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Down keep up unbeaten run

Sunday 25th February 2024

Down keep up unbeaten run as Offaly’s search for a win goes on

Liam Kerr scores two goals as Ulster side continue fine league campaign in Newry

Elaine Ingram at Páirc Esler

Photo Louis McNally

Sat Feb 24 2024 - 21:51

AFL Division Three: Down 4-12 Offaly 2-14

A strange game with five second-half goals within eight minutes saw Down retain their unbeaten record in Division Three while Offaly are still in search of their first win after four games played.

A heartbreaking defeat to Clare last time with a penalty late on fired over rather than under the bar, wasn’t enough to spur Declan Kelly’s men to victory in Páirc Esler on Saturday evening.

The visitors had a promising start with the first two points, the opener from Jordan Hayes close to going under the bar.

But Down quickly settled, and aided by a terrific goal from Liam Kerr, who swooped in and drilled into the net after Daniel Guinness had worked his way into the square but lost the ball, they led 1-7 to 0-6 at half-time.


Down began the second half well with Danny Magill fisting over the bar on 37 minutes and half-time sub Ryan Johnston tagged on a point.

But suddenly defences seemed to evaporate at both ends with goals becoming easier to come by than points. Odhrán Murdock was first to hit the net to give Down a 2-8 to 0-7 lead and with that the floodgates opened.

Kerr increased Down’s lead to 10 points with a cracking finish from the edge of the square off the underside of the crossbar but the home crowd had no sooner finished celebrating when Jack Bryant broke down the other end and hit the net. Then a lovely team move between Pat Havern, Kerr and Johnston ended with the latter stroking home Down’s fourth goal.

But there was more to come from Offaly with Keith O’Neill making it 4-9 to 2-9 with another goal on 53 minutes.

Offaly finished the game with 14 men when John Furlong was red-carded on 67 minutes but Down had done enough by then to claim the win.

DOWN: John O’Hare; Peter Fegan, Ryan McEvoy, Ceilum Doherty; Miceal Rooney (0-1), Pierce Laverty, Paddy McCarthy; Odhrán Murdock (1-1), Shane Annett; Caolan Mooney (0-1), Liam Kerr (2-0), Daniel Guinness; Danny Magill (0-1), Pat Havern (0-6, 5f), James Guinness.

Subs: Ryan Johnston (1-1) for Annett, Oisín Savage for J Guinness (h-t), Anthony Doherty for McEvoy (42 mins), Jonny Flynn for Mooney (43), Ryan Magill (0-1) for McCarthy (66),

OFFALY: Ian Duffy; Lee Pearson, David Dempsey, Aidan Bracken; Cormac Egan, John Furlong, Jack O’Brien; Eoin Carroll, Peter Cunningham; Kevin McDermott, Ruairí McNamee, Jordan Hayes (0-1); Dylan Hyland (0-2, 0-1f), Keith O’Neill (1-2), Jack Bryant (1-5, 5f).

Subs: Anton Sullivan (0-3, 1f) for Hyland (20 mins), Cathal Flynn (0-1) for McNamee, Nathan Poland for McDermott (both 45), Rory Egan for O’Brien (53), Adam Bolger for Pearson (63).

Referee: Conor Dourneen (Cavan)