In his first appearance of his 20th season as a senior footballer with Offaly, Niall McNamee was once again the saviour for the Faithful County in their O’Byrne Cup clash with Longford in Kilcormac.
he veteran star fired in a goal and a point in stoppage time to salvage a one-point win for the home side.
It was a game where both sides enjoyed periods of dominance, Offaly controlling the first quarter despite conceding a goal to Dessie Reynolds, with Longford taking over after the water break.
Jayson Matthews and Darren Gallagher were both on the mark with a couple of points to edge Longford 1-7 to 0-8 in front at the break, before Offaly again took control with Bernard Allen and debutant Dylan Hyland kicking some good scores.
John Maughan’s side seemed to be on course for victory entering the closing stages of the game when a stunning cameo from substitute Padraig Joyce threatened to turn the game on its head.
A point from Matthews made it 0-15 to 1-10 before Joyce, having just joined the action with a little over five minutes to play, rattled off 1-2 in quick succession.
Offaly’s veteran star full forward had been quiet up to the 70 minute mark but in injury time he proved his class however, clinically finishing the ball to the net in the third minute of stoppage time before stroking over a point from 30 metres out to secure the victory with the last kick of the game.
Scorers – Offaly: D Hyland 0-5 (0-3f), B Allen 0-4 (0-1m), N McNamee 1-1, R McNamee 0-2, J Hayes 0-1, J Moloney 0-1, M Abbott 0-1, A Sullivan 0-1. Longford: P Joyce 1-2, J Matthews 0-4 (0-1m), Dessie Reynolds 1-0, D Gallagher 0-3 (0-2f), D Doherty 0-1, D O’Connell 0-1, D Farrell 0-1f.
Offaly: I Duffy; L Pearson, J O’Connor, N Darby; M Abbott, J Moloney, C Donohoe; D Molloy, A Leavy; J Hayes, R McNamee, A Sullivan; B Allen, N McNamee, D Hyland. Subs: C Mangan for Molloy (half-time), D Egan for R McNamee (53), L Egan for Moloney (53), C Burns for Pearson (57), P Dunican for Duffy (57), O Keenan-Martin for Abbott (61), M Mooney for Sullivan (67), K Dolan for Leavy (67).
Longford: M Hughes; P Fox, R Moffettt, B O’Farrell; E McCormack, Andrew Farrell, I O’Sullivan; D Gallagher, Dessie Reynolds; D O’Connell, D Farrell, D Doherty; R McNerney, J Matthews, J Hagan. Subs: T McNevin for Andrew Farrell (42), R Fitzgibbon for Farrell (46), R Smyth for McNerney (46), Daniel Reynolds for Hagan (54), Aaron Farrell for Doherty (54), J Shiels for O’Connell (56), PJ Masterson for E McCormack (56), T McGann for I O’Sullivan (62), P Joyce for J Matthews (63), D O’Brien for Dessie Reynolds (68).
Referee: G Hurley (Westmeath).