The Dublin Minor Footballers defended two penalties to secure win over Offaly in final round

Minor Footballers - Offaly v Dublin

Offaly 0-13
Dublin 2-13

Jim Lehane’s Minor Football panel survived a couple of scares on Wednesday night to come out on top against Offaly and secure a knockout slot in this year’s Leinster Minor Football Championship.

The boys in blue now face Wicklow on June 1st in the last eight of the competition. 12 months ago the men from the Garden County hit Dublin hard ruining their knockout chances so this gives the lads an opportunity to put that result behind them.

There’s definitely a different edge to this Dublin panel and on Wednesday they put on an excellent display right across the surface. By the 20 minute mark they were 2-05 to 0-02 ahead, but Offaly rallied scoring 0-06 to 0-01 through the break.

The faithful county were gifted two penalties during a flurry of excitement in the second half but on both occasions Dublin survived.

Luke Swan once again shone in the opening half and after Offaly’s opening score his brace got Dublin up and running.

Dara Fagan added Dublin’s third before Robbie Bolger fisted the ball into Offaly’s net in the 13th.

Offaly’s response was a point from Cormac Delaney before David O’Dowd restored normality.

Dublins second goal came in the 18th when Bolger found Fionn Murray in space to finish the move. Bolger pointed Dublin’s last of the half before Offaly’s purple patch.

Two points each from Morgan Tynan and Cormac Delany, as well as pacey corner-forward Darragh Flynn, who engaged in a great head-to-head battle with Dublin’s Conor Tyrell, had the gap closed to 2-6 to 0-7 at the interval.

Goalkeeping to the fore in the second half

Dublin’s keeper Hugh O’Sullivan played out of his skin on Wednesday. That came to the fore in the ninth minute of the second half when he parried a Tynan attempt over the crossbar. Minutes later referee Niall Ward handed Offaly a penalty but the Ballyboden net minder blocked it with his feet before pushing it away from the goal line.

In the goal mouth scramble that followed Ward gifted Offaly a second penalty which Delaney sliced wide denying his side another perfect opportunity.

Substitute Callum Monaghan got Dublin back on the board with two scores, as the bench began to influence the closing stages of the game. Ross Keogh, another replacement, hit a fine score before the finish. But it was O’Sullivan again who made his presence felt, denying Darragh Flynn another goal chance to send the ball out for a ’45.

Offaly Scorers:

Cormac Delaney 0-06 (4f, 1 ’45’)
Morgan Tynan 0-04 (3f)
Darragh Flynn 0-02
Jay Sheerin 0-01

Dublin Scorers:

Robbie Bolger 1-03
Fionn Murray 1-01 (1 ‘45’)
Luke Swan 0-03
Callum Monaghan 0-02
David O’Dowd 0-01
Sean Kinsella 0-01
Dara Fagan 0-01
Ross Keogh 0-01

Offaly:

Cathal Ryan
Mark Bolton
Fionn Dempsey
David Dempsey
John Furlong
Adrian Strong
Lee Pearson
Ryan Strong
Luke Egan
Jay Sheerin
Cormac Delaney
Adam Kelly
Harry Plunkett
Morgan Tynan
Darragh Flynn

Offaly Substitutes:

James Nolan for Bolton (HT)
Darra Daly for R Strong (50)
Aran Byrne for Kelly (50)
Corey White for Plunkett (50)
Daniel Fox for Furlong (59)
Colin Egan for Dempsey (59)

Dublin:

Hugh O’Sullivan
Conor Tyrell
Ben Millist
Eoin Gannon
Alex Watson
David O’Dowd
Jack Lundy
Harry Colclough
Senan Forker
Luke Curran
Sean Kinsella
Fionn Murray
Dara Fagan
Luke Swan
Robbie Bolger

Dublin Substitutes:

Kieran Conroy for Forker (22)
Callum Monaghan for Gannon (HT)
Ross Keogh for Fagan (45)
Luke Murphy-Guinane for Curran (50)
Cuán Nugent for Colclough (57)
Fionán James Turner for O’Dowd (57)