan’s second of the day left the Offaly men leading 0-7 to 1-3.

All their good work was undone with the 30 minutes just elapsed as Dublin stayed patient and got in for a second goal after Fionn Murray fired home from close range.

Jack Bryant made sure Offaly finished the half on a positive note with a free but Dublin held the advantage 2-3 to 0-8 at half time.

Offaly meant business at the start of the second half and not only drew level but went in front with Bryant landing two scores, the latter a superb effort with the outside of his boot to put Offaly 0-10 to 2-3 in front.

Bryant was rampant at this stage and almost had a goal on 38 minutes only for the ball to skim wide of the post.

Morgan Tynan landed a sweetly struck free to put Offaly two ahead but Dublin answered back with their first score of the second half on 41 minutes with a goal from Mark Lavin against the run of play as the goal just opened up for him after he won a break.

The sides exchanged scores before the water break as they went in level before the final 15 minutes of helter skelter began.

Bryant landed his sixth of the day to edge Offaly in front – 0-13 to 3-3 before Morgan Tynan pushed it out to a two point lead with 10 minutes to go.

Cormac Egan took the charge to Dublin all evening and he finished off one of his trademark moves with a score to edge Offaly three up with 57 minutes on the clock.

Dublin lay siege in the closing stages but Offaly refused to wilt and held on for a memorable win.

Scorers for Dublin: Lorcan O’Dell and Fionn Murray 1-1 each, Mark Lavin 1-0, Adam Fearon 0-1.

Scorers for Offaly: Jack Bryant 0-6 (0-3f), Morgan Tynan 0-4 (0-2f and 0-1’45), Cormac Egan 0-2, Cathal Flynn, Aaron Kellaghan, Keith O’Neill (free) 0-1 each.

DUBLIN: Jake Turley; Ben Millist, Adam Rafter, Conor Tyrell; Rory Dwyer, Adam Waddick, Mark L’Estrange; Senan Forker, Adam Fearon; Mark Lavin, Lorcan O’Dell, Luke Murphy-Guinane; Fionn Murray, Luke Swan, Luke Ward. Subs: David O’Dowd for Luke Murphy-Guinane (3), Conor Chawke for Luke Ward (45), Simon Murphy for Senan Forker (53), Sean Guidan for Fionn Murray (60m)

OFFALY: Sean O’Toole; Fionn Dempsey, Tom Hyland, Lee Pearson; Rory Egan, John Furlong, Aaron Brazil; Morgan Tynan, Ed Cullen; Cathal Flynn, Oisin Keenan-Martin, Cathal Donoghue; Cormac Egan, Jack Bryant, Aaron Kellaghan. Subs: Keith O’Neill for Ed Cullen (41), Cormac Delaney for Aaron Kellaghan (51), Ciaran Egan for Oisin Keenan Martin (70)

Referee: Cormac Reilly (Meath)