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Offaly hurlers off the mark as return leg with Westmeath to determine Walsh Cup fortunes

Thursday, 4 January 2018

Offaly hurlers off the mark as return leg with Westmeath to determine Walsh Cup fortunes thumbnailOisin Kelly drives forward for Offaly during their win over Westmeath.

IT was a winning weekend for Offaly teams with the Senior hurlers doing their bit on Saturday last in edging out Westmeath by two points in Banagher.

With only two teams in the group, they will meet again next Sunday in Mullingar with scoring difference between the two games to come into effect, if needed, to determine who moves on to the semi finals.

Should Westmeath win on Sunday by two points, there will be 20 minutes of extra time to determine who goes through and if the teams are level after that, a points shootout will separate them.

Saturday's game was a good work out for Kevin Martin and his charges. A purple patch before the break saw them hit 1-4 and go in 1-12 to 0-8 up at the break but Westmeath gave them a stern test and came back strong in the second half.

Next Sunday's game will see a raft of changes to that of the team that lined out on Saturday. That is the idea of the Walsh Cup and Martin will ring the changes.

One man who won't be included is Nigel Dunne who has confirmed to the Tribune that he informed Kevin Martin last Thursday that he won't be able to keep up his dual role citing too many fixture clashes. Dunne will now be solely with the Offaly footballers.

One man that is involved is Oisin Kelly. The Belmont man played the full 70 minutes on Saturday having been away from the panel for a period during the pre season training.

With the Kilcormac/Killoughey contingent also back on board, Conor Mahon, Jordan Quinn and Thomas Geraghty all saw action on Saturday with other members of the K/K outfit expected to feature this Sunday.

There are no shortage of injuries in the camp either but come next Sunday evening, Kevin Martin and his management team will have had the chance to look at over 30 players as they look to build towards the opening league game with Dublin on January 27 in Croke Park.

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