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Minor Footballers overcome Offaly at Parnell Park in Leinster Championship tie

Minor Footballers overcome Offaly at Parnell Park in Leinster Championship tie

Sat, 13th April 2024

Pic Courtesy Conor Ryan



Dublin advanced to the quarter-finals of the Electric Ireland Leinster Minor Football Championship when overcoming Offaly by ten points in their Group 1 encounter at a blustery Parnell Park on Saturday afternoon.

Having succumbed to Longford ten days previously, the Dubs were in need of a morale-boosting victory and a dominant third quarter display helped put them back on track.

The visitors enjoyed a 2-4 to 1-4 interval advantage as Cian McNamee netted a brace of clinical finishes but a Rían Doherty goal three minutes before the break handed Dublin some much-needed momentum upon the restart.

A string of six points in as many minutes at the start of the second-half turned the tide in Dublin’s favour with a 50th minute goal from Donach Magee helping complete an impressive second-half display.

Despite playing against the elements in the first-half, the hosts enjoyed a generous amount of possession in the early stages and took a deserved lead in the 3rd minute following a jinking and incisive run by Rían Doherty.

The Lucan Sarsfields attacker doubled his own tally when converting a free two minutes later and Dublin could well have been further ahead but for some indecision in front of goal.

They were made to pay for their sloppiness in the 7th minute as Lee Moore raced through the home defence before finding Cian McNamee, who buried the ball high past Brian Collins in the Dublin goal.

Dublin continued to monopolise possession and they deservedly drew level by the 14th minute thanks to an excellent score from Donach Magee.

Parity did not last for long however as Eoghan Cullen kicked a fine score at the opposite end within a minute and successive frees from McNamee and Mark Bryant left Offaly three points ahead by the 19th minute.

Doherty and McNamee traded cracking frees as the half progressed and the latter pushed Offaly six points clear in the 25th minute as Moore turned provider once again as he intercepted a Collins kick-out, with McNamee’s subsequent finish of the highest calibre.

The hosts were in need of some inspiration at this stage and it duly arrived in the 27th minute as Doherty left two defenders in his wake before firing a precise low finish beyond Mícheál Kelly from eight yards.

Dublin were a different proposition in the second-half with the breeze at their backs as placed balls from Doherty and Magee brought their deficit down to the bare minimum by the 33rd minute.

Doherty brought the sides level with a fine effort and with renewed confidence, the hosts moved ahead courtesy of excellent scores from defenders Eoghan O’Donovan and Finn McGinnis.

The procession towards the away goal continued unabated as Magee added two points from play with Doherty and Josh Kennedy pushing Dublin further out of sight by the 49th minute.

An insurance goal arrived a minute later as Magee shot from across Kelly with Offaly’s struggles after the break reflected in their sole score of the half arriving as late as the 59th minute through Colm Egan.

Scorers – Dublin: R Doherty 1-6 (0-3f), D Magee 1-4 (0-1 ‘45’), F McGinnis 0-2, E O’Donovan, J Kennedy, D McGill 0-1 apiece. Offaly: C McNamee 2-2 (0-2f), M Bryant (f), E Cullen, Colm Egan 0-1 apiece.

Dublin: B Collins; E O’Donovan, F Costello, J O’Keeffe; J Kennedy, F McGinnis, R Ennis; C Gavin, K Costello; D McGill, S Bolger, D Magee; C Loughran, F Lydon, R Doherty. Subs: S Devane for O’Donovan (45), B Colbert for Bolger (49), H O’Neill for Lydon (53), C McCabe for Loughran (53), J O’Connor for K Costello (55), J McNair for Kennedy (Temp Sub, 61).

Offaly: M Kelly; K Kilmurray, A Fox, T Kelly; E Maher, P Kenna, L Fitzgerald; E Cullen, C Burns; C Daly, E Rouse, Conor Egan; C McNamee, M Bryant, L Moore. Subs: J O’Donoghue for Fox (4), S Hanniffy for Bryant (half-time), Colm Egan for Daly (38), J Nolan for Conor Egan (42), S Wyer for Cullen (54).

Referee: Colm McCullough (Louth).

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