Offaly v Westmeath, Mullingar, Sunday 1st May

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Offaly v Westmeath, Mullingar, Sunday 1st May

Postby Plain of the Herbs » Thu Apr 28, 2016 11:28 pm

Some random thoughts:

Offaly’s attitude will have to be spot-on for Sunday’s visit to Mullingar. Anything less than the optimum and they will be in trouble. Naturally within the camp there will be an air of professionalism and organisation. The problem is that when hurlers meet with people on the street who offer words of “only Westmeath”.

This is a local derby for Westmeath, but not for Offaly. So expect Westmeath will be fired up. They have waited 40 years for this day and have no history of losing to Offaly. Mullingar can be an intimate, and intimidating venue, even with a few hundred people present, something like Parnell Park.

As evidenced by their NHL play-off against Leix, Westmeath are lively. Their forwards don’t play in a rigid ‘three half-forwards, three full-forwards’ formation, in neat lines. Rather, they move around quite alot, which will cause problems for an Offaly defence who would prefer to line out in two neat lines of three.

Their defence is well organised, with much shouting instructions to each other – such communication shows they think their way around the pitch. Leix moved up around two gears after the restart and, facing into the wind, Westmeath were burned off.

Conor Doughan is a massive loss. The one Offaly hurler who looked the part in Nowlan Park. As bad as the defeat was, it paled into insignificance with the disappointment of seeing the Shinrone lad leave the field in obvious distress. His loss in exacerbated with no one having nailed down the full-back slot, Chris McDonald and Dermot Shortt have alternated, generally in the same match. Maybe Dan Kelleher might be the man to directly oppose Brendan Murtagh, thought the Ballycumber defender cannot afford to be caught out in front of the full-forward the way he was in Kilkenny.

That Offaly have gone public with news of Shane Dooley’s injury probably means the Tullamore man will be okay. They surely wouldn’t have given Westmeath that kind of a boost for no good reason.

Westmeath gave Galway an uncomfortable time of in Mullingar in 2012, a match I attended. No inhibitions of facing a higher ranked team, they wired into Galway and hurled positively throughout. From memory, it took Galway around 60 minutes to put them away. And if Westmeath are within striking distance with ten minutes to go, the law of guards of honour dictates they will push on and not die away.

Of the Westmeath team who lost to Leix in Tullamore three weeks ago, only Alan McGrath, Aonghus Clarke, Brendan Murtagh, Niall O’Brien and Eoin Price remain from that side who wired into Galway in 2012.

Which means Westmeath have a degree of depth about them. Still, only Tommy Gallagher, Liam Varley and Niall O’Brien hurled U21 against Offaly last year, so it’s not as if there is a huge raft of youngsters coming in.

Tommy Doyle, Robbie Greville, Derek McNicholas, Tommy Gallagher, Niall O’Brien, Eoin Price and Conor Shaw all have Fitzgibbon Cup experience – an area where Offaly are in the ha’penny place.

The Kerry match aside, Offaly had a middling decent league. Culminating in a marvellous win down in Wexford when they smashed all their targets for tackles, hooks, blocks and turnovers. Kerry was lost as Offaly afforded the visitors a guard of honour for 70 minutes and hardly troubled their statisticians for the last 20 minutes, as they watched, pen in hand, marking tackles, hooks, blocks and turnovers.

Leix showed they were capable of hurling at a higher level than Westmeath, and made it count in the second half. Offaly should grab Sunday by the scruff of the neck and make it count. There can be no banana skins, no guards of honour. There can be no waiting for fifteen minutes to click into gear. And no waiting for Westmeath to roll over due to a lack of belief.

Offaly to win – if the attitude is right.
Pat Donegan. Signed out of respect for players and all involved with Offaly.
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Re: Offaly v Westmeath, Mullingar, Sunday 1st May

Postby True Red » Fri Apr 29, 2016 1:46 pm

As always Pat, excellent stuff.
If you don’t stand for something you fall for anything
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Re: Offaly v Westmeath, Mullingar, Sunday 1st May

Postby Plain of the Herbs » Fri Apr 29, 2016 3:40 pm

Thank you for the kind words, TR. 'Twas just a few thoughts really. Attitude is sooo important.
True Red wrote:As always Pat, excellent stuff.
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Re: Offaly v Westmeath, Mullingar, Sunday 1st May

Postby allstar2010 » Fri Apr 29, 2016 4:09 pm

Massive massive game, Westmeath are going to be well up for this one and will feel they can take a scalp. As POTH right said, attitude has to be right, any complacency at all and we'll be punished. Hopefully we can get the win and set ourselves up nicely for the two home fixtures. Big day for the minors as well, we haven't reached too many Leinster semi's in recent years so all the best to them too. Get to Mullingar on Sunday folks and get behind our lads! Uibh Fhaili Abú!!
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Re: Offaly v Westmeath, Mullingar, Sunday 1st May

Postby Kevin » Fri Apr 29, 2016 5:48 pm

Thanks for the perspective regarding attitude. So very important and relevant given where we stand today.

I'd add that we are in no position to take any team lightly. It is disrespectful and the dangers of doing so are well outlined above.

In this preliminary competition we will be playing 3 teams that all must be raging to get a crack at us.

We are where we are on merit and order won't be restored in one game or one season.

All we can ask at this point is that our team gives it everything they have.

Good luck to all involved. Tear into them and make yourselves proud!

UP THE FAITHFUL!!!!!
Kevin Clancey. Signed out of respect for players and all involved with Offaly.
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Re: Offaly v Westmeath, Mullingar, Sunday 1st May

Postby townman » Fri Apr 29, 2016 6:40 pm

westmeath beat us when we last meet in croker in 1976, dont think this offaly side can look down their nose or have the wrong attitude as we are at the same level as westmeath and kerry, if we hurl like we did again kerry and kilkenny like last years win for laois since 1971 westmeath will also record a win again us. 1 point will do if Eamon Kelly hasn't offaly up for this one and tune in from the throw in we will be in trouble this is westmeaths all ireland like laois had theres again us in portlaoise.
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Re: Offaly v Westmeath, Mullingar, Sunday 1st May

Postby Exiled in Connacht » Fri Apr 29, 2016 9:59 pm

Thanks to wiki (and not my memory ) I see that in 1976 Westmeath beat us as Townsman said in Croke Park. Score was 1-14 to 1-11. Westmeath went on to lose to Kilkenny who in turn were hammered by Wexford in the Leinster final.

A P.Delaney scored 5 pts. Was that Pat from Kinnity ? Also Pat Carroll got a point. You'd have got some odds on those greats going on to win Leinster, All Irelands and All Stars.
I know Pat Delaney ended up in the forwards at the end of his career. If it is him in 1976 what position was he playing ?

Incredible how poor we were then and yet in 4 short years we won our first Leinster. I wonder in 1976 were there any signs of a breakthrough coming ? I was 13 in 1980 and was at the Leinster final (its a bit like the GPO in 1916 or Thomond Park in 1978 when Munster beat The All Blacks as to how people pretend they were there !).

Good luck to the minors and seniors on Sunday.

Is it the earliest ever date in the year for our senior hurlers to play a championship match ?
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Re: Offaly v Westmeath, Mullingar, Sunday 1st May

Postby Plain of the Herbs » Fri Apr 29, 2016 10:18 pm

E I C,

See the 'results searcher' section on the home page of this website. There is a treasure trove of results and other data.

Yes, that is Kinnitty's Pat (or Paudie, if you're from Kinnitty). I don't know if you do the Twitter thing, but I tweeted the cover page and team pages from that 1976 Westmeath programme.

Also, I think it was Pat Nolan who tweeted the last time Offaly played a championship match this early in the year.
Pat Donegan. Signed out of respect for players and all involved with Offaly.
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Re: Offaly v Westmeath, Mullingar, Sunday 1st May

Postby Killeighman » Fri Apr 29, 2016 10:19 pm

1 GK James Dempsey Kinnitty
2 Paddy Rigney Kinnitty
3 Dermot Shortt St Rynaghs
4 Chris McDonald Brosna Gaels
5 Ben Conneely St Rynaghs
6 Pat Camon St Rynaghs
7 Dermot Mooney Seir Kieran
8 Sean Ryan Biorra (Birr)
9 Shane Kinsella Kinnitty
10 Kevin Connolly Coolderry
11 Colin Egan (Capt) Belmont
12 Joe Bergin Seir Kieran
13 James Mulrooney Seir Kieran
14 Cillian Kiely Kilcormac/Killoughey
15 Paddy Murphy Ballinamere
Subs
16 GK Oisin Mahon Kilcormac/Killoughey
17 James Gorman Kilcormac/Killoughey
18 Sean Cleary Shinrone
19 Jason Sampson Shinrone
20 Dan Kelleher Brosna Gaels
21 Paudge Guinan Drumcullen
22 Stephen Connolly Coolderry
23 Gerry Spollen Ballinamere
24 Shane Dooley Tullamore
25 David King Coolderry
26 Liam Langton Clodiagh Gaels
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Re: Offaly v Westmeath, Mullingar, Sunday 1st May

Postby Exiled in Connacht » Fri Apr 29, 2016 10:44 pm

Thanks POTH for the twitter heads up.

I see that quite a number of players (more than I would have expected) who played in 1976 or were in the subs went on to win All Ireland medals.

Incredible to see that in 1965 we played Carlow in the first round of the championship on 25 April but the Leinster final wasn't played until 1 August !
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Re: Offaly v Westmeath, Mullingar, Sunday 1st May

Postby Sharp Eye » Sat Apr 30, 2016 1:46 am

Killeighman wrote:1 GK James Dempsey Kinnitty
2 Paddy Rigney Kinnitty
3 Dermot Shortt St Rynaghs
4 Chris McDonald Brosna Gaels
5 Ben Conneely St Rynaghs
6 Pat Camon St Rynaghs
7 Dermot Mooney Seir Kieran
8 Sean Ryan Biorra (Birr)
9 Shane Kinsella Kinnitty
10 Kevin Connolly Coolderry
11 Colin Egan (Capt) Belmont
12 Joe Bergin Seir Kieran
13 James Mulrooney Seir Kieran
14 Cillian Kiely Kilcormac/Killoughey
15 Paddy Murphy Ballinamere
Subs
16 GK Oisin Mahon Kilcormac/Killoughey
17 James Gorman Kilcormac/Killoughey
18 Sean Cleary Shinrone
19 Jason Sampson Shinrone
20 Dan Kelleher Brosna Gaels
21 Paudge Guinan Drumcullen
22 Stephen Connolly Coolderry
23 Gerry Spollen Ballinamere
24 Shane Dooley Tullamore
25 David King Coolderry
26 Liam Langton Clodiagh Gaels


Would be very concerned about our lack of experience in defence and lack of scoring power in the forwards. Hope Shane Dooley can play most of the game.
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Re: Offaly v Westmeath, Mullingar, Sunday 1st May

Postby sam88885a » Sat Apr 30, 2016 10:58 am

Sharp Eye wrote:
Killeighman wrote:1 GK James Dempsey Kinnitty
2 Paddy Rigney Kinnitty
3 Dermot Shortt St Rynaghs
4 Chris McDonald Brosna Gaels
5 Ben Conneely St Rynaghs
6 Pat Camon St Rynaghs
7 Dermot Mooney Seir Kieran
8 Sean Ryan Biorra (Birr)
9 Shane Kinsella Kinnitty
10 Kevin Connolly Coolderry
11 Colin Egan (Capt) Belmont
12 Joe Bergin Seir Kieran
13 James Mulrooney Seir Kieran
14 Cillian Kiely Kilcormac/Killoughey
15 Paddy Murphy Ballinamere
Subs
16 GK Oisin Mahon Kilcormac/Killoughey
17 James Gorman Kilcormac/Killoughey
18 Sean Cleary Shinrone
19 Jason Sampson Shinrone
20 Dan Kelleher Brosna Gaels
21 Paudge Guinan Drumcullen
22 Stephen Connolly Coolderry
23 Gerry Spollen Ballinamere
24 Shane Dooley Tullamore
25 David King Coolderry
26 Liam Langton Clodiagh Gaels


Is S Gardner injuried? i would have expected to see him in the half back line ,n wynee and s wynne are not on the first 26 ????
i see e kelly called for supporters to be patient as offaly are in transition at the moment , hope he is not getting his excuses in early . we seem to be in transition since joe dooley was manager .
subs look very weak to me with only 3 defender named .
hopefully we get over the line.
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Re: Offaly v Westmeath, Mullingar, Sunday 1st May

Postby Toxicity234 » Sat Apr 30, 2016 7:43 pm

...................1 James Dempsey Kinnitty
2 Paddy Rigney Kinnitty 3 Dermot Shortt St Rynaghs 4 Chris McDonald Brosna Gaels
5 Ben Conneely St Rynaghs 6 Pat Camon St Rynaghs 7 Dermot Mooney Seir Kieran
.....................8 Sean Ryan Biorra (Birr) 9 Shane Kinsella Kinnitty
10 Kevin Connolly Coolderry, 11Colin Egan (Capt) Belmont 12 Joe Bergin Seir Kieran
13 James Mulrooney Seir Kieran 14 Cillian Kiely Kilcormac/Killoughey 15 Paddy Murphy Ballinamere

Happy to see Camon in his best position.
Kinsella i be happier to see him Centre forward and Colin Egan is a better wing forward than centre forward.
But we are miss a midfield to go beside Ryan.
Bergin i be happier to see at full forward but i do believe long term Kiely best position will be full forward.

The idea of throwing Ben Conneely into the wing back position when he has played a senior, minor or u16 game in that position is just crazy at club or county level.
They no doubt that he will be a great hurler for the county if handle correctly. I'm sure that throwing into match is in his best interest.
Sean Gardiner and Conor Doughan are big misses.

hoping for a good match and a good result.
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Re: Offaly v Westmeath, Mullingar, Sunday 1st May

Postby Killeighman » Sat Apr 30, 2016 8:41 pm

I have heard that there will be changes to that Offaly team before the game starts. I'm sure you will know who they are.
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Re: Offaly v Westmeath, Mullingar, Sunday 1st May

Postby kingscounty » Sat Apr 30, 2016 10:04 pm

Best of luck to the lads tomorrow, the journey begins !!
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