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Winless Saffrons sink to the bottom

Offaly 0-23 Antrim 1-07

Antrim suffered a second successive league defeat when they lost to Offaly by 13 points in O'Connor Park, Tullamore and are now bottom of Division Three.

Offaly made a blistering start with wing-back David Hanlon scoring inside 15 seconds. Antrim carved out a few chances in the opening exchanges but were unable take any.

After Offaly's Bernard Allen kicked a free, the hosts landed a third point via a stunning long-range score from Eoin Carroll.

Offaly moved five clear with 20 minutes played. Antrim's woes continued as Ryan Murray missed a free while fellow attacker Conor Small was forced to come off with an ankle injury.

The Creggan prospect was replaced by Kevin Niblock and the skipper had a hand in his side's opening point as he set up Matthew Fitzpatrick on 21 minutes.

Murray added a second from a free but Offaly full-forward Nigel Dunne added two further frees.

The momentum almost swung in the Saffrons' favour in the closing minutes of the half when a Conor Murray shot crashed off the post and Fitzpatrick instinctively threw his foot out to try and poach a goal, but missed.

Offaly replied with Carroll landing his second from play. Antrim finished well as Paddy McBride left Hanlon and Peter Cunningham in his wake before firing over for a point.

Leading 0-9 to 0-4 at the break, Offaly pushed home their advantage, hitting 0-8 without reply in a 20-minute burst.

The Saffrons, who had Jack Hannigan black carded minutes after being introduced, bagged a late consolation goal with Fitzpatrick finding the target.

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