Offaly reacted by scoring four of the last six points. Pat Hartley, McNaughton with two and Molloy were the scorers. Niall Garry and Dooley had the scores at the other end, but Garry will be fuming as he should have had a goal after the Offaly keeper made a mistake. It left Offaly leading 0-10 to 1-3 at the break.
Three points in the first five minutes of the second half extended the advantage, but they also had four wides, such was their dominance.
Tipperary cancelled that three out with scores from Paul Loughnane, Tom Kavanagh and Enda Loughlin. Loughnane was battling hard in the full forward line and he was one of the few who were winning his fight now that he was switched off McGourty.
Offaly came again as the last quarter arrived with three points, including a free after Paddy Touhy received his second yellow card. The man advantage worked hugely in the winners’ favor.
Loughlin did have a long range point, but three further Offaly points preceded a two goal burst from Sweeney. The first came after a rebound of a Kelly shot came his way, the second when Kelly found him with a long range pass.
Tipperary did have the last three points of the game but it was all just statistical at that stage.
Offaly were outstanding. The half back line of Lyng, McGourty and Hehir did untold damage in both directions. Eoin Drumgoole and Shane Kelly won the middle, while Donie Broderick, Pat Hartley and the full forward line of Sweeney and McNaughton were outstanding.
For Tipperary, Ray Murray was excellent. His puck outs were fantastic drives. Brian Bourke, Conor Hayes, Enda Loughlin and Shane Dooley were most prominent.
Tipperary: 1 Ray Murray, 2 Paddy Touhy, 4 Conor Hayes, 5 David Liddy, 6 Brian Bourke, 7 Enda McInerney, 8 Enda Loughlin (0-2), 9 Colin Parker, 10 Tom Kavanagh (0-1), 11 Paul Loughnane (0-2), 12 Niall Garry (0-1), 13 James Williams (0-1), 15 Shane Dooley (1-4). Subs: John Madden, JJ Butler, Paul O’Connor.
Offaly: 1 Brian McNaughton, 2 Sean O’Sullivan, 4 Matt Cashman, 5 Dermot Lyng, 6 Brendan McGourty, 7 Dermot Hehir, 8 Shane Kelly (0-2), 9 Eoin Drumgoole (0-2), 10 Donie Broderick (0-3), 11 Derek Molloy (0-1), 12 Pat Hartley (0-4), 13 Shane Sweeney (2-1), 15 Shane McNaughton (0-7). Subs: Richie Hartnett, Enda Condron, Ciaran O’Keefe.
Man of the match: Shane McNaughton (Offaly).
Referee: Eugene Kyne.
Orchard in Blossom
Armagh 2-16 Kerry 1-8
From the opening of this senior football game when Kyle Carragher hit a brace of points Armagh never looked back as they used a dominating midfield performance by Steve Sheridan and James Donnelly and brilliant finishing by Ciaran Conlon to easily secure the win.
Kerry go back to the drawing board, and with the talent on some of the other senior sides they will find it hard to get one of the four semifinal slots based on this display.
Armagh had a tremendous start to the contest as they slotted over six of the first seven points. The two headed monster in the forward line was Carragher and Conlon in the full forward line. They chipped over frees for indiscretions and were showing constantly up front.
Kerry was having huge problems getting the ball out of the back, and this was giving Armagh second and third chances.
After Barry John Walsh had a point for Kerry in the 15th minute Armagh put three further points on the board, with the scores by Steve Sheridan and Kevin Rodgers brilliant efforts.
Walsh had the third and fourth scores for Kerry, the last of which arrived after pressure on the defense stole the ball. It narrowed the gap to four, 0-8 to 0-4.
Armagh finished strongest as they had a point from Donnelly from long range, then a four man move involving Kevin Rodgers and Alan McAvery ended with Conlon flicking the ball to the net to give the side an eight point half.
Armagh added to their advantage with two points to open the second half from McAvery and Kevin McGeeney. The second was the result of an errant Kerry pass; that brought the total of those to at least 14 on the day.
Kerry did have the next three points of the game, with Walsh scoring the first two from frees while CJ Molloy had the third off an early ball into the square.
That tactic was working as Molloy was creating problems. They just needed to use it as often as possible.
Armagh was able to again answer the scoring spurge in the best way. On 20 minutes they moved the ball up the field again after an interception. McAvery soloed for goal and when he hit a roadblock, Conlon interjected and deposited the ball in the back of the net.
Kerry was able to cancel that score out when Alan O’Donaghue was pulled down for a penalty and Kevin Walsh slotted the ball to the net. However, Armagh finished out the scoring with a further three points to end up comfortable winners.
Armagh had stars across the field. Brian Rodgers was excellent, and Caolan Short is a tremendous ball carrier.
The midfield pairing of Donnelly and Sheridan won the sector, and the half forward line of McGeeney, Rodgers and McAvery who was a livewire was the foundation for the victory. Ciaran Conlon and Kyle Carragher were the ice cream on top.
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