Offaly’s “Bord na Mona” O’Byrne Cup campaign got off to a flying start at O’Connor Park in Tullamore on Sunday as the home fans saw Gerry Cooney’s charges coast to a 3-6 to 0-7 win over Westmeath.
Alan Mulhall and Ken Casey with a goal apiece got the Faithful County off to a great start as they led 2-2 to 0-0 with but 14 minutes on the clock , and on the half time whistle, despite a mini revival for Westmeath aided by Callum McCormack’s three points, Offaly led 2-4 to 0-5 .
Indeed Westmeath enjoyed long periods of supremacy without ever looking like getting the goals that would bring them back into the game. Offaly themselves went some 25 minutes without a score at one stage but despite the Lakesiders reducing the lead to three points after the break , they never
looked like winning as Offaly coasted home thanks to that second Casey major some 17 mins before referee Hickey blew the final whistle. McCormack and Sheridan tried hard for Westmeath but the goals from former goalkeeper Alan Mulhall and Ken Casey ensured an Offaly win.
OFFALY: K Meehan; J Gallagher, P McConway, S Pender; J Keane, B Darby, L Hiney; R Dalton (0-1), R Brady; G Guilfoyle, N Dunne (0-1), A Keenaghan; W Mulhall (0-3), A Mulhall (1-1, 0-1 free), K Casey (2-0). Subs: F Daly for Guilfoyle (27 mins), N Smith for Dunne (47), D Currams for Keane (47), B Hanamy for A Mulhall (67), D Kelly for Casey (67).
WESTMEATH: D Quinn; M Dalton, K Sheridan, T Warburton; M Curley, M Ennis, K Maguire; T English (0-1), A Finnan; K Martin (0-1, free), C McCormack (0-4), P Sheridan (0-1); J Egan, D Mullen, M Gorman. Subs: D Glennon for Mullen (48 mins), D McNicholas for Egan (51 ),W Coyne for Gorman (64), D Gavin for Sheridan (67).
Referee: J Hickey (Carlow).