GAA Football

All-Ireland SFC Qualifiers: Offaly pile on the misery for Sligo as Clare & Westmeath advance

Niall McNamee was Offaly's star man in Tullamore on Sunday Picture by Colm Lenaghan

All-Ireland SFC Qualifiers round two

Offaly 3-17 Sligo 0-15

SLIGO football's alarming nosedive continued yesterday when they were easily dismissed by Offaly in Tullamore.

The Yeats men are without a win in any senior competition in 17 months, while Offaly made it back-to-back wins in the Qualifiers for the first time in nine years.

Returning full-forward Niall McNamee was the star man for the Faithful county, notching 2-2, his first goal coming after just nine minutes as Offaly rattled the visitors in the early exchanges.

With the gap sitting at five at half-time, 2-8 to 0-9, the game was far from over, but it was Offaly who took it by the scruff of the neck, McNamee grabbing his second major shortly after the restart.

Shane Horan, Bernard Allen, Paddy Dunican and Cathal Mangan all turned in positive displays for the home side, while Niall Murphy was Sligo's top scorer, kicking four points, three of them from play.

Westmeath 2-13 Limerick 1-10

GOALS either side of the interval paved the way for Westmeath to advance against Limerick in Saturday's Qualifier at Cusack Park.

Ger Egan was Westmeath's go-to man in the early stages, kicking four points to keep the home side out in front. Then, as half-time neared, the Leinster men stepped it up a gear, Callum McCormick's point being swiftly followed by a James Dolan goal to give them a healthy lead, 1-9 to 0-5.

Matters worsened for the Treaty county soon after the restart, with Joe Halligan hitting the back of the net after being set up by Ronan Wallace.

While Westmeath's advantage now stood at 10 points, Limerick refused to run up the white flag, hitting the next three points, while a Darragh Treacy goal on 53 minutes reduced the deficit to six.

That was as close as they got though, as Westmeath comfortably ran the clock down.

Clare 3-17 Leitrim 0-17

WHILE there was glory for Leitrim in the Lory Meagher Cup final at Croke Park on Saturday, their footballers couldn't reciprocate in Carrick-on-Shannon as they went down to defeat to Clare.

Goals from Jamie Malone and Gary Brennan effectively killed the game as a contest before half-time, with the Banner 2-8 to 0-2 in front after 22 minutes.

While Leitrim mounted an attempt at a fightback in the early stages of the second-half, Eoin Cleary kept the scoreboard ticking over for the visitors and, when Éimhín Courtney came off the bench to grab Clare's third goal, it was merely icing on the cake.

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