Antrim v Offaly – We have live score updates as Antrim meet Offaly in this All-Ireland SHC qualifier. This will be the 3rd meeting of the side’s this year with Offaly winning one and Antrim winning the relegation play-off. Throw in from Ballycastle is at 2.00 today

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Form guide

Antrim won all of their Leinster SHC group matches topping the group after beating the O’Moore men in their final game 0-22 to 0-20. They then suffered a 13 point loss to Wexford on a 5-19 to 0-21. Offaly suffered a demoralizing defeat to Kilkenny. Brian Cody’s men scored 5-32 to Offaly’s 1-18 in what was a very worrying display by Brian Whelehan’s side.

Duel of the game

Neil McManus v Shane Dooley

McManus has been key for Antrim in the last number of year’s and is named at wing half  against Offaly. McManus is a reliable free taker but with Paul Shields in such good form from the dead ball his ball-striking ability will be needed in the half back line. McManus has represented Ireland in aback the last 2 Shinty-hurling series.

Shane Dooley has been picked at Wing-forward after lining up at full-forward the last day at Kilkenny. Offaly will hope for a big game from the Tullamore man along with Coolderry’s Brian Carroll. Dooley is a strong player and his battle with McManus will be an interesting one.

Team news

Antrim have made 4 changes to the side that lost to Wexford.

Antrim: Chris O’Connell; Odhran McFadden, Conor McKinley, Aaron Graffin; Simon McCrory, Neal McAuley, Neil McManus; Tomas McCann, Jackson McGreevey; Conor Carson, Paul Shiels, Conor McCann; Darren Hamill, Ciaran Clarke, PJ O’Connell.

Offaly have made 5 changes to the team that lost to Kilkenny. Sean Gardner, Conor Doughan and Ciaran Slevin have also left the panel

Offaly: James Dempsey; Niall Wynne, Rory Hanniffy, Chris McDonald; Kevin Brady, Ger Healion, Cathal Parlon; Conor Mahon, Sean Ryan; Shane Dooley, David Kenny, Colin Egan; Brian Carroll, Dan Currams, Joe Bergin

Verdict

It will be interesting to see how Offaly react to their loss to Kilkenny. Offaly are a proud county with good hurling traditions and Brian Whelehan will hope for a better performance against Antrim. Antrim will have home advantage and will fancy their chances of progressing to the next round. When the sides last meet Antrim condemned Offaly to relegation to Division 2 and I think Antrim will run out winners today. Antrim to winning at HT and FT is 3/1 in what looks an appealing

 

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