|Louth vs Offaly|
|Sunday, 13 March 2011 20:28|
Both sides started slowly and by the 21st minute, they were still level with three points each. Louth's scores game from midfield maestro Paddy Keenan and his partner today, Brian Donnelly who claimed two sweet scores for Louth from placed 45m kicks. Offaly's scores came from the impressive John Reynolds, whose movement was causing the Louth defence problems, and a fine score from midfielder Richie Dalton from a length of the field move. Derek Maguire had a goal chance to put Louth in front, and though he was blocked down, fellow corner forward JP Rooney claimed his first score of the contest with a curling left foot effort to put Louth in front for the first time. A long-range effort from McNamee clipped the inside of the post to put the sides back level, but a pointed free kick from Shane Lennon and a fine point from play from Donnelly provided Louth with some breathing space with half time approaching. However, Reynolds claimed his sides fifth point of the opening half to narrow the deficit to the minimum on the stroke of half time.
The opening phase of the second half was to prove the decisive period of the contest. A free kick from Ciaran McManus was soon followed up another by McNamee to put the Offaly men in front once again. Moments later, a high ball into the Louth defence was pounced on by on the on-rushing Dalton, and his goal bound effort was foot blocked by Louth full back Aaron Hoey, at the expense of a penalty kick. Captain McNamee duly finished the spot kick to the back of the net, under the dive of goalkeeper Sean Connor to give his side a commanding lead. A terrific score from Donnelly, from a placed ball under the Drogheda stand brought about Louth's first score of the second half, but another pointed free kick from McManus restored his sides five point lead. Entering the last quarter of the contest Louth enjoyed their best scoring patch of the game claiming four points in-a-row, thanks to Lennon (3) and Donnelly (45m). Reynolds got his marching orders with a few minutes of the contest left, for a second bookable offence, however this had little effect on the game's outcome. Substitute Adrian Reid had a chance to level the contest at the death, though his right foot effort sailed narrowly wide of Alan Mulhall's post. In the end the Offaly men held out for a deserved win, and ended Louth's unbeaten run in this years Allianz League Division 3.
Offaly were the better team on the day and fully merited their victory. Louth were sluggish, though a number of goal opportunities were missed, which could have made a huge bearing on the contest. Likewise, the Offaly men missed a lot of kickable scores themselves which could have made the game a lot easier for them.
|Last Updated on Wednesday, 16 March 2011 09:13|