Offaly hurling received a welcome boost at Parnell Park tonight as the U20s recorded a magnificent 1-29 to 2-25 victory over Dublin after extra time.
John Murphy’s pointed free with the very last puck of an entertaining contest - deep into injury time at the end of extra time - deservedly earned the slick midlanders a semi-final date with Wexford next Wednesday. Cathal Kiely had slotted 20 points for the winners but was gone off injured, so Murphy stood forward to slam over the clincher from the centre of the park.
It was 1-21 to 0-24 after the regulation hour. Billy Ryan’s tenth-minute goal was the difference between the teams at the end of a very exciting first half, the Dubs ahead by 1-11 to 0-12 at the interval.
The Faithful County had just edged ahead by the odd point from seven when Ryan pounced to give the hosts a lead that they’d retain until the short whistle, Cuala clubman Michael Conroy raising a few eyebrows when he kicked a point six minutes from half time.
The visitors had been very impressive during the first half and were in a strong position as they would have wind advantage when the action resumed…
The Dubs were clinging onto a one-point lead, 1-16 to 0-18, when midfielder David Keogh was shown a straight red card 14 minutes from the end but Cian Derwin won and pointed a free on 48 minutes to double the difference.
Another Derwin free made it a three-point game but the visitors kept plugging away to assume the lead with an hour played – David Nally, his unerring midfield foil Kiely (’65’), Killian Sampson, Kiely again and Conor Langton all on target – 0-23 to 1-19! In the most dramatic of finales, Derwin twice converted injury-time frees to equalise, Kiely slotting an Offaly free in between.
Extra time was fascinating, nail-biting stuff as the midlanders struck 1-4 without reply before Dublin notched an unanswered 1-4, Offaly sensationally claiming victory at the death.
Gary Cahill and Shane Hand’s charges flew out of the blocks in the first period of added time, Kiely (2) and Sampson pointing before Conor Quinn’s goal handed them a six-point advantage. Another Kiely free left seven between the teams approaching half time in extra time.
Derwin pointed either side of the break and followed substitute Matthew Dunne’s 74th-minute goal with another point as the margin came back to the minimum. Yet another Derwin free tied the scores up in injury time at the end of extra time only for Murphy – with Kiely injured - to bravely capture the spoils.
Offaly - E Cleary; D Maher, C Burke, C Butler; R Hogan (0-1), R Ravenhill, K Sampson (0-1); D Nally (0-1), J Keenaghan; C Kiely (0-20, 15f, 2'65), B Kealey, B Duignan; J Murphy (0-2, 1f), C Ryan, C Langton (0-4). Subs: C Quinn (1-0) for C Ryan, L Kavanagh for D Nally, C Brady for B Duignan.
Dublin - C O’Donoghue; A Dunphy, T Kinnane, J Fagan; K Burke (0-1), L Gannon, I O hEithir (0-1); M Conroy, D Keogh; C Derwin (0-16, 13f), L McDwyer (0-1), D O Floinn (0-1); K Desmond (0-2), S Currie, B Ryan (1-2). Subs: E Carney for J Fagan, P Christie for M Conroy, L Murphy (0-1) for K Desmond, A O’Neill for I O hEithir, M Dunne (1-0) for S Currie, C Hogan for L McDwyer, J O’Connell for B Ryan.
Referee - J Heffernan.Tweet