Offaly will face Westmeath in the O’Byrne Cup semi-finals after both sides came through their respective Round 3 clashes in the competition this afternoon.
John Maughan’s Offaly side were 2-12 to 1-7 winners over Wexford at Faithful Fields, where Cian Johnson and Conor McNamee netted two quick goals in the run up to half-time for the hosts.
The Faithful County had led by 0-6 to 0-2 when Mick Foley fired in a goal for the Model men but his effort was cancelled out on the double as the scoreboard read 2-6 to 1-4 in the home side’s favour at half-time.
Bernard Allen’s frees kept the scores ticking over for Maughan’s men as they heaped another early defeat on Paul Galvin's Slaneysiders and marched into the last four.
In Drogheda, Ronan Wallace’s goal on the half-hour mark was the glaring difference as Westmeath booked a 1-13 to 0-11 victory against Louth.
The Lake men had trailed their counterparts for large portions of the first-half before Wallace’s strike was backed up by two John Heslin points which left it at 1-7 to 0-6 for the break.
Louth pulled the margin back to a goal ahead of Denis Coroon being black carded 15 minutes into the second-half. However, points from Heslin, Kieran Martin and Callum McCormack sailed over and sealed Westmeath’s semi-final berth.
Westmeath's Kieran Martin
Elsewhere, Kildare were pushed all the way by a stubborn Carlow side at IT Carlow, where it finished 1-10 to 0-10 in favour of the visitors.
In the end, Chris Byrne’s injury-time goal proved the Barrowsiders’ undoing after having led by three with 10 minutes remaining.
Jack O’Connor’s Lilywhites trailed by 0-7 to 0-4 at the break, with the hosts’ marksman Paul Broderick to the fore, but they rallied late to hit the last 1-4 of this encounter and snatch the win.
In Aughrim, Wicklow made their goals count by edging a 2-9 to 0-14 victory against Longford.
Rory Finn’s goal saw the Garden men carry in a 1-6 to 0-8 lead at the halfway stage but the visitors would move back in front through Rian Brady’s frees.
It was the Midlanders that looked on the cusp of another win in this competition at that stage until O’Brien tapped in the rebound of a Dan Keane shot which dropped short on the eve of injury-time.
Andy McEntee’s Meath signed off in this competition with a first win in three outings after firing four goals past Laois in Navan.
Jack O'Connor, Ronan Ryan, Shane Walsh and Sean Tobin netted the majors in a 4-16 to 1-15 victory for the Royals in a game which saw Dunboyne clubman Ronan Jones returning to action for the first time since 2017 after a stint in the US.
Meath took in a commanding 3-8 to 1-3 lead against their O’Moore opponents at half-time, with Evan O’Carroll (1-6) having grabbed the hosts’ goal two minutes before the break.
Laois improved somewhat in the second-half but the game was done and dusted once seventh minute substitute Tobin – on in place of the injured Donal Lenihan – hit the net in the closing quarter.
It means the semi-finals in the competition are now set, with Offaly set to square off against Westmeath and Longford taking on Dessie Farrell’s Dublin for a place in the final.
O'Byrne Cup round 3 results:
Carlow 0-10 Kildare 1-10, IT Carlow
Wicklow 2-9 Longford 0-14, Aughrim
Offaly 2-12 Wexford 1-7, Faithful Fields
Louth 0-11 Westmeath 1-13, Gaelic Grounds
Meath 4-16 Laois 1-15, Pairc Tailteann
Kildare - M Donnellan; K Flynn, E Bateman, L Healy; J Byrne, D Hyland (0-2), C Kavanagh (0-1); T Moolick, P Cribbin; C Byrne (1-0), P Brophy, L Power; J Robinson (0-1), D Flynn, J Hyland (0-2, 1f). Subs: P Connell for J Robinson, A Masterson for T Moolick, N Flynn (0-1f) for P Brophy, D Ryan for D Flynn, A Tyrrell (0-2, 1f) for C Byrne, K Cribbin for C Kavanagh, J Treacy (0-1) for L Power, C Byrne for J Hyland.
Carlow - R Molloy; M Bambrick, S Redmond, N Roche (0-1); J Moore, R Walker, S Doyle; S Murphy, C Doyle; D Walshe (0-2), D Foley (0-1), E Ruth (0-1); D St Ledger, P Broderick (0-5, 3f), J Murphy. Subs: B Murphy for S Murphy, J Clarke for C Doyle, R Kane for E Ruth, M Furey for D Foley.
Referee - B Tiernan.
Meath - D Yorke; R Clarke, C McGill, D Toner; J McEntee, R Ryan (1-0), D Keogan; B Menton (0-2), B Conlon; J O'Connor (1-0), B Brennan (0-2), M Costello (0-2); T O'Reilly (0-2), S Walsh (1-2, 0-1f, 0-1'45), D Lenihan. Subs: S Tobin (1-1) for D Lenihan, R Jones (0-1) for B Conlon, E Wallace for R Jones, B Dardis (0-2f) for S Walsh, G McCoy for D Toner, O O'Brien (0-1) for T O'Reilly, P Kennelly (0-1) for B Brennan, E Lynch for J McEntee.
Laois - N Corbett; S Bolger, R C Fennell, B Byrne; E Buggie (0-1), R Pigott, P O'Sullivan; J O'Loughlin, R Tyrrell; Eoin Lowry, M Barry (0-3), M Keogh (0-1); G Comerford (0-3, 2f), E O'Carroll (1-6 0-4f), D Whelan. Subs: D Connolly for R Tyrrell, R Munnelly (0-1) for D Whelan, S Lacey for R Pigott, M Timmons for R C Fennell, G Walsh for G Comerford, A Kinsella for M Keogh, A Campion for Eoin Lowry, B Daly for S Bolger, C O'Hora for J O'Loughlin, Evan Lowry for B Byrne.
Referee - P Maguire.Tweet