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O'Byrne Cup 2016

Posted: Mon Jan 04, 2016 12:06 pm
by Bord na Mona man
Faithful see off late Louth surge
Offaly 0-13 Louth 1-9

Offaly held off a late rally by Louth to ring in 2016 with a win in Darver.

Pat Flanagan's men led by six points at one stage in the first half, but were hanging on by the end, as Jim McEneaney inspired the hosts. The sides traded divisions in the NFL last year and it was tier-three newcomers Offaly who looked more cohesive early on.

They had a two-point lead cancelled out early on but really took control of the contest midway through the half, kicking six points without reply to lead by 0-8 to 0-2.

The pick of the bunch was a flowing team move, finished off by midfielder Conor McNamee, but the visitors did idle in front a little, allowing McEneaney and Ger McSorley to make it 0-8 to 0-4 at the break. Louth attacked the second period with greater purpose, but there was more than a touch of fortune about the score that brought them back into it, as McEneaney's kick for a point looped over Ken Garry and into the net.

Louth continued to press but Joe Maher made it 0-13 to 1-7. With 13 minutes still to play, that turned out to be Offaly's last score, but the hosts could only muster late frees from McEneaney and Colm Judge.

SCORERS - Offaly: B Allen 0-4, S Doyle (3f), J Maher (2f) 0-3 each, C McNamee, M Brazil, C Donoghue 0-1 each. Louth: J McEneaney 1-5 (4f), C Judge 0-2 (1f), G McSorley, R Holcroft 0-1 each.

OFFALY - K Garry; D Brady, E Rigney, S Pender; N Darby, J Moloney, J O'Connor; L Fox, C McNamee; M Brazil, S Nally, C Donoghue; S Doyle, J Maher, B Allen. Subs: J Gettings for Fox (43), A Sullivan for Brazil (43), C Byrne for Darby (53), N Dunne for Doyle (55), S Moriarty for Nally (60), B Darby for Pender (68).

LOUTH - N Gallagher; P Rath, D Quigley, K Toner; E Lafferty, D McMahon, K McLaughlin; T Durnin, D O'Connell; A Reid, J McEneaney, D Byrne; C Judge, G McSorley, J Stewart. Subs: C McKeever for O'Connell (30), R Holcroft for McSorley (50), C Lenehan for Toner (50), J Califf for Durnin (56), S Hand for Judge (69).

REF - B Cawley (Kildare)

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Re: O'Byrne Cup 2016

Posted: Mon Jan 04, 2016 2:51 pm
by High School Musical
First game of the season, I know, but I was relatively impressed with Offaly’s performance yesterday.
Well, satisfied more than impressed. We really should have had the game killed off, rather than having to hold on to win by a point. To be fair, Louth were fairly poor and I hope for their sake that they have a few more capable players than were made available to them yesterday.

The short-passing game can be frustrating enough to look at, but if mixed with a reasonable amount of attacking purpose it can yield significant rewards. The team look in good physical shape and most of the 50/50 balls were won by Offaly yesterday. But we still struggled to finish a bad team off. Hopefully, there can be plenty learned from that performance.

I thought the backs played quite well, Rigney in particular was impressive. Maloney looks like good option for the long-term at centre back. He got on an awful lot of ball. Wouldn’t really be too attack-minded with it though, but as long as he’s not turning it over then its fine. Daithi Brady tackled well at times, but also got skinned a couple of time too when playing from behind.
Midfield is an area that would need work. We don’t seem to have the presence there that we had in the past.
Up front, Allen and Maher showed well throughout. Particularly Allen, who was very lively. Tended to overkill the ball a bit, but still managed to kick some lovely scores. Doyle started well, but struggled for most of the remainder of the game.
Anton Sullivan came on and brought his usual direct running game into the attack and won some important frees when Offaly were badly in need of scores. Needs to find his own scoring boots though if we are to make an impact in Division 3 or the championship this year.

Overall, plenty of positives, but also lots to build and improve upon. Take a very soft goal out of it yesterday and that would have been a fairer reflection on the scoreline.

Re: O'Byrne Cup 2016

Posted: Mon Jan 04, 2016 6:55 pm
by Lone Shark
Wednesday's game against DIT now gone to Dunganny in Meath, 8pm throw in. Not exactly convenient.

Re: O'Byrne Cup 2016

Posted: Tue Jan 05, 2016 11:53 am
by True Red
Any idea why it was moved?

Re: O'Byrne Cup 2016

Posted: Tue Jan 05, 2016 6:27 pm
by Lone Shark
Not too many games going ahead on grass anywhere now, though I did hear something about the Gracefield dressing rooms being out of commission at the moment? That might be just rumour though, I haven't been there or anything.

A golden opportunity to launch the new lights in Doon passes by unfortunately!!

Re: O'Byrne Cup 2016

Posted: Wed Jan 06, 2016 7:15 pm
by Buttons
Offaly team for tonight against DIT
1. Alan Mulhall Walsh Island
2. Brian Darby Rhode
3 Michael Brazil Tullamore
4 Richie Slammon Clara
5 Lee Colgan Tubber
6 Johnny Moloney Tullamore
7 James Nally Ferbane
8 Jason Gethings Cappincur
9 Leon Fox Ferbane
10 Anton Sullivan Rhode
11 Willie Mulhall Walsh Island
12 Nigel Bracken Tullamore
13 Dylan Hyland Raheen
14 Nigel Dunne Shamrocks
15 Shane Dooley Tullamore
16 Ken Garry Rhode
17 Clint Horan Clodiagh Gaels
18 Oisin Cusack Durrow
19 Colm Byrne Edenderry
20 Adam Mahon Edenderry
21 James McPadden
22 Padraig Sullivan
23Jamie Evans

Re: O'Byrne Cup 2016

Posted: Wed Jan 06, 2016 7:36 pm
by SearingDrive
Lone Shark wrote:Not too many games going ahead on grass anywhere now, though I did hear something about the Gracefield dressing rooms being out of commission at the moment? That might be just rumour though, I haven't been there or anything.

A golden opportunity to launch the new lights in Doon passes by unfortunately!!
I believe Gracefield are erecting new dressing rooms at present. Why move tonight's game to Co. Meath? With a rainfall warning in place for Leinster, especially, Meath, Louth, Cavan, Monaghan, conditions could be difficult, maybe even impossible.
Looks like Doon's day/night will have to wait. There must be grounds in Offaly able to host tonight's game, Rhode, Croghan, Tubber, Geashill, are a few.

Re: O'Byrne Cup 2016

Posted: Thu Jan 07, 2016 1:51 pm
by Bord na Mona man
O'Gara's late goal keeps DIT in the hunt
DIT 2-11 Offaly 0-10

Goals at crucial stages in each half powered DIT to an impressive win over an experimental Offaly side last night in Dunganny.

Played in horrendous conditions, the students were in the driving seat throughout with a mini Offaly revival in the second half thwarted by DIT's second goal from Killian O'Gara who starred with 1-3.

Offaly, DIT, Louth and Kildare will all now go into their final group games on Sunday with a chance to qualify for the semi-finals.

A Ryan Connolly goal sent DIT into a 1-6 to 0-3 lead with Liam Irwin also finding the range with two well-taken points.

Offaly were wasteful in the opening half with eight wides but they started the second half well and five points in a row brought them back to within one point after 45 minutes.

Offaly then netted through Anton Sullivan but play had already been brought back for a 14-metre free. That was as near as it got as O'Gara's close-range goal with 11 minutes remaining putting the game beyond doubt.

SCORERS - Offaly: N Dunne 0-5 (4f, 1 '45), A Sullivan 0-2, J Gethings, S Dooley & W Mulhall (f) 0-1 each. DIT: K O'Gara 1-3, B McMahon 0-4 (3f), R Connolly 1-0, L Irwin 0-2, G Guilfoyle & C Madden 0-1 each.

Offaly - A Mulhall; B Darby, J Lalor, R Slammon; L Colgan, J Moloney, J Nally; J Gethings, M Brazil; K Mullally, W Mulhall, A Sullivan; D Hyland, N Dunne, S Dooley. Subs: J Evans for Mullally (42), J McPadden for Slammon (45), P McPadden for Hyland (45), P Sullivan for A Sullivan (53), O Cusack for Moloney (60), R McNamee for Brazil (60).

DIT - C Cashman; C Boyle, R McGowan, K O'Brien; G O'Reilly, D Nelson, B Power; G Guilfoyle, E Ó Conghaile; L Irwin, B McMahon, K O'Gara; R Connolly, T O'Connor, E Flanagan. Subs: S Clayton for Nelson (ht), C Madden for Connolly (ht), M Byrne for O'Brien (44 - bc), C Lynn for O'Gara (60), A Fleming for O'Reilly (62), K Doherty for Flanagan (68)

Ref - N McKenna (Kildare) ... 42529.html

Re: O'Byrne Cup 2016

Posted: Sun Jan 10, 2016 9:54 am
by kingscounty
I see Kildare put up an auld Tweet saying Offaly haven't beaten Kildare in senior since 2006 , a win over the bag of Odlams today would be most welcome !

Re: O'Byrne Cup 2016

Posted: Sun Jan 10, 2016 5:39 pm
by kingscounty
Good workout, shocking disappointing to lose at the end , Anton absolutely butchered an easy goal chance at the end , one on one with the keeper and he turns away from goal straight into defender , Kildare then do down the field and get the insurance point. Good run out for few new players to get experience, good league run is now of upmost importance and mid table finish must be the goal.

Re: O'Byrne Cup 2016

Posted: Sun Jan 10, 2016 7:13 pm
by ryot
Very dissapointed with the performance. The Kildare team were a brutal B team, apart from 2 or 3 who might make it and they had at least 6 goal chances which they also butchered.... Alan Mulhall, Eoin Rigney, the 5 (Colm Byrne?), Jason Gething and the 7 (Sean Moriarty?) did well but I was dissapointed with a few of the older lads like Panda who never raised a gallup. Anton could have won it but opted for "contact". He needs to forget that and play ball not man....

Re: O'Byrne Cup 2016

Posted: Sun Jan 10, 2016 8:52 pm
by ah lethimoutwithit
Anton needs to have a look at what he wants out of the game. How many wides has he kicked in a similar fashion to the point attempt he made on the stand side which he sent in trademark fashion high and wide.
Worse still when he was left inside, slightly to the left of centre, he took the crazy decision to turn out. His natural ability to take a score, or instinct I suppose has gone.
Flanagan needs to look at what needs to be done with him to get this back.

Otherwise, some good and some very bad.
Kildare bossed the game pretty much in many ways. However bar the last 20 mins Offaly did well enough around the middle 3rd.
Some elementary mistakes let Kildare in for a few handy scores and we made a bags of some good possession in the forwards.

Good effort enough. But Anton & Brian Darby disappointed, and young Cusack is not up to this level. Shane Dooley has left it too late to try to make the breakthrough with football I'm afraid and we had no pace up front really. Free taking disappointing also.
Kildares bench all added to the mix for them when they came on.

Re: O'Byrne Cup 2016

Posted: Mon Jan 11, 2016 1:50 am
by jimbob17
Thought Offaly had the better ball players today by good distance. Kildare physicality was fairly impressive even if they have limited enough lads football wise playing. If Offaly can improve the athleticism and get a bit more cohesion in forwards we'd have won handy. Missed large amount of score chances in 1st half and paid price for this. Some lads shooting when they should be pasing and vice versa. Overall though lots of positives. Maher, Nally and Evans did well in forwards for inexperienced lads and thought Gethings in the midfield was excellent for a new player. Lot of potential there. Backs generallly very good and great to have Pender back there. Rigney with a little more pace is a class footballer. Have also to remember that this was long way off Offaly best team but there is strong squad there with likes of Willie Mulhall McNamee Nigel Dunne, Guilfoyle Moloney and Brazil not starting today.

Re: O'Byrne Cup 2016

Posted: Mon Jan 11, 2016 3:35 am
by Lone Shark
For the past few seasons, particularly under Emmet McDonnell, it wasn't unusual for Offaly to go out in the O'Byrne Cup with a team that was 70% full strength or more. No doubt the logic was to hit the ground running in the league, however it meant that we've often found ourselves looking at Offaly championship teams in the summer and looking at a very poor bench, with a mix of unproven players who haven't got enough game time and others who have got plenty of game time but have only proved that they're not really good enough to start, or play any role at all.

On that basis, Pat Flanagan using 37 players in three games strikes me as a good thing, since chances are at least ten of those will be cut from the panel for the league. After all, players that haven't played for Offaly in the O'Byrne Cup include Niall McNamee, Eoin Carroll, Peter Cunningham, Paul McConway, Niall Smith and Graham Guilfoyle, and I'd be fairly stunned if we don't see a lot more of them in the Spring. Similarly, we haven't seen Luke Kelly, David Hanlon, Derek Kelly in an Offaly jersey either - though I'm not sure if any of those lads are on the panel. There may be more who are involved, but were injured this past week.

I'd be lying if I said that I thought today's performance was a strong one - the game was there to be won and it was let slip, and at all levels, losing to Kildare is starting to become a very annoying habit. That said, there were a few positives from it. Generally I thought the backs did well, Rigney in particular, while Joey O'Connor was very strong at centre back and Adam Mahon held his own on the wing also.

Given the fact that we're not well-endowed with natural midfielders, we do need options here. Niall Smith had his best year in a long time in 2015 but at the best of times he's prone to picking up cards of various colours, so it would be great to see Conor McNamee and Jason Gethings step up. Both have a lot of potential and both of them are a bit raw, and you could see that today as neither was even remotely as influential as Daniel Flynn from Kildare. I was listening to Killian Whelan on Midlands radio after the game and while I have a lot of time for Killian, he's a man who's very involved in football and understands it well, I thought he got it wrong with regard to the midfield when he said that Offaly had the upper hand here. Gethings had a decent game but he was struggling to keep the pace late on and needed to go off when he did, while Flynn made things happen every time he was on the ball. There was only one team that looked capable of catching a high ball either.

It must be borne in mind here that of the eight players that played half back, midfield and half forward, I'd say they have a grand total of about three or four championship appearances between them, split between Joe O'Connor and Conor McNamee. It was a very inexperienced sector and there were always going to be problems there.

Each of the three half forwards to my mind showed some good and some bad. Evans kicked some great scores and was really keen to be involved, but he faded in the second half after kicking a great opening point. Nally made a few shocking handling errors under little or no pressure, but I thought his usage of the ball was decent and he certainly got stuck into the battle for breaks very well. In the absence of an obvious candidate for centre forward (on the basis that Guilfoyle is more likely to be a midfielder) I think he definitely deserves the chance to play a bit more in the league.

Sean Moriarty clearly had a great engine, but he'll have to get stronger mentally. Kicking a woeful wide isn't a disaster, but dropping your head and letting the opposition walk past you without putting in a tackle on the subsequent kick certainly is. I'd like to see him do more straight running at goal and maybe going for punched points as well. Clearly a potential game breaker though.

Closer to goal, the story wasn't as good - though I did think it was Joe Maher's best game for a while. Three points from four shots, covered good ground off the ball and put in the tackles as well. He's always been able to shoot, it was nice to see him add the more all round aspects in this game. He was the best of them by a mile for me - Dooley and Allen never really got into it at all, and Seán Doyle didn't really get the chance to make an impact. Realistically there are jerseys up for grabs here alongside Niall Mac and while Bernard Allen and Nigel Dunne probably have a slight edge in terms of experience, Joe would be right there in the mix for me. Hopefully he'll get a few games for Maynooth in the Sigerson and that will bring him on as well.

Re: O'Byrne Cup 2016

Posted: Mon Jan 11, 2016 3:29 pm
by True Red
Poor skill execution frustrates Lilies boss

Kildare 0-13 Offaly 0-11

Martin Breheny

To that extent, the O'Byrne Cup hasn't been a success for Kildare or Offaly, neither of whom reached the semi-final from a group which was topped by Louth, who are in Division 4 this year.

Ironically, Louth lost to Offaly in the first round but recovered to beat both Kildare and DIT, earning them a semi-final date with Meath.

Those details won't count for much once the Allianz League lifts off at the end of the month, although the degree to which the various counties will be prepared for the opening series can hinge on how the previous four weeks have gone.

A week ago, Offaly were in buoyant mood after an away win over Louth but most of that good work was undone by a sloppy display against DIT on Wednesday night. They played better yesterday but still came up short against a Kildare side that functioned well at times, while also wandering deep into moderate territory.

New manager Cian O'Neill called it straight after a win which wasn't enough to earn a semi-final slot because of the defeat by Louth.


"It's good to get a win but it's all about performance at this time of year, and I certainly would not be happy with our performance today.

"Conditions might be used as an excuse but they can't be blamed totally for the poor execution of skills at certain times. That was a big area of disappointment for me. We had worked quite a lot on that in training but it wasn't good today. There comes a time when lads need to reflect on their own performance and the team performance, and forget about the fact that we won," said O'Neill.

He will be naming his League panel this week, starting the next phase of the countdown to the opening Division 3 game away to Westmeath in Mullingar on January 31.

Offaly begin their Division 3 campaign at home to Longford on the same day, prior to playing Kildare in Newbridge a week later.

Those two games will be crucial in establishing whether Kildare and Offaly can place themselves among the serious promotion contenders. Having dropped from Division 2 last season, Kildare are regarded as more likely promotion candidates than Offaly (they have come up from Division 4) but O'Neill knows that margins will be very tight right across the group.

So too does Offaly boss Pat Flanagan, who was left frustrated by two defeats in four days.

"We're losing games we should be winning. We should have beaten DIT the other night but we didn't.

"I felt we should have won today's game too but we didn't. It's all about getting into the right frame of mind to get across the line when the chance is there," he said.

Offaly had quite a few chances to apply real pressure on Kildare and while they came close on a few occasions, they couldn't see it through.

A pointed free by Offaly sub Sean Doyle in the 65th minute cut the margin to a point but that was as good as it got and Kildare ensured victory when Seamus Hanafin kicked a late point.

Offaly did well early on, running into a two point lead after 11 minutes but by half-time Kildare were three ahead, 0-8 to 0-5. Offaly had missed quite a few chances, including two frees, which Shane Dooley kicked wide.

The jury remains out on whether he can successfully combine inter-county hurling and football careers. For while he had some good moments yesterday, there were also times when he looked like he needed a whole lot more football, a target not easily attained because of his hurling commitments.

Offaly drew level in the 44th minute before Kildare kicked three unanswered points, which ultimately won the game.

O'Neill's commitment to have Kildare play a game where kick-passing takes precedence over hand-passing was again in evidence, even if it didn't always quite work out as planned.

Hence, his reference to poor skill execution but there was still quite a lot to admire about Kildare's attempts to use long, angled deliveries as a means of taking attacks into the scoring zone.

Once the accuracy levels rise, it will be very interesting to see how that approach works.

"There's a time to kick and there's a time to play the ball with the hand. The biggest challenge at the moment is in getting the decision-making right," said O'Neill.

He believes that Kildare's late return to training (December 8), brought about by being in the All-Ireland quarter-final, has left them a few weeks behind some teams who were back earlier but expects to make up the leeway in the coming weeks.

"We showed, today, glimpses of what we can do but didn't execute as well as we wanted," he said.

Flanagan could see some positives too. "We have unearthed a few players who will make a difference for us. We set out to give everyone a fair chance and we have done that. Now we need to do more work in the next few weeks," he said.

Yesterday's attendance was 1,927.

Scorers - Kildare: R Cahill 0-5 (4f), E O'Connor 0-3 (1f, 1 '45), C McNally 0-2, A Tyrrell (f) M Byrne, S Hannafin 0-1 each. Offaly: J Maher (1f), J Evans 0-3 each, S Dooley (f), S Nally, S Moriarty, R McNamee, S Doyle (f) 0-1 each.

Kildare- S Connolly; O Lyons, C Fitzpatrick, L Healy; M O'Flaherty, J Byrne, C O Donoghue; Daniel Flynn, Daryl Flynn; M Byrne, E O'Connor, A Tyrrell; C McNally, P O'Neill, R Cahill. Subs: S Hannafin for O'Neill (45), E Heavey for Tyrrell (47), J Eaton for Cahill (50), D White for Daryl Flynn (54), M Conway for O'Connor (56), G Farrell for Daniel Flynn (63).

Offaly - A Mulhall; D Brady, E Rigney, S Pender; C Byrne, J O'Connor, A Mahon; C McNamee, J Gethings; S Moriarty, S Nally, J Evans; J Maher, S Dooley, B Allen. Subs: B Darby for Brady (17), A Sullivan for Evans (48), R McNamee for Nally (50), J Moloney for Gethings (53), S Doyle for Allen (59), O Cusack for Mahon (62), P Sullivan for Dooley (65).

Ref - P Maguire (Longford)

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