Joe McDonagh Cup: Offaly hold off Down comeback
Joe McDonagh Cup
OFFALY 1-26 DOWN 2-18
Offaly made it two wins from three matches in the Joe McDonagh Cup with this hard-fought victory over Down.
In the final reckoning the Midlanders had more of a cutting edge than the Ulster side, with Eoghan Cahill and Killian Sampson especially impressive.
The Faithful County dominated much of the first half, racing into a 0-17 to 0-8 lead, but a Daithi Sands goal just before half-time followed by a Conor Woods point meant the gap was down to five points by the break.
Down had the wind at their backs in the second-half and when Woods drove a free to the back of the Offaly net early in the second-half the game was back in the melting pot.
The crucial score of the half came in the 50th minute when Sampson goaled to put Offaly 1-22 to 2-12 ahead, which ultimately proved to be a sufficient buffer.
Down kept battling away and at one stage had the gap down to just four points, but Offaly held strong for the win.
Scorers for Offaly: Eoghan Cahill 0-16 (12f), Killian Sampson 1-5, David Nally 0-2 (1f), Leon Fox, Jason Sampson and John Murphy 0-1 each.
Scorers for Down: Paul Sheehan 0-8 (6f and 1 '65') Conor Woods 1-2 (goal free), Oisin MacManus 0-3 (3f), Daithi Sands 1-1, Caolan Teggart, Matt Conlon, Eoghan Sands, Chris Egan 0-1 each.
OFFALY: Stephen Corcoran; Eoghan Parlon, Ciaran Burke, David King; Jack Screeney, Ben Conneely, Ross Ravenhill; Leon Fox, John Murphy; Adrian Cleary, Eoghan Cahill, Killian Sampson; David Nally, Jason Sampson, Brian Duignan. Subs: Eimhin Kelly for Ross Ravenhill (HT), Luke O'Connor for Adrian Cleary (40m), Liam Langton for John Murphy (53m), Paddy Clancy for Eoghan Cahill (72m)
DOWN: Stephen Keith; Matt Conlon, Caolan Taggart, Michael Hughes; Tom Murray, Sean McManus, Conor Woods; Pearse Og McCrickard, Liam Savage; Paul Sheehan, Eoghan Sands, Ryan McCusker; Daithi Sands, Chris Egan, Marc Fisher. Subs: Tim Prenter for Ryan McCusker (HT), Jordan Doran for Pearse Og McCrickard (43m), Oisin McManus for Paul Sheehan (54m), Gerard Hughes for Conor Woods (61m), Padraig Doran for Chris Egan (73m).