Giddy hope for Offaly's hurling future as Cathal Kiely leathers 0-20 against Dublin 11 months ago

Giddy hope for Offaly's hurling future as Cathal Kiely leathers 0-20 against Dublin

20 points registered in a ridiculously good scoring return and yet John Murphy was the one that they rushed to after his extra time winner.

Offaly's senior hurling set-up is in a grim place right now.

Without an All-Ireland in 21 years, a Leinster title in 24 years and now relegated to the third tier of senior hurling for 2020, times are tough for the Faithful.

If you are looking for green shoots, however, look no further than Cathal Kiely and John Murphy.

The youngsters, from Kilcormac-Killoughey and Ballinamere respectively, were the architects of Dublin's downfall in the midweek Leinster quarter final clash.

Offaly's U20s stunned The Dubs with a scoreline of 1-29 to 2-25, after a thrilling encounter, and advanced to the Leinster semi finals.

Cathal Kiely, the younger brother of senior hurler Cillian, was an absolute torment for Dublin. He rattled over 20 points - 16 frees, two 65s and two from play - and punished Dublin any time they lost their discipline. One reporter who was at the game remarked that the forward was 'landing frees from all over Donnycarney':

Kiely was the Under-16 All-Ireland Poc Fada champion, back in 2017, so he has the eye, and mettle, for distance.

The greats and greaters of the game were suitably impressed with the teenager's deeds.

After a back-and-forth clash, Offaly raced into a six point lead - helped massively by a Conor Quinn goal - after the first period of extra time. Dublin roared back with 1-3 to level the scores coming up to the final whistle.

Kiely and Brian Duignan, who is also a handy free-taker, were both injured and off the field when the final free was awarded. Up stepped Murphy and he made no mistake to seal a fantastic win.

Gary Cahill and Shane Hand's side progressed to the semis, now, where they will face Wexford. One gets the feeling that the Wexford lads will be cautioned to keep on top of their discipline for that game.