Division 4 league final Offaly v Longford

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Re: Division 4 league final Offaly v Longford

Postby first_touch » Sat Apr 25, 2015 9:33 pm

Well done to Offaly today. The team played some great football. showed great work rate, and movement off the ball was excellent. Players were very comfortable in possession and used the ball very well. Scores, including all four goals, were of the highest order in both their creation and execution. And isn't it great to see an Offaly team winning the midfield battle? I thought our three half backs were superb today.

The impact of Pat Flanagan on this team so far has been immense. This is further evidenced by the improvement in individual players' performance. The likes of Niall Darby and Nigel Dunne are players transformed, while Willie Mulhall and Bernard Allen, who under previous management had been left out of the panel are playing out of their skin. Niall Smith is showing greater mobility and work rate to add to his undoubted ball-winning ability.

What is striking is players are clear about their role, their individual talents are being used to best effect and there is a definite game plan. Obviously there is room for improvement - for example, we were a bit open when Longford ran at us in the first half and conceded too many scoring chances, of which they failed to take advantage. But we are definitely going in the right direction.

This win will give a great boost in confidence, while no-one will be getting too carried away. Longford will learn a lot from today and will still be a tough proposition in three weeks' time. I think though that there is huge potential in this Offaly team.
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Re: Division 4 league final Offaly v Longford

Postby ryot » Sat Apr 25, 2015 9:52 pm

Brilliant result and congratulations to all the lads,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

Now we are no world beaters and the championship will be a different proposition but hell give it a lash lads,

and how much difference a neutral pretty decent ref makes compared to the Kildare man who screwed us in Pearse Park,,,,,,,,,,,,,

I was as happy leaving Croke Park as I was furious leaving Longford !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Re: Division 4 league final Offaly v Longford

Postby Bord na Mona man » Sat Apr 25, 2015 10:27 pm

Delighted with the win. A bit of buzz like this does wonders for the morale of a county that has been beaten down for too long.
2 years ago we lost to Limerick in the same fixture and it didn't seem such a big deal. This win feels a lot more important
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Re: Division 4 league final Offaly v Longford

Postby Kevin » Sat Apr 25, 2015 11:06 pm

Winning is contagious.

They came at us right after our first goal of the second half, but we pushed through it and were not in trouble for the rest of the day (so it sounded).

Congratulations to all involved!!!
Kevin Clancey. Signed out of respect for players and all involved with Offaly.
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Re: Division 4 league final Offaly v Longford

Postby Exiled in Connacht » Sat Apr 25, 2015 11:34 pm

Is this really our first win over Longford in league or championship since 1997 ?

I remember 1997 when we hammered them in Tullamore on the way to winning Leinster. Maybe it's an omen !
Think the late Eamonn Coleman from Derry was managing Longford back then.
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Re: Division 4 league final Offaly v Longford

Postby kingscounty » Sun Apr 26, 2015 9:46 am

Unbelievable Jeff, absolutely delighted up in croke park yesterday , fair play to the supporters there was a nice crowd from Offaly at the match. Couldn't ask for anymore from the players outstanding movement and running off the ball . Joey at 7 was my man of the match , guilfoyle, Maloney, were excellent, all the forwards were working great and understood each other great with little pop passes and running that longford had no answer to. I stayed for first half of second game and found it way slower and a lot of fouling and off the ball messing whereas Offaly just went out and played ball and destroyed Longford . Well done to Pat and all involved , next one is another big one , keep the hard work going and we will drive on behind you all.
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Re: Division 4 league final Offaly v Longford

Postby manfromdelmonte » Sun Apr 26, 2015 10:54 am

you can see the difference a proper strength and conditioning program has made to all the players

fitter, faster, better skills under pressure
only the best...
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Re: Division 4 league final Offaly v Longford

Postby NewEra » Sun Apr 26, 2015 10:58 am

A great day and well done to all!

- The first win for the footballers in Croke Park since 2006
- The first time Offaly have scored 4 goals in Croker in 35 years
- 4.14 from play!

Well done lads. Head down now. Bring on OCP in 3 weeks time!
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Re: Division 4 league final Offaly v Longford

Postby bare biffo » Sun Apr 26, 2015 12:01 pm

Well done to every member of the team on yesterday. Player and backroom. It was great to see offaly on the hogan steps again. Even McConways words at theend were very good. The football itself reminded me of the leinster final in 1997. Not at that level yet but it felt good.
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Re: Division 4 league final Offaly v Longford

Postby bracknaghboy » Sun Apr 26, 2015 1:16 pm

If I'm being honest I must admit that the style of play in the league stages this year has been quite frustrating to watch but yesterday and in particular the 2nd half it was a joy to watch and confirmed to me what I suspected all along....these boys can and want to play proper football.
Posters are mentioning 1997 and thats exactly what came to my mind. At various stages we had lads charging forward with support and Longford hadn't a clue what to do. Maloneys run in the first half was a prime example.
I now see what Flanagan and co are at with Niall Mc. It worked perfectly yesterday. Ok we could do with him in the full forward line, however the boys in there are proving they are more than capable of taking scores. Niall is not only one of the best finishers in the country he is also one of the most intelligent footballers around and more often than not in possession he makes something happen and yesterday he unlocked the Longford defense 4 or 5 times. No other player in the county would offer us that at centre forward.

Another notable feature yesterday was seeing our lads dispossess Longford with a legal open hand tackle...... there were 3 yesterday and thats 3 more than I've seen in the 20 years!
Discipline was greatly improved as well although Anton couldn't help himself at the end and on another day a silly red card like that could hurt the team big time.
It was all good yesterday and thats almost a worry. What will our boys do next day? Go back to a more conservative procession based game or let the forwards go at them all guns blazing? We are unlikely to repeat yesterdays feat and Longford will be nowhere as bad. If anything its set up for Longford ambush so theres plenty of work to be done to ensure no complacency in 3 weeks time.
The team is brimming with confidence and you could see it in Mulhall as he played like a man who believed every shot he took was going over and they were.
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Re: Division 4 league final Offaly v Longford

Postby Buttons » Sun Apr 26, 2015 1:30 pm

What Pat Flanagan has done in a year is a remarkable job, not a word of indiscipline in the camp, a happy squad gaining their initial goal set at beginning of year. Westmeath have done great since he left with two relegations in the league after he getting them to division 1 football. Now hoping for a good dry day in 3 weeks with a large crowd to beat Longford again, underage we have done ok in last 5-10 years but should have had one or two minor Leinster titles, these lads are as good as many in the country so hopefully a long summer lies ahead for them and us.
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Re: Division 4 league final Offaly v Longford

Postby Bord na Mona man » Mon Apr 27, 2015 10:31 am

Let's not get too carried away either. Longford had a lot of shots early on that they missed. 5 or 6 of them were scorable and 5 or 6 were speculative. They might convert more the next time out.
Offaly also conceded possession that bit easily form the short kick outs. I would have preferred to see a bit more pressure once it was obvious the keeper didn't want to hit midfield.
Also, Longford dropped their intensity in the second half and didn't have the hunger for a chase once Offaly got a bit of leeway.

The positives are that Offaly might have gained psychological edge with the margin. The feelgood factor from going up to Croke Park and stringing together some exciting attacks.
Flanagan has built an attack with 4 scorers, so we're less predictable. Previously, Plan A was long to Niall McNamee and Plan B was carry it up to Niall McNamee which made Offaly easy to stop.
The workrate is good and the fitness looks up to scratch. The support play is good, we're not getting stuck short passing it in tight areas until we run out of ideas. Players instantly look to move it quickly and move it to a different area of the field.

Let's hope we good crowd into Tellamore in 3 weeks and that everyone tries to keep the good vibe going!
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Re: Division 4 league final Offaly v Longford

Postby azoffaly » Mon Apr 27, 2015 11:10 am

It means very little in the context of the game on the 16th, other than maybe giving our lads a bit of confidence, but I don't think you can expect a repeat in Tullamore. However, all the usual caveats aside, that was a brilliant performance and a great display of speed, accurate passing and great score taking. It's a good while since I was as enthused about an Offaly performance, so it's great to get that buzz again.

Now it's going to be easy to get carried away, but we shouldn't do so. Remember that 2015 is already a success for the senior footballers, and we are in bonus territory now. We can play without fear, and see what happens. We are still a division 4/3 team and have played division 4 opposition, so a great performance notwithstanding, we shouldn't start to picture long championship runs or anything like that. Let's play each game on its own merits and see where that takes us.

On the negative side from Saturday, and there weren't many, I felt Niall McNamee gave Masterson a bit too much freedom to carry forward, and he likes to do that. He's the sort of lad that can land an inspirational score in a tight game, so you don't want him making those runs up the middle unfettered on the 16th. I also thought we coughed up possession a couple of times a bit easily. Ball is hard won in championship football, so you have to protect it and not be stripped by a flailing arm. That happened us a couple of times. Longford's runs up the middle caused us problems too, and if they had been a bit more accurate we'd have been coming from behind in the first half.

All in all though it was a great performance to watch, and the fact that we bounced back every time the Larries came close or got a big score was very heartening and indicative of where the minds are at. I was really taken with our pace on the ball, and our decision making in general in terms of picking our support runner to pass to, or giving the ball a bit longer into the forwards. Well done to Pat and the lads, and bring on the summer.
Shane Gavin. Signed out of respect for players and all involved with Offaly.
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Re: Division 4 league final Offaly v Longford

Postby biffinbanner » Mon Apr 27, 2015 2:08 pm

Great win for offaly.thers one thing strikes me as being very unfair.whoever wins the 16th wi llhave to. Go t corker t oface the super dubs with inevitable consequences.surely in fairness the game should have gone to Longford or tulamore?very unfair.either might give the dubs a game at home but doubtful in croker.so much for promoting the game in weaker county's...
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Re: Division 4 league final Offaly v Longford

Postby kingscounty » Mon Apr 27, 2015 4:04 pm

biffinbanner wrote:Great win for offaly.thers one thing strikes me as being very unfair.whoever wins the 16th wi llhave to. Go t corker t oface the super dubs with inevitable consequences.surely in fairness the game should have gone to Longford or tulamore?very unfair.either might give the dubs a game at home but doubtful in croker.so much for promoting the game in weaker county's...
yes if Offaly overcome Longford the dubs are a huge challenge, but I disagree with you on the venue. Croke park Saturday suited our game perfectly, we used the space and ran out of defence and we were always trying to go forward and make ground and Croke Park allowed us to do this . A tighter pitch might suit Longford the next day , as they didn't look to do much support running or attack at pace . They will pump the ball into Kavanagh the next day and he can take a score and get handy enough frees. I would imagine as Flanagan had said they would love a crack at Dublin , of course tullamore would be great but Croke Park will do me fine.
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