Sports

Offaly Stumble Over Meath As Stern Test From Carlow IT Lies Ahead

Thursday, 12 January 2017

THE Offaly senior hurlers made a less than convincing start to 2017 on Sunday when they edged out Meath 3-12 to 2-10 in Trim in the opening round of the Walsh Cup.

It was hard work for Offaly who to be fair probably haven't a lot of hurling done. Shane Dooley missed two penalties and Offaly shot a further 20 wides while Meath put up a stubborn resistance that Offaly eventually broke down.

They stuck to the task and got the job done to get the year off to a winning start but there will be a stiffer task this Sunday when they take on Carlow IT in Birr at 2pm in the second round.

With a sprinkling of Inter County players in their ranks including Waterford's Colin Dunford and Laois man Stephen "Picky" Maher, the Carlow college are likely to a step up from the Meath men.

Oisin Kelly top scored for Offaly on Sunday with 2-1 while Shane Dooley fired over six points. Offaly were minus the likes of Emmet Nolan, Cillian Kiely, James Mulrooney, Joe Bergin, Shane Kinsella and Dermot Shortt but it was still a strong side they had out.

Conor Molloy impressed when coming in off the bench while Michael Cleary also stood out at full back.

With Carlow IT to come on Sunday and Kildare the following Sunday in Newbridge, a clean sweep for Offaly will put them into the knockout stages but they will have bigger fish to fry in February when the league kicks into action. Offaly will start with a home game against Galway and all involved will only be too aware that the performance levels will have to be increased dramatically between now and then.

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