Allianz Hurling League Playoff – Offaly 3-19 Kerry 0-14

Offaly defeated Kerry by 3-19 to 0-14 in the Allianz Hurling League Playoff on Saturday April 12th at Semple Stadium Thurles.


Quirke secures Offaly’s status

Offaly 3-19 Kerry 0-14 (Allianz HL play-off)

Report from the Irish Independent newspaper

Fourteen-man Offaly had two Stephen Quirke goals to thank for their survival in Division 1B as the previously unbeaten Kerry hurlers tested them to their limits. In his first season in charge of his native county, Brian Whelehan will be relieved not to be facing into the Leinster championship after a relegation, but he will be very nervous with his team in this form.

The sending-off of Offaly full-forward Sean Cleary 10 minutes into the second half seemed to galvanise the Leinster side, with Kerry, who dominated the first half, falling away. Goals from Joe Bergin and Quirke’s brace proved the difference in the end. Playing with a very strong wind at their backs, the underdogs needed a bright start, but even Kerry couldn’t have expected to lead to 0-7 to 0-0 after nine minutes.

Offaly finally got on the scoreboard in the 10th minute when Cleary got on the end of Colin Egan’s long ball. Brian Carroll hit a point from a good goal chance and landed another free to close the gap to five points 13 minutes before the break, before Quirke and Conor Mahon got in on the act and Offaly began to settle.

Suddenly, after all their dominance the Kerry lead was down to two points and when Conor Mahon picked out Bergin with a great ball over the top of the Kerry defence, the Seir Kieran man pushed Offaly ahead with a lethal, low finish past Tadhg Flynn. Quirke’s two late goals then saved Offaly’s league spot, and their reputation.

Scorers – Offaly: S Quirke 2-1, J Bergin 1-1, B Carroll 0-8 (5f), C Mahon, S Dooley 0-2 each, C Egan, K Connolly, D Currams, S Cleary, T Geraghty 0-1 each. Kerry: S Nolan 0-8 (3f, 1 ’65’), C Harty 0-2, D O’Connell, B O’Leary, P Boyle, B Brosnan 0-1 each.

Offaly: Conor Slevin; N Wynne, G Healion, J Rigney; B Harding, C Egan, C Parlon; K Connolly, Ciarán Slevin; B Carroll, D Currams, C Mahon; S Quirke, S Cleary, J Bergin. Subs: P Geraghty for Ciarán Slevin (29), C McDonald for Healion (50), S Dooley, for Bergin (51), T Geraghty for Quirke (65), K Brady for Connolly(70).

Kerry: T Flynn; B Murphy, T Murnane, T Casey; S Weir, D Dinneen, D O’Connell; J Griffin, C Harty; B O’Leary, D Collins, S Nolan; K Carmody, P Boyle, J Egan. Subs: B Brosnan for Carmody (28), P O’Connor for Brosnan (51), J Leahy for O’Leary (54), P Lucid for Boyle (63).

Referee: J Ryan (Tipperary)


Offaly retain IB status after play-off win

Allianz Hurling League Division 1B Relegation/Promotion Final: Kerry 0-14 Offaly 3-19

Report from the GAA.ie web site

Offaly retained their Division IB status with a 14-point play-off win over Kerry at Semple Stadium, Thurles on Saturday night. Brian Whelehan’s charges came good in the second half having gone in level at the break, 1-8 to 0-11, after an even first half against the Division IIA champions, who beat Carlow six days ago at the same venue to reach the play-off. Offaly trailed for much of the first half, but Joe Bergin hit the Faithful County’s opening goal in the 33rd minute, giving them the lead for the first time, before the Kingdom replied to go in level at the break.

Eamonn Kelly’s underdogs faced into the wind in the second half, but it was Offaly who looked to be in trouble when they had Seán Cleary sent off while being subbed. However, Offaly hit two goals in the final quarter to take control of the game, Stephen Quirke finding the back of the net in the 53rd and 64th minutes, his second putting them 3-14 to 0-14 ahead. Offaly then finished off the game with five successive scores to wrap up a win that guarantees their place in the second tier of the Allianz Hurling League for 2015.


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Team News

The Offaly Senior Hurling Team to play Kerry on Saturday evening in Semple Stadium in the Allianz Hurling League Roinn 1B 2014 Relegation/Promotion Final

Offaly (AHL v Kerry): Conor Slevin, Niall Wynne, Ger Healion, James Rigney, Cathal Parlon, Colin Egan, Barry Harding, Kevin Connolly, Ciarán Slevin, Joe Bergin Capt, Dan Currams, Conor Mahon, Brian Carroll, Sean Cleary, Stephen Quirke

Causeway’s Thomas Casey and Brendan O’Leary of Abbeydorney come into the Kerry team for this evening’s Allianz Hurling League Division 1B / 2A promotion / relegation playoff against Offaly in Thurles. They replace Mikey Boyle and Davy Butler, who started last weekend’s Division 2A final victory over Carlow.

Kerry (SH v Offaly): T Flynn; B Murphy, T Murnane, T Casey; S Wei, D Dineen, D O’Connell; J Griffin, C Harty; B O’Leary, D Collins, S Nolan; K Carmody, P Boyle, J Egan (captain).