Wicklow trump Offaly to set up Dublin showdown
By Daragh Small
Last Updated: 13/05/18 7:21pm
Wicklow 1-20 Offaly 1-15 (after extra-time)
Substitute Daragh Fitzgerald's goal helped Wicklow to their first Leinster championship victory since 2013 when they got the got the better of Offaly at O'Moore Park in Portlaoise.
Wicklow goalkeeper Mark Jackson scored seven points, and after they trailed 1-05 to 0-05 at half-time, and the game finished 0-14 to 1-11 at the end of normal time, Fitzgerald's 82nd-minute strike secured the win in a gruelling fixture.
Bernard Allen kicked the opening two scores for Offaly as they raced into an early lead. But Wicklow were level by the 14th minute with Mark Jackson and Mark Kenny on target.
Nigel Dunne tapped over an Offaly free and they had to rely on the heroics of goalkeeper Alan Mulhall to keep them in front. He saved well down to his left after Dean Healy got forward and took a shot in the 17th minute.
Wicklow goalkeeper Jackson scored the resultant 45, before Allen trebled his tally up the other end. But it was a poor game and it zapped the energy from the crowd after Carlow's impressive win over Louth in the first of the double header.
There were nine scoreless minutes before John McGrath's fine point brought Wicklow level for the third time, but Offaly went in front when Sullivan scored his goal after he drove through the heart of the defence on the half hour.
Offaly were four points clear approaching half-time, but Wicklow finally caught form in the two minutes either side of the interval.
Seán Furlong scored twice from frees and when John Crowe landed his point they were only 1-05 to 0-07 in arrears. But Sullivan was on hand to bypass the Wicklow defence and pushed Offaly further in front with his first point.
Substitute Shane Tierney put Offaly three points clear but Dean Hayden and McGrath answered that. Wicklow wing back Ross O'Brien also pulled off a brilliant block on Conor McNamee's goalbound effort.
Offaly threatened to pull clear but Jackson saved a Nigel Dunne penalty in the 58th minute and Wickow were still well in it as they trailed by 1-09 to 0-11.
Jackson brought Wicklow level with five minutes remaining but Jordan Hayes tapped over a crucial point for Offaly.
But two 45s from Jackson either side of a Tierney point brought the game to extra-time. It finished 1-11 to 0-14 after normal time.
Wicklow wrestled control in extra-time and took a 0-19 to 1-13 lead into the second period, with points from Jackson and Furlong giving them a clear lead. Fitzgerald's goal two minutes after the interval settled it.
Referee: Jerome Henry (Mayo)
Wicklow: Mark Jackson 0-07 (0-05f, 0-02 45), Seán Furlong 0-05 (0-04f), Daragh Fitzgerald 1-00, John McGrath 0-02, Mark Kenny 0-02, John Crowe 0-01, Darren Hayden 0-01, Dean Healy 0-01, Cathal Magee 0-01.
Offaly: Anton Sullivan 1-02 (0-1f), Bernard Allen 0-03, Alan Mulhall 0-2 (0-2 45), Shane Tierney 0-02, Niall Darby 0-02 (0-02f), Nigel Dunne 0-01 (0-01f), Cian Donohue 0-01, Jordan Hayes 0-01, Gerry Spollen 0-01.
1. Mark Jackson
2. Ciarán Hyland
3. Jamie Snell
4. Paul Merrigan
22. Saoirse Kearon
6. Dean Healy
7. John Crowe
8. Rory Finn
9. James Stafford
10. Kevin Murphy
11. Darren Hayden
12. Theo Smyth
13. Seán Furlong
14. John McGrath
15. Mark Kenny
Cathal Magee for Furlong (11th minute, blood sub)
Seán Furlong for Magee (12th minute)
Ross O'Brien for Snell (28th minute)
Eoin Murtagh for Hyland (43rd minute, blood sub)
Ciarán Hyland for Murtagh (45th minute)
Conor Healy for Crowe (48th minute)
Cathal Magee for Stafford (55th minute)
Daragh Fitzgerald for McGrath (67th minute)
Eoin Murtagh for Merrigan (72nd minute)
David Boothman for Finn (72nd minute)
Rory Finn for Smyth (84th minute)
John Crowe for Hayden (91st minute).
1. Alan Mulhall
2. Declan Hogan
24. Ruairí McNamee
4. Paul McConway
5. David Dempsey
6. Seán Pender
7. Niall Darby
8. Craig Dunne
9. Michael Brazil
10. Cian Donohue
11. Conor McNamee
12. Conor Carroll
13. Bernard Allen
14. Nigel Dunne
15. Anton Sullivan
Shane Tierney for Dunne (28th minute)
Gerry Spollen for Pender (39th minute)
Nigel Dunne for Carroll (55th minute)
Jordan Hayes for R McNamee (55th minute)
James Lalor for Brazil (56th minute)
Anthony Cunningham for Donohue (79th minute)
Michael Brazil for C McNamee (80th minute)
Seán Doyle for Tierney (80th minute).